Digital Photography Bachelor's Degree

Find out how you can acquire career-ready expertise as a digital photographer through completing a bachelor's degree program. See sample courses, the different types of bachelor's degrees available and the career outlook. Schools offering Photography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Why Should I Pursue a Digital Photography Bachelor's Degree?

Becoming a professional photographer takes more than pointing and shooting a digital camera. By pursuing a degree in photography, you learn the nitty-gritty theories and procedures of the art and the business of photography. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in addition to creativity and a good eye, you generally need a firm technical understanding of the craft to achieve independent success or land a decent photography job in science or industry (

The National Center for Education Statistics lists over 160 postsecondary schools where you can earn a bachelor's degree in photography or commercial photography ( These programs incorporate the study of digital photography. Photography programs may provide you with the option of earning a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). BFA programs tend to have more extensive photography course requirements, whereas B.A. programs, though offering similar core curricula, pair well with another major.

Degree Programs Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts
Common Courses Art History, Lighting and Printing, Photojournalism
Online Availability In rare cases, fully online curricula are offered
Median Salary (2014) $30,490

What Will I Learn in a Degree Program?

Though digital photography dominates, many programs include instruction in traditional photography techniques, including dark room and printing procedures, and the use of traditional equipment. In photography programs, you learn how to see with a photographer's eye. Core courses can include composition, art history, design, lighting and printing. You may be required to take courses in Web design and Photoshop, in addition to digital photography. Combining traditional and digital techniques in the same project is common.

Electives help you develop a professional portfolio. Common studio electives are commercial photography, photojournalism and large-format photography. Many programs require you to complete an internship at a school-approved facility. In your senior year, you may complete a capstone project that could include the presentation of a portfolio of work and a public exhibition.

How Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Because of the large amount of hands-on training required, online digital photography bachelor's degree programs are rare. They may use a combination of delivery methods, including demonstration videos, lectures, online critiquing, discussion rooms and interactive presentations. Often, you're able to access lectures, demos and discussion rooms at your convenience, 24 hours a day. Interactive-participation sections are presented in real time.

What Job Prospects Can I Expect?

In 2016, the BLS predicted employment opportunities for photographers to increase 3% from 2014 to 2024. The decline in the newspaper industry has an adverse effect on job opportunities, though the proliferation of internet publications may help mitigate the situation. Salaried positions are decreasing as publishers contract freelancers more often. The BLS also reported in 2014 that the median income for these professionals was $30,490, and that one-third of them worked part time.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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