Which Schools Offer a Digital Photography Program?
Students can hone their digital photography skills by earning a certificate or undergraduate degree in photography or a related field. Programs offering courses in digital photography are available at 2- and 4-year schools across the country. Keep reading to learn more about the degree levels available for photography students and the schools that offer these programs.
Digital Photography Programs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers prefer to hire photographers who demonstrate a combination of artistic talent and technical knowledge. Students can gain skills, learn techniques, and work on a portfolio while enrolled in an academic program. Many schools offer certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree programs that teach students how to work with digital photography equipment.
Important Facts About Digital Photography Programs
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Online Availability||Fully online|
|Common Courses||Digital imaging, lighting theory, history of photography|
|Possible Careers||Photojournalist, studio manager, photographic editor|
|Median Salary (2018)||$34,000 (photographers) |
$92,780 (art directors)
$48,960 (craft and fine artists)
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||-6% decline (photographers) |
5% (art directors)
6% (craft and fine artists)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A certificate program can provide a quick education in digital photography. Courses might focus on various methods and practices in photography, as well as technical use of digital cameras and accessories. Students also might learn to use digital imaging software to process, edit and otherwise manipulate photos, in addition to storing and printing them. Some schools that offer certificate programs in photography include:
- Fresno City College in Fresno, CA
- Emory University in Atlanta, GA
- Bellevue College in Bellevue, WA
- Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI
Associate's Degree Programs
Aspiring photographers who don't want to commit four years to their education might consider a 2-year degree. Students in an associate's degree program in photography learn advanced techniques in lighting and filtration and continue to develop their digital darkroom skills.
They also might explore specialty areas within the photography field, such as photojournalism, as well as photography-related disciplines like graphic and Web design. Associate's degree programs in photography are available at many 2-year schools. Among the largest are:
- Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA
- Harrington College in Chicago, IL
- Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA
Bachelor's Degree Programs
While sharpening their technical skills in digital photography, bachelor's degree candidates often study the history of photography and examine its role in society and culture. Students also begin to craft their identities as artists and photographers as they develop an understanding of key concepts and ideas about digital photography.
Undergraduate photography programs also guide aspiring photographers in effectively displaying their works, whether through exhibitions or portfolios. Photography degree programs featuring courses in digital photography are offered at the following universities:
- Art Institute of California in Los Angeles, CA
- Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA
- University of Houston in Houston, TX