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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Photographic Art

Majors Overview April 11, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in photographic art and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Photographic Art

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Photography are imparted a technical and practical grasp of photography while simultaneously developing their own creative and personal style in the medium. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to the submission of a portfolio at some schools.

Apart from classroom lectures, participation in studio laboratory experiences by bachelor’s degree students is often encouraged, whereby they can apply their new found grasp of photographic procedures.

Coursework within a bachelor’s degree program in photographic art covers the basics of film processing, digital imaging, photographic procedures, equipment, camera types, photographic lighting, and art history, among other things.

Schools often require students to buy a camera and take their own images for evaluation and study. The majority of those who graduate from an undergraduate photography program develop portfolios of their work to show to potential employers or entrance committees at graduate schools.

Education Requirements

Most schools that offer bachelor’s degree programs in photography are accredited four-year art institutions or universities, and incoming students are required to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma apart from submitting a portfolio of their past work and having a solid aptitude for working in photography.


Students are required to take photographic elective courses, required photographic courses, and general education courses, thereby allowing them to choose a concentration area. Both the technical and theoretical aspects of the medium are available through coursework in a B.A. degree program in photography. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following areas of study:

•Large format and lighting
•Digital photography studio
•Photography and lighting
•Portrait photography
•Color photography
•Black and white photography
•History of photography
•Portfolio seminar
•Professional practice
•Photography and composition

Career Choices

The technical proficiency, knowledge, and skills necessary for working as professionals in the field of photography is imparted in the bachelor’s program, in addition to knowledge about a variety of photographic approaches and formats. Graduates may seek career options such as:

•Digital illustrator
•Scientific photographer
•Industrial photographer
•Editorial photographer
•Commercial photographer
•Portrait photographer
•News photographer
•Fine arts photographer

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of the B.A. program in Photography may opt for continuing education to gain a more in-depth education in a specific aspect of the photography field and may earn a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Photography. It typically takes one to two years to earn the degree, which also requires students to complete a thesis project.

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