Typically, students find digital photography courses in graphic design, studio art, or photography programs. Most programs in the state have 1 course focusing solely on digital photography, and the other courses build on digital photography techniques. Students may choose from diploma, associate's, bachelor's, and even master's degree programs that relate to photography, though admission requirements will vary by school and educational level. Some programs may ask to see a portfolio of work while others assist students in developing such a collection by graduation.
Profiled below are the 7 public and private not-for-profit schools in Iowa with digital photography program options.
Des Moines Area Community College
Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny offers a 36-credit photography diploma program. Required courses include photography principles, photojournalism, travel photography, digital photography and studio photography. Prior to graduation, students apply learned concepts by completing individual projects.
Grand View University
Photography bachelor's degree and minor programs can be found at Grand View University in Des Moines. Mass communication and desktop publishing courses need to be taken prior to enrolling in the bachelor's degree program. Coursework covers reporting, digital photography and publication photography. This program provides hands-on training through laboratory components, and students choose electives in creative photography. Those who are earning a minor also learn about digital photography techniques, and they take 18 credits of photography courses.
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Central Community College can be found in Fort Dodge and has a professional photography associate's degree program. This program can be completed with 62-65 credit hours. Topics include graphic design, photography marketing and commercial photography. Several of the core photography courses teach students how to use a digital camera. A portfolio class is also required.
Iowa Lakes Community College
Estherville is home to Iowa Lakes Community College. Prospective students can find a 36-credit photography diploma program. Participants are educated in human relations, digital imaging, advertising photography and digital photography. A practicum is also required. The aforementioned diploma program provides the most photography classes, but other associate's degrees and diplomas in graphic design, journalism and web design also provide at least 1 course apiece in digital photography.
Maharishi University of Management
This university in Fairfield offers a Bachelor of Arts program in the field of media and communications. The program has a digital arts concentration, and students may take several photography courses. Topics cover digital photography, new media and advanced photography techniques. Students may also minor in the same field, and they may choose to take 16 credits of photography courses. The university provides studios, camera equipment and darkrooms. Study abroad programs are available to photography students who want to expand their portfolio.
University of Iowa
Located in Iowa City, the University of Iowa offers several digital photography courses within the art bachelor's and master's degree programs. Students must be in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) program before gaining entry to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program. BA students complete 39 semester hours of art courses. BFA students may choose a concentration in photography, and they take 62 semester hours of art courses. A BFA exhibit is also required. Minor students may also opt to take photography electives, in addition to a drawing course.
The 38-credit Master of Arts (MA) program in art requires a thesis or a substitute course of study. Students learn about art theory, and they may choose an emphasis in photography. The 60-credit Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art program also provides a concentration in photography. MFA students complete a thesis and undergo a review. All students may complete digital photography and digital photographic imaging classes that range from beginner to advanced levels. Students may learn Photoshop techniques, color printing and image capturing.
Western Iowa Tech Community College
Western Iowa Tech Community College, found in Sioux City, offers a photography technician diploma and a professional photography associate's degree program. Regardless of the program, students learn about digital photography, digital darkroom and photojournalism. Both programs require practicums. Associate's degree students need to also complete a capstone project and general education courses.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Photography Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Des Moines Area Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Photography Diploma|| $4,680 in-state
|Grand View University||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city|| Photography Minor,
Bachelor of Arts in Photography
|Iowa Central Community College||2-year, public; remote town||Associate of Applied Science in Professional Photography|| $5,490 in-state
|Iowa Lakes Community College||2-year, public; remote town||Photography Diploma|| $6,460 in-state
|Maharishi University of Management||4-year, private not-for-profit; remote town|| Minor in Media and Communications,
Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications (Concentration in Digital Arts)
|University of Iowa||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art (Concentration in Photography),
Master of Arts in Art (Concentration in Photography),
Master of Fine Arts in Art (Concentration in Photography)
|Western Iowa Tech Community College||2-year, public; small city|| Professional Photography Technician Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Professional Photography
| $4,272 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator.