Digital Photography Schools in Kansas City with Degree Overviews

Oct 09, 2018

There are more than eight schools within 50 miles Kansas City that have digital photography programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info at three schools within five miles of downtown and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Kansas City Schools with Digital Photography Classes

While there are no specific digital photography degree programs at Kansas City schools, several schools offer photography concentrations or classes within an art major. This article explores the degree programs at three schools, all in Missouri, that are no more than 15 minutes from downtown. It also presents a table of information about each school that can help prospective students decide on their education. This table covers topics such as enrollment, tuition and the acceptance rates at these schools. At the end of the article is some information about other area schools with digital photography instruction.

  • Metropolitan Community College - Kansas City (MCC), about three miles from downtown, offers an associate's degree program in art that contains digital photography classes.
  • Around four miles from the city center, the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography.
  • Students can earn a bachelor's or master's degree in studio art at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC), which is approximately five miles from downtown.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are looking for a school need to be aware of many factors. This table includes important information in a format that allows for easy comparison of these three institutions.

Metropolitan Community College Kansas City Art Institute University of Missouri - Kansas City
School Type Public, 2-year college Private, not-for-profit, 4-year art school Public, 4-year university
Total Enrollment (in 2017) 14,874* 663* 16,372*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Annual Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $3,120 in-district; $5,520 in-state; $7,140 out-of-state* $37,800* $8,011 in-state; $19,793 out-of-state*
% of First-Year, Full-Time Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-2017) 77%* 99%* 93%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions* 67%* 64%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 55% for full-time students; 34% for part-time students* 77% for full-time students* 75% for full-time students; 29% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 21% (17% transfer-out rate) (students who began in fall 2014)* 54% (28% transfer-out rate) (students who began in fall 2011)* 48% (students who began in fall 2011)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Metropolitan Community College

MCC's Penn Valley campus is home to the Carter Center for Visual Arts and Imaging Technology, which houses the Art Department. The Carter Center's art gallery provides the opportunity for students to display their works.

Associate in Arts in Art

Students in this program complete 42 credits of general education classes, three credits of computer science classes and 17 credits of elective courses. Electives provide students the opportunity to take photography-focused classes, including digital photography, through which students can learn camera skills and digital editing. Other relevant electives include digital imaging and four photography classes that promote development of technical skills.

Kansas City Art Institute

KCAI students begin their curriculum with Freshman Foundation, where they learn basic practical and theoretical concepts. First-year students also work on both solo studio projects and collective ones. The photography program requires students to complete 42 credits of liberal arts coursework. The photography major is located in the Department of Converging Media, which also houses the animation, filmmaking and illustration majors. Students in this school can learn to convey stories or ideas through both traditional and electronic/new media.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

A faculty of practicing photographers teaches photography majors. Students have the opportunity to learn multiple styles of photography, such as portrait and narrative. Some of the classes students can take include digital photography, tools and techniques, photography history and photographic workshops. A studio seminar covering photography as contemporary art is also offered.

University of Missouri - Kansas City

The Department of Art and Art History designed a foundational curriculum in the liberal arts for students looking to focus on specific art media or to learn art history. The studio art faculty consists of over two dozen instructors. This department houses programs at the bachelor's and master's levels.

Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art

Students don't have to meet any special admission requirements to gain acceptance into the studio art bachelor's program. The curriculum includes four foundational courses, four art history classes and eight studio art electives. Students are required to select electives from three different areas, such as photography or screenprinting. Students undergo portfolio reviews during their junior years.

Master of Arts in Studio Art

Applying to this program requires applicants to submit a portfolio of recent work and a personal statement. In the 36-credit-hour studio art master's program, students consult with an advisor to determine which studio art classes to take. Students also complete three art history classes and six credits of research and thesis work. The thesis includes a solo exhibit, which is displayed in UMKC's Gallery of Art or another qualifying area venue.

Other School Options

In Parkville, MO, which is about 10 miles from Kansas City, students can enroll in Park University, a private institution that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art program with studio electives in photography.

About 14 miles from Kansas City in Overland Park, KS, is Johnson County Community College where individuals can receive training in digital photography. This school doesn't offer a degree program in the field, but it does offer a variety of photography classes, including digital photography and advanced digital photography. In Atchison, KS, about 40 miles from Kansas City, individuals can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Benedictine College and learn about photography skills. About 46 miles from Kansas City in St. Joseph, MO, is Missouri Western State University. Here, students can learn about digital photography through enrolling in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art program.

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