While a degree isn't necessary for employment as a photographer, photography courses and programs can help students hone their skills and improve their job prospects in this highly competitive field. There are currently nine Missouri schools that offer relevant degree programs with courses in digital photography. Such programs lead to the award of associate's and bachelor's degrees; at least one master's degree program in the field is also available. Undergraduate programs related photography most often include the development of a professional portfolio, which may be used to gain employment or admission to a graduate program.
Short overviews of these colleges and universities can be found below, along with a table comparing program offerings and tuition information.
This Columbia school offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with a major in photography. Students in this 4-year program must complete 75 credit hours of art coursework that includes topics in drawing, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional design, painting and art history. They also take courses in creative photography, digital imaging and digital filmmaking, where they learn to use digital cameras, scanners and software like Adobe Photoshop. Students interested in a broader course of study can pursue a Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Science program that includes photography elective courses.
Kansas City Art Institute
Situated in Kansas City, this private not-for-profit institution offers several digital photography continuing education classes as well as a photography BFA program that includes courses in photographic imaging, color photography, basic analog photography and advanced printing. Students enrolled in this 4-year program also take a digital photography course that covers color correction, image capture and digital printing. They complete a number of liberal arts courses as well.
Missouri State University - Springfield
The Springfield campus of Missouri State University offers two degree options for students interested in photography. Students can pursue a photography BFA program that requires at least 15 credit hours of coursework in this area in addition to classes in art history, the digital arts, drawing and ceramics. A capstone project is also included in the curriculum.
Students can also opt for a 3- or 4-year Bachelor of Arts program that includes a handful of photography electives. The 3-year plan requires students to complete summer sessions, while the 4-year program follows a traditional schedule. Facilities available to students in all three programs include a color lab, lighting studios, black-and-white labs and a digital photography lab.
Saint Louis Community College
Located in Saint Louis, this community college offers an associate's degree and certificate program in photography. The degree program requires around 70 credit hours of study, and coursework can be transferred to a BFA program at an accredited 4-year university. Students take general photography and photo imaging courses that cover methods for manipulating an image's tone and color. Aspiring photographers can also study the use of digital camera equipment, printers and editing software. The digital photography certificate program requires 17 credit hours of study and covers similar course topics.
Southeast Missouri State University
Located in Cape Giradeau, Southeast Missouri State University offers a bachelor's degree program in commercial photography that focuses on digital imaging techniques and technologies. Majors learn how to create and edit composite images for use in such fields as advertising and special events photography. This program also teaches them about entrepreneurship, copyright law and publication design. Curriculum requires 75 credit hours of coursework in the major and covers such topics as color composition, digital photography, marketing, technical graphics and commercial photography techniques.
University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 11,600 students annually. Its digital photography courses are available through the School of Technology's professional photography degree program. Curriculum is designed to prepare students for such positions as digital imaging specialists, professional photographers, photojournalists and production supervisors. Students learn about traditional and digital photography and can hone their skills in state-of-the-art labs on campus. Courses in the program include professional photography foundations, basic and advanced digital imaging, portrait photography, color imaging, editorial photography and studio techniques.
University of Missouri - St. Louis
This St. Louis university offers a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in photography. Students must complete a foundational art program consisting of 18 credit hours of drawing, ceramics and sculpture classes. Photography majors also take studio courses in color and digital photography as well as advanced seminars. They develop a digital portfolio of their work to complete program requirements.
Washington University in St. Louis
Situated in Saint Louis, this university offers a photography BFA through the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. Students learn the history of photography and explore contemporary issues and techniques. In addition to courses in design, architecture and drawing, students undertake a series of studio courses beginning in their junior year. They're also given the option of studying abroad in Italy and can exhibit their work in three school-owned galleries.
This 4-year not-for-profit school is located in the metropolitan area of St. Louis. It offers an undergraduate fine arts program with an emphasis in photography to students interested in learning about the traditional and experimental techniques used in this medium, such as digital manipulation and advanced image transfers. Students are encouraged to partake in trips to such destinations as New Mexico, Yellowstone National Park and Ireland. They can also take advantage of facilities that include a digital art lab, print studio and art gallery. Upon graduation, students can matriculate into an art master's degree program that allows them to choose a studio specialization in photography.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Digital Photography Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Columbia College||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Science in Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Art
|Kansas City Art Institute||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography||$38,400*|
|Missouri State University - Springfield||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design
| $7,376 in-state;
|Saint Louis Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Fine Arts in Photography|| $3,315 in-district;
|Southeast Missouri State University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Commercial Photography|| $7,418 in-state;
|University of Central Missouri||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Professional Photography|| $7,673 in-state;
|University of Missouri - St. Louis||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art|| $9,792 in-state;
|Washington University in St. Louis||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography||$53,399*|
|Webster University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Master of Arts in Art
Source: *NCES College Navigator.