Iowa Photography Universities with Degree Overviews

Research photography degrees in Iowa, which currently has five schools offering these programs. Read overviews of the degree programs and get some quick facts for two Iowa schools to decide which program is right for you.

Degrees for Photographers in Iowa

Photography programs are provided by 2- and 4-year colleges and universities in Iowa. Aspiring photographers living in the western and central areas of the state can find programs in Des Moines and Sioux City. Learn about the degrees being offered, the curricula and possible internships at two of the 4-year schools. The table in this article also includes additional facts about these schools.

  • Des Moines Area Community College is located in Ankeny and offers a two certificate and an associate's degree program in photography.
  • Morningside College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Photography and is situated in Sioux City.

Comparison of Schools

Many factors besides the degree programs and degrees should be considered when choosing the right school for photography training. The table below details some differences between the schools, such as tuition, acceptance rate and graduation rate, to help future students decide which avenue to pursue.

Des Moines Community College Morningside College
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, private, non-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 22,982* 2,788*
Campus Setting Large suburb Small city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $4,530 in-state, $9,060 out-of-state* $30,490*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 72%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - open admissions* 55%*
Retention Rate for Full-Time Students (2016-2017) 59%* 70%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 29% (Students began in Fall 2014)* 56% (Students began in Fall 2011)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Des Moines Community College

Des Moines Community College was founded in 1966 and has six campuses and six other learning centers. It is the largest community college in Iowa. Community College Week has called DMCC one of fastest-growing community colleges in the nation. Its photography program is found at the Ankeny campus.

Photography Basic Certificate

This 2-semester program focuses on digital photography, image processing and Photoshop. Students must earn 12 credits to obtain this certificate.

Photography Advanced Certificate

Also encompassing two semesters, the advanced certificate program requires the completion of 15 credits. Classes in commercial photography, portrait photography and portfolio photography are taken.

Associate of Applied Science in Photography

In this 64-credit program, students take many of the same courses as those found in the certificate programs, in addition to classes in photography assistant basics, photojournalism and travel photography. They also learn about the basics of starting up a small business.

Morningside College

Morningside College is a liberal arts school founded in 1894 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is a private, 4-year college with nearly 2,800 students. The college offers a full range of bachelor's degree programs as well as master's programs in teaching. Morningside College has been was included in U.S. News & World Report's listing of best baccalaureate colleges in the Midwest for a decade. Students can undertake a 4-year degree program in photography through Morningside College's Department of Art.

Bachelor of Arts in Photography

Morningside College's program focuses on both traditional and new methodologies of photography. Students have the opportunity to work with film and darkroom equipment, as well as digital technology and graphics software. In addition to photography coursework, students take classes in art history and graphic design. Morningside's undergraduate photography program prepares graduates students for professional work in photojournalism, fine arts or commercial photography.


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