Students in Arizona interested in photography programs can choose from five public and private, not-for-profit schools that offer photography classes through certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs. These training options strike a balance between building technical ability and fostering creativity. Students will likely be required to provide their own cameras, but will have access to schools' other resources, which may include editing rooms, studio spaces, or lighting equipment. The development of a portfolio of work is common in photography program curriculum.
Mohave Community College
Located in Kingman, Mohave Community College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Art degree program. Required courses include the study of design, drawing, painting, ceramics and world art history. Students must also complete between 12 and 15 credit hours of elective courses. Students can take a variety of photography electives, such as basic, black and white, digital and intermediate photography. These courses focus on developing a visual awareness and training students with photo editing software. To earn this degree, between 62 and 67 total degree credits must be completed.
Northern Arizona University
Located in Flagstaff, this 4-year public university enrolls more than 20,700 undergraduate students. In addition to on-campus learning opportunities that include classroom and lab work, the school also offers study abroad programs. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Photography is an interdisciplinary degree program that combines communications and photography courses. A total of 120 credits is required.
Photography classes cover basic photography skills, such as lighting, composition, technical skills, studio work, black and white photography, color photography and digital photography. Students are also introduced to portrait, corporate, landscape and industrial photography, as well as photojournalism. Photography classes introduce students to photo editing and darkroom procedures. Seniors complete a required capstone project in portfolio development.
Northland Pioneer College
A 2-year public college, Northland Pioneer College in Holbrook enrolls nearly 4,000 undergraduate students. Three programs at this college include photography classes. The Certificate of Proficiency in Photography Technician program consists of 16.5 to 21 credits depending on the area of specialization. Students have the option of concentrating on black and white photography, photography marketing or color photography as they develop artistic and technical photography skills.
The Certificate of Applied Science in Photography Technician program requires students to take 27 credits in core photography classes, such as photojournalism, color photography, basic and advanced photography techniques, art photography and portfolio development. General education requirements in English composition and technical math round out the 33 credits needed to complete the program.
The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Photography Technician degree program balances the technical, artistic and business skills that are essential to successful photographers. In addition to the 27 required photography credits, students also complete general education requirements and interdisciplinary electives in business and management, taking a total of 64 credits. Photography classes in this program include basic photography, photojournalism, color photography and art photography. Students also complete portfolio work.
Students at this college in Prescott can participate in an intensive bachelor's degree photography program offered through the School of Arts and Letters and Department of Visual Arts. The curriculum is designed to encourage visual literacy through photography, installations, video, acoustics and performance. Students can choose a 12-course competency track that requires a minimum of six photography courses or a 16-course track with at least eight photography courses. Typical courses include the study of alternative processes, digital imaging, documentary photography, contemporary photography, gallery management and professional development. Students also complete an art history course, a practicum and a senior project.
Located in Prescott, Yavapai College offers a certificate program in photography that requires 32 credit hours. Students can expect to gain both digital and analog photography skills, as well as experience with marketing and design. Participants must have a single lens reflex (SLR) 35mm film camera to participate in traditional photography courses and an SLR digital camera for digital photography courses. Adobe Photoshop digital imaging courses are required. Additional courses include the study of photographic lighting, portfolio development, small business marketing, Web design and digital photography. An internship is also recommended.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Photography Degree Options||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Mohave Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Arts (AA) in Art|| $2,112 in-state*
|Northern Arizona University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science (BS) in Photography|| $11,564 in-state*
|Northland Pioneer College||2-year, public; fringe rural|| Certificate of Proficiency in Photography Technician,
Certificate of Applied Science in Photography Technician,
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Photography Technician
| $1,866 in-state*
|Prescott College||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Arts with a Concentration in Photography||$31,485*|
|Yavapai College||2-year, public; small city||Photography Certificate|| $2,360 in-state*
Source: *NCES College Navigator