Photography Classes in Charlotte, NC with College Overviews

There are a number of schools in the Charlotte, NC, area that have photography classes. To find out which one is right for you, read an overview of the program options and requirements at three colleges located within 25 miles of the city's center.

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Charlotte Photography Schools

Students interested in building or advancing their photography skills may look to standalone courses or formal academic programs. The Charlotte, NC, schools profiled here offer individual classes as well as certificates or degrees in the field. Learn about the coursework requirements and areas of focus at these institutions, and then compare the three schools using the table of facts and figures. A little info on a few other area education options is provided too.

  • Located about two miles from downtown Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College offers a certificate program in digital photography.
  • University of North Carolina's Charlotte campus features a program that awards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art.
  • Winthrop University is a little farther out than some of the options, at 25 miles away from Charlotte's downtown area. It offers a bachelor's degree program in photography.

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Comparison of Schools

The community college on the list of featured schools offers the lowest tuition rates as well as the largest student enrollment numbers. That said, those looking for an academic experience from a four-year institution may want to consider the pricier Charlotte universities that happen to have much smaller student bodies. Explore these and other factors, like acceptance and graduation rates, in the table below.

Central Piedmont Community College University of North Carolina-Charlotte Winthrop University
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014)* 19,957 27,238 6,024
Campus Setting Large city Large city Small city
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)* $2,664 in-state; $8,808 out-of-state $6,532 in-state, $19,703 out-of-state $14,456 in-state; $27,704 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receive Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)* 72% 74% 99%
Acceptance Rate (2014)* N/A - Open admissions 64% 71%
Retention Rate (2013-2014)* 55% 82% 77%
Graduation Rate (2014)* 11% 55% 51%

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Central Piedmont Community College

Students must be prepared for fieldwork and possess an appropriate digital SLR camera to enter into the digital photographer certificate program. Students have the option to exhibit their photographs at the campus art gallery.

Digital Photographer Certificate

This 56-hour certificate program is comprised of a total of four classes. These courses cover photographing motion, HDR photography principles and metering and composition for photographs. Portrait and basic flash photography can also be studied at this school. Additionally, as part of the program, students learn how to use Adobe Photoshop. This computer program is used in the post-production process for photographs.

University of North Carolina-Charlotte

One of 17 campuses located throughout the state, UNC's Charlotte location offers a BFA program that features concentrations in several artistic specialties, one of which is photography.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art

The BFA in Art focuses on both theoretical and practical knowledge, as students divide their time studying in the classroom and practicing in the studio. The program features a number of concentrations, including ceramics, graphic design, painting, and, of course, photography. Regardless of concentration, students begin the program by taking a series of introductory courses intended to develop the basic skills and knowledge that will be required in later classes. Once mastering these courses, students move onto concentration-specific courses. The photography concentration examines several concepts and techniques, with course topics including lighting, digital photography, and black and white printing. At the end of the program, students can demonstrate their work with their senior seminar and exhibit, in which they display samples of their work to faculty and peers.

Winthrop University

A portfolio preview day is held on campus at Winthrop University. Students can attend and show their portfolios off to faculty members. This portfolio showing is a competition for scholarship opportunities.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

In this bachelor's degree program, students are required to complete a digital imaging class. Digital imaging and traditional photography equipment is available in the school's studios. It is also recommended that students who're planning to enter into a commercial career complete a class with the College of Business Administration. The rest of the program's coursework covers topics like photojournalism and documentary, studio lighting, color, view-camera and bookmarking with non-silver printing. Students must also fulfill an internship requirement that must be fulfilled with a regional gallery or a commercial studio.

Other Schools

Johnson C Smith University is only about two miles away from downtown Charlotte while the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is around nine miles out. Finally, about 27 miles away from Charlotte's downtown is Gaston College. All of these schools offer photography classes in some form.

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