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Photography involves much more than just pointing and clicking a camera. If you major in it, you'll learn how to choose a subject and compose it effectively, how to orchestrate color and light, and how to develop your photographs. You'll also explore the possibilities of digital and computer-enhanced images. Other forms of visual art will be part of your major as well, such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. You'll learn how to create photographs that capture your vision and make the statement you want-photographs that say your thousand words.

Besides learning how to create your own meaningful photographs, you'll be studying other photographers—both historical and contemporary—who have made important advancements in the field. You'll learn by seeing what other students are creating and by receiving critiques of your own projects.

Although universities with Photography majors have darkrooms and facilities for students' use, expect to purchase quite a bit of equipment, such as cameras, tripods, lenses, film, developing chemicals, and computer software. In other words, be prepared for some extra expenses.


  • Art History

  • Color Theory and Printing

  • Digital Imaging

  • Digital Tools

  • Documentary Photography

  • Drawing

  • Fundamentals of Visual Thinking

  • Large Format Photography

  • Multimedia Projects

  • Photographic Lighting

  • Photography Installation

  • Two Dimensional Design


Any and all art classes are great preparation for a Photography major. English and history will give you a good background of culture and society, and foreign languages might give you an edge in this highly multi-cultural field. You probably wouldn't consider chemistry a relevant class, but it is-as a photographer you'll be working with a variety of chemicals to develop your images.

Since Photography majors at most schools are required to take the same core curriculum as fine arts majors, brush up on your drawing skills. You'll have to submit a portfolio for admission to a fine arts program; it should include some drawings.