Program Description

The certificate curriculum prepares students to seek entry-level employment in a variety of commercial photographic specialties (for example, photojournalism, portraiture, fashion, architectural, product, etc.). Instruction is offered in cameras, aesthetics, color and black and white, film and digital, darkroom procedures, digital image editing, lighting, and business practices for photographers. Students completing the program will have developed a portfolio.

A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon successful completion of all required courses with a grade of C or better.

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate technical knowledge through the effective use of tools.
  2. Analyze aesthetic and cultural values inherent in photographic works.
  3. Demonstrate through the creation of a portfolio of work (for transfer or entry-level employment) the ability to communicate effectively.

Gainful Employment Disclosure  Career Snapshot


Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement

Required units: 33

Recommended sequence:

Semester I

  • ART 031A – Color and Composition–Two Dimensional Design (3)
  • PHOT 010 – History of Photography (3) 
    or ART 001B – History of Western Art (3)
  • PHOT 021 – Introduction to Black and White Photography (3)


Semester II

  • PHOT 030 – Introduction to Digital Image Editing (3)
  • PHOT 031 – Beginning Digital Photography (3)
    or PHOT 023A – Color Photography (3)
  • PHOT 033 – Portrait Photography (3) 
    or PHOT 040 – Fashion Photography (3)

Semester III

  • PHOT 022A – Large Format Photography (3)
  • PHOT 132 – Advanced Digital Photography (3)
    or PHOT 023B – Advanced Color Photography (3)
  • PHOT 136 – Video for Photographers (3)


Semester IV

  • PHOT 135 – Advanced Photography (3)
  • PHOT 140 – Professional Practices For Photographers (3)

Recommended electives:

  • ART 005 – Art Fundamentals (3)
  • ART 011A – Foundation Drawing (3)
  • ART 016 – Perspective (3)
  • ART 050A – Introduction to Graphic Design & Advertising (3)
  • ART 050B – Intermediate Graphic Design & Advertising (3)
  • ART 050C – Advanced Graphic Design & Advertising (3)
  • ART 104 – History of American Art (3)
  • BUS 116 – Small Business Management (3)
  • GRFX 080 – Graphic Reproduction Fundamentals (2)
  • JOUR 021 – Beginning Press Photography (3)
  • JOUR 022 – Advanced Press Photography (3)
  • PHOT 024A – Alternative Processes In Photography (3)
  • PHOT 024B – Experimental Photography (3)
  • PHOT 131 – Zone System of Photography (3)

Download Requirements


Earn an Associate of Science Degree With Your Certificate of Achievement

An AS Degree prepares you with the unique skills needed to enter a specialized career field. Earned in conjunction with a Certificate of Achievement, it will open up further opportunities for career advancement.

To earn your AS degree, you will need to complete the general education requirements for an AS degree in addition to the above listed Certificate of Achievement Requirements.

Download AS Degree Requirements