Digital Photography Career Training in Ohio with School Info

More than 25 schools in Ohio have digital photography career training programs. Read an overview of ten of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Photographers don't necessarily need formal training but can complete certificate and degree programs in photography. Several Ohio schools offer certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree programs in graphic imaging, commercial and digital photography, visual communication, and photo illustration as well as individual photography classes. Most programs encourage and facilitate the development of a photography portfolio during students' years of study.

Read on for more information about the Ohio schools that offer certificate and degree programs related to digital photography, as well as a comparative table that includes schools' settings and tuition costs.


Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Located in Cincinnati, this public school has a graphic imaging technology program that teaches students to create graphic images from beginning through final production stages. A digital photography and imaging course teaches the basics of digital photography, including exposure, lighting, retouching and reproducing images. Students also take business and marketing courses and gain hands-on training with printing presses. This six-semester program provides students with two cooperative-education opportunities.

  • Programs Offered: Associate's Degree in Graphic Imaging Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $4,523 in-state; $8,788 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large city

Clark State Community College

The photography certificate program at Clark State Community College in Springfield is aimed at students interested in finding entry-level work in photography or photographers who want to expand their knowledge of photography. A camera skills course introduces students to the various functions of digital cameras as well as how to use 35 mm and medium format film cameras. Other course topics include lighting techniques, basic editing, electronic imagery and photography fundamentals. The program includes two full semesters plus a summer semester. During the summer semester, students complete an internship at a photographic business and put together a photography portfolio.

  • Programs Offered: Photography Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,196 in-state; $5,950 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; small suburb

Columbus State Community College

The digital photography programs at Columbus State Community College (CSCC) in Columbus prepare students for careers in digital photography and imaging. The digital photography associate degree program covers various aspects of digital photography, including black and white photography, beginning and advanced digital photography, Photoshop, website design and portrait lighting. The curriculum focuses on digital capture and digital image management. Some of the courses may be offered through distance learning. General education courses are also part of the degree program.

CSCC also offers certificate programs that allow students to focus on specific areas of photography. Certificates are offered for basic digital photography, advanced digital photography, black and white film, Photoshop for photographers and the business of photography. Students are required to have program-specific equipment (camera and accessories) and photography software programs used in the courses.

  • Programs Offered: Photography certificates in five areas of study,
    Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,400 in-state; $6,800 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large city

Cuyahoga Community College District

Cleveland-based Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) offers several options for students interested in photography, whether as beginners or professional photographers. The associate degree program in visual communication and design with a concentration in photography prepares students for careers in various areas, such as wedding and portrait photography, advertising and digital imaging. Course topics include digital video, Web design, digital imaging, traditional black and white photography, studio lighting and interactive media. Students obtain hands-on experience through internships, workshops and possible cooperative-education opportunities.

Tri-C also offers individual non-credit photography classes. The classes, based around digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, focus on topics such as camera functions, imaging, lenses and exposure. These classes are offered through Tri-C's Community and Continuing Education division and have separate fees.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Business in Visual Communication and Design with a concentration in photography
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,936 in-district; $3,753 in-state; $7,268 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large city

Edison Community College

Edison Community College, located in Piqua, offers a fast-track certificate program in digital photography. The two-semester program prepares students for entry-level jobs in the photography field or may lead to career advancement. Consisting of classroom and lab studies, this program introduces students to the Mac computer and its many functions. Other courses include digital photography, computer graphics and lighting principles. Students learn about lighting, focusing, framing and using digital-editing software.

  • Programs Offered: Digital Photography - Fast Track Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $4,049 in-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; rural fringe

Kent State University at Kent

Kent State University at Kent offers a bachelor's-level program focused on commercial photography. The Bachelor of Science in Photo Illustration, offered through the School of Visual Communication Design, teaches students the basics of studio and illustrative commercial photography. Individuals enrolled in the program are expected to own and work with digital cameras.

Some required courses in the program include introductory visual communications, photography, illustration techniques, photo technology, advanced photography, color photography and graphic design. The degree program provides students with the training and digital photography skills necessary to enter careers as professional studio, commercial and fashion photographers. Students may also have study-abroad opportunities.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Photo Illustration
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $9,672 in-state; $17,632 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, public; large suburb

Owens Community College

Located in Perrysburg, Owens Community College offers photography programs with certificate and associate degree options. Offered at the Toledo and Findley campuses, the commercial photography certificate program prepares students for careers in the commercial photography business. Topics of study include color, black and white, digital and studio photography. This 21-credit program teaches students about capturing images, digital printing and setting up studio equipment.

The associate degree in commercial photography, offered in Toledo, is a four-semester program that offers a wide array of photography courses that include lecture and lab studies. A course introducing students to various photography career options helps prepare students for what a job in the photography industry entails. By the end of the program, the student will develop a career/business strategy related to his or her area of interest. Additionally, the student will build a portfolio displaying his or her photography work. This degree requires completing general education courses and electives to meet the degree requirements.

  • Programs Offered: Commercial Photography Certificate,
    Associate of Applied Science in Commercial Photography Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,999 in-state; $7,132 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; rural fringe

Sinclair Community College

The photographic technology certificate program at Sinclair Community College in Dayton is aimed at the student interested in starting a career in photography or the beginning photographer interested in advancing his or her skills. The program covers all areas, from composing and taking the picture to developing and printing the finished product. This 29-credit certificate program focuses on both color and black and white photography.

Students are required to supply class-specific cameras (e.g., 35 mm film camera, DSLR). Course topics include computer photography, color photography, black and white darkroom photography and studio photography. During the final term, the student will, with instructor assistance, create a portfolio of his or her work.

  • Programs Offered: Photographic Technology Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,216 in-district; $3,350 in-state; $6,392 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; midsize city

Stark State College

Stark State College in North Canton has a digital photography associate degree program that can help prepare students for careers in commercial photography. Students learn not only how to take photographs with the latest digital cameras but also how to use correct lighting, lenses and photo editing software. Additionally, the student will take business and management courses useful in the photography industry.

To earn this degree, students take general education courses as well as the photography courses. Major-related courses include digital imaging, graphic art design, photographic lighting and digital photography. Upon completion of this program, the student earns an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Graphic Arts with a concentration in digital photography.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Graphic Arts with a concentration in digital photography
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,528 in-state; $5,712 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Two-year, public; large suburb

University of Akron

The University of Akron in Akron offers several continuing education courses in digital photography. The digital photography courses include the fundamentals of photojournalism, beginning digital photography, intermediate digital photography, photo touch-up and wedding photography. Students enrolled in the courses learn to understand digital camera settings and functions, use flash and white balance, grasp digital terminology and work with various file formats, resolutions and compressions. These continuing education courses have separate fees.

The University of Akron also offers a credit-bearing academic program in digital photography that leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. Offered through the Myers School of Art, the BFA program offers courses in professional photography, composition, art history and portfolio production. Students enrolled in the arts programs at the University of Akron in Ohio have access to 40 studio labs, where they can gain first-hand experience in photography and other arts.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $9,863 in-state; $18,063 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: Four-year, public; midsize city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Digital Photography Training Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Two-year, public; large city Associate's Degree in Graphic Imaging Technology $4,523 in-state; $8,788 out-of-state*
Clark State Community College Two-year, public; small suburb Photography Certificate $3,196 in-state; $5,950 out-of-state*
Columbus State Community College Two-year, public; large city Photography certificates in five areas of study,
Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography
$3,400 in-state; $6,800 out-of-state*
Cuyahoga Community College District Two-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Business in Visual Communication and Design with a concentration in photography $2,936 in-district; $3,753 in-state; $7,268 out-of-state*
Edison State Community College Two-year, public; rural fringe Digital Photography - Fast Track Certificate $4,049 in-state*
Kent State University at Kent Four-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Photo Illustration $9,672 in-state; $17,632 out-of-state*
Owens Community College Two-year, public; rural fringe Commercial Photography Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Commercial Photography Technology
$3,999 in-state; $7,132 out-of-state*
Sinclair Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Photographic Technology Certificate $2,216 in-district; $3,350 in-state; $6,392 out-of-state*
Stark State College Two-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Computer Graphic Arts with a concentration in digital photography $3,528 in-state; $5,712 out-of-state*
University of Akron - Main Campus Four-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography $9,863 in-state; $18,063 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Coral Gables
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
        • Film and Cinema Studies
        • Photography
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    • Syracuse
    Areas of study you may find at Syracuse University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • New York
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • Philadelphia
    Areas of study you may find at Temple University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Film and Cinema Studies
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • Washington
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • Eugene
    Areas of study you may find at University of Oregon include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Film and Cinema Studies
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • Dayton
    Areas of study you may find at University of Dayton include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • Bellingham
    Areas of study you may find at Western Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Photography

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