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Photography Schools in Los Angeles with Course and Degree Info

The Los Angeles area has several colleges that offer photography programs. Learn about three of these schools and their courses, admission info and program requirements to make an informed education decision.

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Comparison of Photography Programs in Los Angeles, CA

Photography school programs can teach students to use cameras and take professional pictures to create artistic images. The Art Center College of Design, located in nearby Pasadena, offers a bachelor's degree program in photography and imaging. East Los Angeles College (ELAC) and Santa Monica College (SMC) both provide photography certificate and associate degree programs in the Los Angeles area. The coursework at all three colleges covers beginning to advanced photography and lighting techniques, in addition to offering students a variety of elective courses depending on their areas of interest. The schools provide students with the opportunity to exhibit their photography work at galleries on campus or within the Los Angeles area.

Art Center College of Design East Los Angeles College Santa Monica College
Photography Programs Offered Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Imaging Certificate of Achievement in Photography and Digital Imaging
Certificate of Achievement in Large Format Photography
Certificate of Achievement in Studio Lighting and Techniques
Associate of Arts in Photography
Certificate of Achievement in Photography
Associate of Arts in Photography
Related Programs Offered Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Certificate of Achievement in Color Printing and Processing
Certificate of Achievement in Desktop Publishing
Associate of Arts in Desktop Publishing
N/A
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 1,842* 37,057* 29,971*
Campus Setting Midsized city Small city Small city
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $34,044* $959 in-state; $5,899 out-of-state* $896 in-state; $5,768 out-of-state*
% of Beginning Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 74%* 71%* 45%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) 63%* N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2011) 77% for full-time students* 76% for full-time students; 46% for part-time students* 73% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 54% (for students beginning studies in fall 2005)* 29% (for students beginning studies in fall 2008)* 26% (for students beginning studies in fall 2008)*
Noteworthy Student art gallery ELAC Photo Club Student photography gallery
Distance from Downtown 10 mi. (15 min.) 7.5 mi. (10 min.) 15 mi. (20 min.)

Source: *NCES College Navigator


Art Center College of Design Photography Programs

The Art Center College of Design is a 4-year, private college located in Pasadena, which is a short distance from downtown Los Angeles. The school offers an undergraduate program in photography and imaging that includes studio coursework and also focuses on the marketing and business aspects of the industry.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Imaging

This bachelor's degree program takes 8 terms to complete and requires a total of 135 credits. The program includes classes in design and imaging, lighting, lab procedures, color theory and photo production. Students must take 24 credits of coursework in the humanities and design sciences to round out their program.

East Los Angeles College's Photography Programs

Located in the suburb of Monterey Park, East Los Angeles College is a large, 2-year college in the Los Angeles area. It offers several photography certificate and associate's degree programs, which can train students in a wide variety of photographic styles and techniques.

Certificate of Achievement in Photography and Digital Imaging

The certificate program consists of 35-36 credits. Students must complete courses in basic commercial fields, beginning photography, advanced photographic techniques, photographic sensitometry, color photography and digital photography, as well as one elective.

Certificate of Achievement in Large Format Photography

This certificate program requires the completion of four courses for a total of 13 credits. Students learn about beginning, as well as advanced photography methods, in addition to commercial photography and a course in photographic sensitometry. The program provides skills in using 4x5 and 8x10 sheet film cameras.

Certificate of Achievement in Studio Lighting and Techniques

The studio lighting and techniques program covers both beginning and advanced techniques in photography and includes two courses focused on commercial photography. Students must take four courses and earn a total of 16 credits.

Associate of Arts in Photography

The associate's degree curriculum includes beginning photography, 2-dimensional design, commercial photography, digital photography, advertising and advanced photographic techniques. Students are required to purchase a 35mm camera with specific features.

Santa Monica College's Photography Programs

Located west of Los Angeles, Santa Monica College is a 2-year, public school that offers a wide variety of photography courses that can prepare students for careers as portrait photographers, artists, commercial photographers or photojournalists. SMC allows students to choose between a certificate of achievement or an associate's degree program.

Certificate of Achievement in Photography

The 42-unit certificate program includes several required courses, including design, commercial photography techniques, portrait photography, advanced commercial photography, beginning Photoshop, advanced Photoshop, beginning portfolio development and digital capture. The remaining credits are completed through photography electives.

Associate of Arts in Photography

The 60-unit associate's degree program includes coursework in design, commercial photography techniques, portrait photography, beginning Photoshop and beginning portfolio development. Electives are available in lab techniques, news photography, color printing, photography for publication and history of photography.

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Popular Schools

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

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Commercial Photography (Online)
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Art Education
        • BFA in Undeclared

    What is your highest level of education?

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

    What is your highest level of education?

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

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida campus 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
  • School locations:
    • New York campus 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 campus 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:
    • Pennsylvania campus 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:
    • Columbia (D.C.) campus 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:
    • Oregon campus 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:
    • Ohio campus 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

Popular Schools

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