Dec 12, 2018  
2017-2018 College Catalog 
2017-2018 College Catalog

Photography (B.S.)

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Mount Ida College’s commercial photography degree program offers a wide range of courses designed to prepare students in the fundamental usage of industry tools, techniques and business practices, which will prepare students for entry into the field of commercial photography.

The curriculum places emphasis on both the technical and aesthetic skills required to become a successful commercial photographer. With coursework including business development, design, composition, color theory, graphic design, art history, public relations, and marketing, the classes are designed to create a strong foundation for the development of  business and to build client relationship knowledge.

Individual courses focus on mastering the required commercial photography techniques for a broad range of photographic specialties such as studio lighting for food and products, location lighting for portraiture, digital workflow, image manipulation, and retouching. In the classroom, and on location, students are exposed to the most up-to-date and professional level hardware, software and techniques. Students gain the technical and design skills necessary to develop an individualized commercial photography portfolio in print and online.

Potential Careers: Studio Photography, Portrait Photography, Architectural Photography, Fashion Photography, Advertising Photography, Editorial Photography, Documentary Photography, Photo Journalism, Wedding Photography and Photo Technician.



Learning Objectives


In addition to the skills and perspective of the All College Curriculum, graduates of the Photography Program will demonstrate these abilities:

  • Create and execute professional level materials suitable for seeking opportunities in the field of commercial photography. 
  • Ability to make informed business and creative decisions based on the understanding of the commercial photography marketplace.
  • Ability to construct, manipulate, retouch, and color correct both digital print and digital video files. 
  • Ability to print a broad range of professional quality images.
  • Understand and implement a variety of lighting situations including studio and on location.
  • Understand the nature of client acquisition and retention including new business generation, client service and collaborative learning.
  • Acquire the necessary competitive skills to thrive in the commercial photography marketplace.
  • Develop a competitive, individually branded digital and traditional real-world focused portfolio.
  • Develop an understanding of photography’s importance in its artistic, cultural, social, political and historical context.


Graduates of the Photography Program will also:


  • Develop and expand their visual vocabulary and literacy in the production of images.
  • Articulate and represent ideas in visual forms and finished projects.
  • Understand the relationship between image and meaning.
  • Gain an understanding of photography’s importance in its cultural, social, political and historical context.
  • Understand photography as a mean of communication, responsible for shaping views and events.
  • Become proficient in the latest technological advances in order to be competitive in the marketplace.


Policies, Conditions, and/or Fees

Progression in Program:

  • A minimum grade of C- or higher is required for all program-specific required courses in this major (courses with PX, GD and AR prefixes).
  • An informal meeting with the Department Chair is required at the end of a student’s first year to review the work created in first-year classes to make sure the student is on track.
  • The core Art Foundation (AR) courses including AR 102, AR 104, AR 109, AR 231, and AR 232 must be completed by the end of the sophomore year in order to continue with Photography classes or students must have the Department Chair’s permission to progress.
  • Before proceeding to the junior year, all students must demonstrate they possess the skill level necessary for advanced studio work by: (1) achieving a CGPA of 2.33 or higher for the first two years of course work in the program and (2) receiving a passing evaluation by a formal portfolio review with outside critics. Petitions from students whose CGPA falls below 2.33, but who are otherwise qualified for upper-division course work will on occasion be considered by the Department Chair and Photography Faculty.
  • In order to graduate, students must participate in the Senior Thesis Exhibition and have their portfolio reviewed by outside critics.

Students are strongly encouraged to join ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers), the premier association dedicated to the advocacy of professional photographers.

Students are strongly encouraged to take the Adobe Certification Exam that is recognized by employers in the industry.

External Photography Competitions: All juniors and seniors are required to enter two (2) external photography competitions each year for degree completion.

Note: Students are required initially to purchase a kit of materials and equipment. Yearly expenditures (excluding books and field trip fees) may total from $500 to $1000, depending on student work habits and program of study.

The School of Design reserves the right to retain work done in classes for possible inclusion in exhibitions. All final work must be submitted by the end of the term in original format plus PDF’s, to be used in exhibitions on the College website and to show accrediting agencies such as NEASC and NASAD. Detailed information regarding how to submit these large files will be provided at the time they are due. Mount Ida College cannot assume any responsibility for damaged or missing work.



II. Other Required Courses (27 credits)

Total Credits: 120

Suggested Course Sequence

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Spring Semester

  • Historical Understanding Elective 3 credits

Junior Year

Spring Semester

Senior Year

Fall Semester

  • Literature Elective 3 credits
  • Science Elective 3-4 credits

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