Photography, Minor

Program Code: PHOTO_UMNR

Program Description

Students in the Photography Minor will gain access to skills and knowledge necessary to identify and create professional quality photographic images. The learning outcomes include technical and intellectual proficiency, creative skills and capabilities, commercially oriented skills and knowledge, collaborative and visual communication skills and experiences, cultural awareness and ethical understanding regarding the use of images and life-long learning skills. It will raise students’ overall level of proficiency and enhance their life-long learning skills in image making. Professional photographic skills are readily adaptable for use in a wide variety of majors and careers that rely on or benefit from the use of photography. The minor strengthens existing majors where making or using professional quality photographic imagery would be an advantage.

The minor is intended for students in any major who have a need or desire to acquire professional photographic skills and knowledge. The minor includes two prescribed classes, PHOTO 303 and PHOTO 404. These two courses focus students on client-based commercially oriented photographic skills and knowledge. Students are then free to choose the remaining 12 credits of additional PHOTO courses with the intent that with these courses they will tailor their curriculum to suit their specific need or interest. Students in the Photography Minor will thus benefit from access to the professionally oriented PHOTO courses developed for the Professional Photography (B.Des) major.

What is Photography?

Photography is a means of making images of the world in which we live, and creating interpretations that cause us to think about what we see, and to question what we know. Learning about photography, and how to take and make photographs, is like acquiring another language that increases your ability to communicate in a visual way. You acquire a range of technical and conceptual capabilities for documenting, expressing, and sharing information, ideas, views, and cultural perspectives, among many other intentions. Studying photography increases your practical and professional proficiencies as you create bodies of art and design work in a self-directed and independent manner that can be adapted to broad fields of inquiry. In this way, your photographic skills allow you to respond to content and subject matter with a personal perspective that expands how you acquire and integrate knowledge in critical and creative ways.

You Might Like This Program If...

You want to acquire the photographic skills and knowledge to strengthen your ability to create and adapt professional quality photographic images in your studies. Responding to the growing reliance on images and image making means applying technical, creative, and intellectual competencies and capabilities in a broad range of disciplines and a wide variety of careers. This minor will enhance your ability to communicate visually and acquire life-long learning skills.

Entrance Procedures

For more specific information on entrance procedures, please visit the website for the College of Arts and Architecture.

Retention Requirements

Retention will be determined through verification of sustained academic growth as demonstrated by earning of grades of C or higher within the Photography minor. Failure to do so is grounds for an academic warning, with clear written strategies and a time frame for the student to return to good standing. Should the student not address the issue, the faculty may advise the student into a different program or minor.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 19

Requirements for the Minor

Some courses may require prerequisites.

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PHOTO 303Professional Photography: Studio Technique and Photocomposition3
PHOTO 404Professional Photography Capstone Seminar: Self-Marketing and Professional Presence4
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of PHOTO courses9
Select 3 credits of 400-level PHOTO courses3

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Kyrie Harding
Director of Advising
104 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802


University Park

210 Patterson Building
University Park, PA 16802