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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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B.Des. in Professional Photography

Focus on your future as a photographer!
Do you see the world through your camera? With a B.Des. in Professional Photography from Penn State, you can share your view of the world with others and prepare you for a professional career. Build and apply career-oriented competencies, acquire practical skills, and learn creative techniques relevant to professional photographic image-making. Our faculty pride themselves on technical, traditional, and experimental forms of learning that will help you establish a strong reputation in the field.

Get your camera ready!

We prepare students to explore, critically appraise, and further push the boundaries of how emerging technologies are used in creative contexts within a field of changing visual technologies.

The Professional Photography degree is designed to provide in-depth, formal education that orients students for careers in client-based professional photography or related fields. The degree focuses on building and synthesizing competencies and capabilities essential to photographers’ professional, intellectual, and cultural lives.

  • Photography students infuse their talent and creativity into a world of changing visual technologies.
  • Grow as a photographer through intensive studio time.
  • Gain real world photography experience

Is the B.Des. in Professional Photography right for you?

You are inspired by the power of photography to reach into our lives. Your personal interests and professional aspirations rely on photography to capture the diversity and complexity of the world around you. With this professional degree, you will be prepared to use photography to communicate in visually stimulating ways. Students who earn this degree take up careers in commercial, documentary, fashion, and sports photography.

If you find working with people and going out on assignments as interesting as you do the technical aspects of photography, combine your skillsets to become a professional photographer.

You will learn in small studio settings and spend undivided time with faculty members who specialize in documentary photography, photojournalism, portraiture, and cultural activism. These professors are enthusiastic about the technical aspects of the medium as well as sharing their knowledge and extensive experience with you.

Photography students experimenting with different lighting techniques.

Considering the B.Des. in Professional Photography? Consider this.

Our alumni have established prominent photography businesses around the world.

  • Our faculty publish their photographs and exhibit in international exhibitions.

  • Our students hold photography internships and freelance while earning their degrees.

  • The College of Arts and Architecture provides diverse photography opportunities.

  • In the increasingly visual world, a nuanced sense of image builds sophistication in communication.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State gave me the opportunity to explore the many career paths available in the film industry.
Caleb Yoder, Penn State alumnus and DreamWorks animatic editor.

Alumni Spotlight

Caleb Yoder

B.Des. in Digital Arts and Media Design 2016

A student internship with DreamWorks Animation led Caleb Yoder to a full-time videographer position with the company following his graduation. Caleb spent eight months as a videographer before moving to the DreamWorks TV division, where he worked as a production assistant and production coordinator on Harvey Street Kids. As a Schreyer Scholar, Caleb graduated with highest distinction, serving as college marshal for the College of Arts and Architecture. Caleb now is assistant animatic editor at DreamWorks.

Silhouette of Caleb Yoder shooting video for DreamWorks.
DreamWorks animatic editor Caleb Yoder pictured with characters from Harvey Street Kids

News from A&A

Fifth-year architecture student named 2021 Corbelletti prize winner

Puja Bhagat, a fifth-year architecture student and Schreyer Honors College scholar, was named the winner of the Department of Architecture’s 2021 Corbelletti Design Charrette.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Puja Bhagat, a fifth-year architecture student in the Stuckeman School and a Schreyer Honors College scholar, was named the winner of the Department of Architecture’s 2021


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Zolli appointed Agnes Scollins Carey Early Career Professor

Dan Zolli is the third recipient of the College of Arts and Architecture’s Agnes Scollins Carey Memorial Early Career Professorship in the Arts.
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Graphic design student earns honorable mentions in national design competitions

Third-year graphic design student Taylor Kuszyk has earned national recognition for her work, collecting two honorable mentions in the UCDA Design Awards and another in Graphex 52.
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