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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

Metropolitan Opera design director Karin Satrom.

Alumni Spotlight

Karin Satrom

B.Des. in Graphic Design 2001

Karin Satrom leverages her degree in graphic design and photography as the design director at the Metropolitan Opera, where she oversees and creates the concepts and designs for all print and digital materials for each season. To improve efficiency, she reorganized the design team to create an “in-house agency,” the Met Opera Studio.

Billboard poster for Metropolitan Opera's 'Voices Rise' by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.
Metropolitan Opera's 'Black Voices at the Met' environmental signage by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.
Metropolitan Opera 2018-19 Season Book cover by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.

News from A&A

Opera ‘A Marvelous Order’ to make world premiere Oct. 20 in Eisenhower Auditorium

In conjunction with the opera's debut, the Palmer Museum of Art will host an exhibit featuring a collection of the director’s “blueprint” cyanotypes created with the event.

In conjunction, Palmer Museum presents an exhibit of works by opera’s director   The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State will present the world premiere of the contemporary


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Stuckeman students receive national recognition for graphic design work

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two projects by Penn State graphic design students in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Stuckeman School were recognized by the University and College Designers Association


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Visual arts faculty members and alumni contribute to international art exhibition

“Körperkammer" is a collaborative sculpture created by an international group of women artists to explore the body's relationship with iron.
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