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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

Emmy Award-winner Meliza Fermin

Alumni Spotlight

Meliza Fermin

B.A. in Integrative Arts 2004

Meliza Fermin is an award-winning visual effects artist across television and film genres. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects for her work on the television show Heroes, and Emmy certificates for her contributions to The Battle of Gettysburg and American Horror Story. Currently, Meliza works at Fuse FX as a senior digital matte painter on shows such as American Horror Story and Timeless.

News from A&A

Alumni launch campaign aimed at assisting underrepresented architecture students

The Architecture Alumni Group has launched a new campaign to raise funds that will assist students with demonstrated financial need in covering the costs of studio materials.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Architecture Alumni Group, an official Affiliate Program Group chartered by the Arts and Architecture Alumni Society, has launched a new campaign to raise funds that will assist


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Graphic Design alumna, Madison Urich, has developed an organization to aid victims of sexual assault.
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Graphic design professor earns recognition for post-COVID-19 workspace design

Huiwon Lim, assistant professor of graphic design, co-designed a collaborative workspace that was selected as a winner in Work Design magazine’s Next Work Environment Competition.
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