Columbia College Chicago


A degree in Photography can lead to a variety of career pathways, including fine art, commercial and fashion photography, photo editing, teaching and research, museum curation, art directing, marketing, storytelling, and more. We encourage students to develop their own technique and style. You’ll dive into your craft on day one, using our extensive, state-of-the-art photography facilities to build a professional portfolio. Our faculty of award-winning professional photographers create supportive classroom environments and provide personal critiques of student work. You’ll become part of a strong artistic community and build a network to help launch your career.

Majors & Programs

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the catalog.

Photography, BA


You have the vision and ambition to create incredible images. We’ll give you the tools you need to become a competitive professional in photography and related fields. We’ll help you define your expertise, sharpen your technical skills, and build a portfolio. You’ll also connect to our professional network of photographers, studios, museums, and companies, so you’ll be ready to strike out on your own when you graduate.

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Commercial Photography

As a commercial photographer, you’ll need to know how to photograph a variety of people, places, and products for advertising and marketing. This concentration will prepare you to create project briefs, build a portfolio, submit bids and quotes for jobs, and work with art directors, designers, and clients to create compelling commercial photography.

Fine Art Photography

As a fine art photographer, you’ll hone your vision and experiment with methods and strategies to contribute to the contemporary photographic culture. You’ll learn about the history and theory of photography practice. This will inform your own long-term projects that can range anywhere on the spectrum from documentary to experimental. You’ll have access to museums and galleries in Chicago and beyond, where you’ll gain a full appreciation of the photographic medium.

Fashion Photography

As a fashion photographer, you’ll need experience both on location and in the studio. You’ll learn how to manage models and clients both on-site and behind the scenes. You’ll also develop a solid background in production work. You’ll learn about lighting, styling, hair and makeup, as well as digital retouching. You’ll also work with merchandisers and designers to gain real-world experience in the business of fashion.

Photography Minor


A minor in Photography will boost your skills in visual communication, and give you the tools and language you’ll need to collaborate across mediums as a designer, artist, filmmaker, journalist, performer, or entrepreneur. Focus your minor studies on a few key foundations courses, and add electives that will help you gain the specific skills you’ll need to feel comfortable behind a camera, in production, and as an editor.

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Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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