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Professional Photography

Bachelor of Science Degree

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What can I do with this major

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The Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Photography at the University of Central Missouri is a comprehensive program of study designed to prepare individuals for success in the highly competitive field of professional imaging. This encompasses a diverse array of associated disciplines ranging across the creative and managerial domains. Graduates are trained image makers that have developed a highly refined visual literacy, steeped in both the aesthetic and technical.

Career Opportunities

Avenues of future employment include professional photographers, digital imaging specialists, managers, sales representatives, estimators, production planners, customer service representatives and production supervisors in the photography industry and allied fields. Employers indicate that the university's photography graduates learn fast, are reliable and creative, and are able to adapt as skilled photographers and productive decision makers. UCM professional photography graduates have careers in custom photo labs and digital imaging service bureaus, in-house photo operations for businesses, and public relations and commercial advertising. They are also fashion and product photographers, photojournalists, bio-medical photographers, photo retail store owners, and operate their own photographic studios. They are also in a number of other areas ranging from teaching photography in high school and universities to shooting photos aboard cruise ships and for the CIA.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

The photography classrooms and laboratories at UCM are comprehensive and well-equipped for instruction in all aspects of professional imaging. Using current computer workstations and printers, students learn contemporary digital image capture and manipulation, and more traditional laboratories are provided for learning the important fundamentals of film-based photography.

About the Faculty

Students learn from experienced full-time faculty members who, in addition to being highly-skilled scholars and teachers, have worked as professionals in a variety of photographic areas. The university's 17 to 1 student-faculty ratio allows students to benefit from personalized attention. Faculty members are active in research, writing, image exhibitions, and they participate in workshops and seminars to stay current in their field.

Student Involvement

Students are encouraged to supplement their academic programs through participation in campus organizations of special professional, service and academic interest. Photography students are eligible for membership in the UCM Photographic Society which, in addition to bringing top speakers in the field of photography to campus and providing other intellectual and social opportunities, produces an annual Photo Expo of student work. Valuable learning experiences also occur outside the classroom. Professional meetings, workshops, and conventions offer additional technical information and creative outlets to UCM students. By participating in organizations such as American Society of Media Photographers and the Professional Photographers of Missouri, students are introduced to professionals in the field who may offer internships and employment.


More than $7 million in merit-based scholarships and awards offered each year by the university. In addition, various Photography Area Scholarships are awarded periodically.

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