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Studio Art, BFA - Area 6: Photography

Bachelor of Photography

Develop your love of imagery into a career full of possibilities with a bachelor’s degree in Photography from the University of Central Missouri. This Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program will prepare you for the constantly changing field of creative arts by training you in traditional craft and theory, as well as in cutting-edge digital skills.

A Photography degree from UCM will enable you to build your visual language with a variety of different tools and skills. Work closely with experienced faculty in our well-equipped photography studio to master the devices and technology essential to succeed in the field, advancing your understanding and practice of the craft while exploring your creative expression.

Why earn your bachelor’s degree in Photography from UCM?

The University of Central Missouri offers a diverse, student-centered learning environment. You’ll work one-on-one with faculty who truly care about your success while you receive personalized training in small studio classes and build a technical, conceptual and professional foundation for a successful career in the creative arts.


Workspace and equipment

Student work

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NASAD-accredited since 1986

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Well-stocked lab and equipment library

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Learn transferable, high-value skills

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Affordable tuition, respected degree

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Small classes for individual attention

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Build and exhibit a diverse portfolio

What you will study

Today’s Fine Arts degrees for Photography train you in the technical processes of digital photography, videography and traditional craft-based skills while refining your artistic vision. Coursework for UCM’s bachelor’s degree in Photography covers the full life cycle of an image, from conceptualization to exhibition.

Acquire transferable, widely sought-after skills, including analysis, creative problem-solving and clear communication, in undergraduate courses such as:

  • Digital Imaging: A core component of modern Photography degrees, digital imaging involves not only image manipulation but also nuanced creative expression.
  • History of Photography: Ground your art with an understanding of how contemporary photography reached its current state by degrees. For photography, how society has developed over time has been as remarkable as the advancement of technology.
  • Digital Marketing: Learn concepts, skills and methods for marketing in digital and interactive media. Valuable training for many professions, this is especially critical for marketing your own work as a creative entrepreneur.
  • Photography IV: Plan and produce exhibition-quality portfolio work that expresses your visual identity and demonstrates clarity of intent. This course includes frequent peer and faculty critiques, in keeping with best practices for the most competitive degrees for Photography.

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Excellence in Photography

  • Continuously accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 1986.
  • #1: Best Value Bachelor’s Degree College for Photography in Missouri (College Factual, 2022)
  • #1: Best Value College for Photography in Missouri (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value Bachelor's Degree College for Photography (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value College for Fine Arts (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value Bachelor's Degree College for Fine Arts (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value Bachelor's Degree College for Fine & Studio Arts (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in photography

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Photography at UCM have access to a variety of facilities, equipment and industry-standard software. Practice shooting in our portrait and commercial studios and hone your techniques in the darkroom or printing lab. You can also borrow items from our library of over 500 pieces of photography equipment at any time.

Degrees for photography should always include an external review component. At UCM, we bring in outside professionals to participate in your portfolio review. Kansas City’s vibrant arts scene, only a short drive from the Warrensburg campus, draws artists and industry professionals of the highest caliber.

Studio Art majors spend a lot of time in individual practice — so what can you do with a photography degree that feels community-oriented and inclusive? 

  • Community engagement: Visit local galleries and professional studios, collaborate with businesses on real-world projects, plan campus activities and connect with fellow UCM students as you photograph athletic, club and social events.
  • Independent Artist Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Learn what it takes to succeed as a creative entrepreneur from preeminent regional experts in a network-building format.
  • Kleppe Visiting Artist Lecture series: UCM students in Studio Art, including those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Photography, are invited to attend this outstanding series, where high-profile artists provide a glimpse into their working life and creative process.


What can you do with a Photography degree from UCM?

University of Central Missouri graduates with Photography degrees often go on to become creative solo entrepreneurs, small business owners or professionals in creative fields. With a solid liberal arts education supporting your mastery of photography skills, you can succeed in a number of career paths.

Your Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in Photography, from UCM will also prepare you to pursue an advanced degree. Some students choose to continue with their academic career before entering the job market, while others prefer to gain professional experience between earning their bachelor’s degree in Photography and returning to school for graduate studies.

Learn more about jobs for Photography majors

Bachelor’s degrees for Photography prepare you for more than pursuit of the art form. Use our interactive tool below to explore salary, employment and other trends for college graduates with photography degrees. UCM’s Career Services Center, as well as your faculty mentors, can also help you navigate job opportunities.

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Financial assistance options for your Photography degree

Photography degrees can lead to an exciting, fulfilling career centered around your art. You deserve to enter that career set up for financial success, able to fully focus on what you can do with a Photography degree.

At the University of Central Missouri, we’ve been committed to offering affordable, high-value education since our founding more than 150 years ago. While UCM’s tuition fees are competitive thanks to our commitment to low student debt, we also offer a wide range of options for financing your college education.

The cost of undergraduate degrees for Photography students may be offset by program-specific funds and university-wide resources. Scholarships specifically for Photography majors include:

  • Mel Jenkins Photography Scholarship

Learn more about the funds available for Photography majors by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.

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Explore programs related to photography.

If you have a broader interest in art and media, you may also consider the following UCM undergraduate program:



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