Digital Photography Undergraduate Certificate | Sessions College

Digital Photography Undergraduate Certificate

Build a Creative Foundation

Outdoor photography - degree student work Digital Photography student work by Jaana Halme

The Undergraduate Certificate in Digital Photography will provide students with a foundation in the skills required to practice as a professional photographer. In a two semester, credit-bearing program, students will gain experience in a wide range of professional photography scenarios and proficiency in using Photoshop and Lightroom for digital imaging and asset management.

All 24 credits, which can be completed in as little as 7 months, can be later transferred to our Associate in Digital Photography or Associate in Digital Media program. Active U.S. military servicemembers can use their military tuition assistance benefits to complete the program in four semesters. 

Not sure which Sessions College certificate program is right for you? Use our certificate program guide.


Students must complete 24 credits in order to graduate. There are no general education requirements.

"Every class I took during my time here has been a collaborative effort for everyone to learn the techniques and get better..."
- Kyle Gilbreath, Associate in Graphic Design.

For Gainful Employment information on this program, visit this page.

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Program Goals

The Undergraduate Certificate establishes a foundation for entry-level photography work or further study. Students begin building their photo portfolio as they earn a credential and college credit.

In the Digital Photography Undergraduate Certificate program, students are expected to develop the ability to:

  • Manipulate framing, perspective, distance, and lighting to take professional-level digital photographs in a range of settings.
  • Stage and shoot professional quality images in a variety of different lighting situations utilizing both available and artificial/augmented light sources.
  • Create appropriate color palettes and use color and contrast effectively in their work.
  • Create engaging images that attract the eye using fundamental design and composition techniques.
  • Develop more advanced shooting and composition techniques in various contexts and apply image correction, retouching, compositing, and printing techniques.
  • Use basic and advanced development and retouching tools in Lightroom to create stellar images, and present their work in slideshows, on the Web, and in print.
  • Master the equipment and techniques used for professional photography work in portraiture, product photography, real estate and more.
  • Identify classic color problems with photographs and correct them using both comprehensive and efficient methods.
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Notices and Deadlines


Classes start in January, May, and September. Students entering the program are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian. Our online application is simple and convenient, and there is no application fee.

Admissions advisor for military programs Brent Gural
"The Undergraduate Certificate is a great way to get started as photographer, whether your goals are developing your passion or a profession. It's a perfect short program for servicemembers on military tuition assistance (TA)." – Brent Gural, Director of Admissions

Whenever you're ready, talk to our friendly Admissions admissions staff or sign up for an Open House.

Software and Supplies

Graphic design program software and supplies

To take this online program, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection as well as additional software and supplies.

  • A Windows-based or Macintosh computer that meets software manufacturers' requirements.
  • Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CS6 or CC software.
  • Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Basic drawing supplies including pencils, charcoal, newsprint, and sketch paper.
  • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

Please check course syllabus pages or the catalog for detailed information on course requirements or proctored exams. Be sure to visit our Student Store for discounts on hardware and design software. You must be an enrolled student to be eligible for educational discounts.

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