College of DuPage Photography : About The Program


Thank you for your interest in the Photography program at the College of DuPage.

We offer a comprehensive photography education with a program that has over 20 courses in the medium. These courses range from Fundamentals of Photography through courses in studio photography, portraiture, digital photo techniques and the business of photography. Our curriculum emphasizes the camera-created image, providing equal opportunities for students who are interested in digital or traditional film-based photography in both commercial and fine art applications.

We offer both Certification and Associate’s Degree options. The Certificate in Photography (PDF file) option has courses that are only in the medium of photography, while the Associate of Applied Science option (PDF file) adds general education courses to the student's educational experience.

The Photography Program has transfer arrangements with Chicago’s Columbia College and Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA . These arrangements allow students to complete their first two years of study here at College of DuPage and then complete a Bachelor’s Degree at one of those institutions. Students frequently transfer on to other institutions as well.

Even though photography is a very competitive field, students who seek employment usually find something that fulfills and sustains them. Graduates of the Photography Technology degree or certificate programs find employment opportunities in many entry-level jobs in the photographic industry, including portraiture, photo journalism, lab processing specialists, studio photographers, photographer’s assistants and free-lance photographers. For more information on employment in the field of photography, see this page. For an idea of what some of our students have done after leaving our program, see the alumni page.

While learning how to make clear visual statements can benefit anyone, the most successful students in the Photography Technology program possess strong visual skills, an ability to understand technical information, good imaginations and “self-starter” attitudes.

The photography teaching facilities at College of DuPage are among the finest in the greater Chicago area. The darkrooms are fully equipped, with separate areas for black-and-white and color photography. Studios, used for portraiture, product and fashion photography, have 2 1/4 x 2 3/4, 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 cameras, as well as electronic flash and tungsten lighting equipment. Two Macintosh computer labs, equipped with professional-level high resolution digital cameras, scanners and printers, are used for digital imaging classes.

Digital photography has radically changed the medium in the last few years. The question "how do I learn digital photography?" is one we are being asked just as frequently as "how do I learn photography?". It is our belief that, in their basic form, digital and film photography both require an understanding of basic photographic concepts, including camera operation, lenses, composition and other fundamental ideas. It is only after the image is captured by the camera that the real differences in digital and film photography begin to become a factor. The way images are handled "post-capture" is an important consideration regardless of whether the image is created digitally or with film. Moreover, we believe that it is important for a well-rounded photographer to be a competent user of both traditional and digital technologies.

To that end, our entry-level sequence of courses requires that a student learn a bit about both methods of making photographs. Beyond the entry level, the student may choose which method, digital or traditional, makes the most sense for him.

See the buttons at the top of this page to find out more about our program, or contact an adviser in the program.