Associate Degree in Photography Online (2023)

Associate Degree in Photography Online (1)

Associate Degree in Photography Online (2)

Register By:December 31Classes Start:January 02

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Earn an AA in Photography Online

  • $320/credit (60 credits)
  • Transfer up to 45 credits
  • 100% online instruction
  • Work with professional photographers
  • Learn essential business skills
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required

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Associate in Digital Photography Online Program Overview

Photographers capture our world in singular moments in time. And the images they capture can record the indescribable beauty of our world, trigger a flood of emotions or cause the downfall of governments. Take your creative eye and love of visual storytelling to new heights with an Associate of Arts (AA) in Digital Photography degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

You’ll learn the technical skills needed to be a successful digital photographer – thematic storytelling, design theory, image composition, how to use light and color to create compelling digital images, as well as post-production editing techniques. These skills are paired with a strong foundation in the humanities, including courses in communication, writing, social sciences, and the business and history of photography. And all courses are online – so you're free to learn from anywhere and at any time that fits your schedule.

This program is for anyone seeking to launch or advance a career in the exciting world of professional photography. You’ll complete this program ready to develop your own personal brand with a unique visual style, powerful creative voice and focused industry knowledge.

Learn how to:

  • Develop professional skills aligned with best practices of the industry
  • Employ industry-appropriate tools and techniques
  • Apply the elements and principles of art and design
  • Communicate ideas and themes to specific audiences
  • Tell powerful stories through your own unique visual imagery

If you're interested in continuing your education beyond your associate degree, you can seamlessly transition to the bachelor's online photography degree program at SNHU.

Digital Photography Career Outlook

Graduates of an associate degree in digital photography can become professional photographers in fields such as photojournalism, portraiture and commercial or product photography. Freelance photography is a field that continues to grow.

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In fact, there are many ways to use your associate degree in photography that could lead to a rewarding career. You can apply the credits earned in the associate in photography toward a BA in Digital Photography or an online graphic design degree as well.

While an associate degree in photography can give you a competitive advantage, SNHU understands that the best job candidates have multiple talents and related skills. The accountability and professionalism you’ll learn will serve you well in any career. Creative intelligence and collaboration are also two important skills you’ll develop by studying visual arts. And written and verbal communication enhance your day-to-day relationships with clients and other professional peers.

Associate Degree in Photography Online (3)"A photography degree says that you have made an investment in yourself," said RJ Johns, a photography instructor for Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). "While some view photography as a glorified hobby, to have a degree shows a commitment to your craft and career."

Through 2030, photographers can expect to see a jump in employment opportunities: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17% increase in roles – much faster than the average of all jobs.1

Once you complete the online Associate of Arts in Digital Photography program, you'll be ready to work in a number of exciting career fields, including:

  • Portrait photography. Specialize in photographing people, groups or even animals. You may apply your photography skills to documenting weddings or other special events, and may work in a studio space or on location. Strong communication skills, in addition to technical expertise, are helpful here.
  • Commercial and industrial photography. Take pictures of a variety of subjects ranging from buildings and merchandise to models and landscapes. You may work in a studio or on location.
  • Scientific photography. Use your photography skills to document scientific or medical data. You may use microscopes to capture images too small to see with the naked eye. Your strong general education background will be especially helpful here.
  • News photography. Photograph people, places, and events. Your photos might be used for a variety of print or digital media, such as magazines, newspapers or even television. Also known as photojournalism, strong digital photography skills will be especially helpful here.
  • Fine arts photography. Sell your photographs as works of art. This role combines photographic skill, a creative eye and a sound background in marketing and business.
  • University photography. Work as a staff photographer for a college or university. You may produce, edit and present photographs for all manner of university-related events. Your photographs may be used in official university publications, websites, emails and more.
  • Production assistant. A dynamic entry-level role, you'll assist lead photographers in conducting photo sessions at a studio or on site. A high level of technical ability is needed here, in particular with lighting and equipment. Strong communication skills may also serve you well as there is often a customer service aspect to this role.
  • Digital photo technician. Apply your technical skills to scan and manipulate images. Your aesthetic skills would be helpful in this role, as you may work on retouching, sizing and adjusting the color and contrast to create the best images for your clients. Good customer service and communication skills are helpful here as well.
  • Photo editor. A role with a strong management component, you may select and edit photos yourself, though the focus of this role involves managing other photographers by assigning and coordinating their projects. Business and communication skills would be helpful here, because you may negotiate fees and obtain the rights and permissions to use images.
  • Lighting technician. Set up lighting for stages, location sets or studio spaces. A strong knowledge of aesthetics, media, business and design may help you excel in this role. You may work in commercial settings, in television or film production or as a freelance artist.

Associate Degree in Photography Online (4)

No matter which career you choose, “earning your online degree at SNHU will afford you the opportunity to lay the foundation of being an expert in your craft, and have a deeper understanding of professional photography," said Colleen Vandenberg, photography faculty at SNHU.

"I have grown up loving photography, and I also have my own photography business I started at the age of 16," said Katie Haynes '21. "The program met my expectations and gave me a skill set that I can use in the future as I grow my current career."

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Digital Photography Degree

Why SNHU For Your Associate Degree in Photography

Admission Requirements

How to Apply

Courses & Curriculum

The Associate of Arts in Digital Photography degree at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is designed to give you the leading edge for a career in commercial photography.

Associate Degree in Photography Online (5)Even with a photography background, Ryan Earheart '19 '21 knew there was more for him to learn.

"I felt it was for me," he said. "I did a lot of digging around online, and after a bunch of research, I found that many people loved the photography program at SNHU."

Taught by industry-leading faculty, you’ll enjoy foundational coursework grounded in business and the liberal arts. Then, you’ll focus on courses covering all aspects of digital photography. Lighting, aesthetics, design and communications come together to offer a well-rounded degree.

"Photographers today often are hired on a contract basis and it is essential that they are educated in the successful creation, marketing and running of a photography business," said Sloan Kelly, associate dean of fine and applied arts at SNHU.

Associate Degree in Photography Online (6)In addition to learning the most advanced camera, lighting and editing technology, you’ll enjoy a robust feedback process to enrich your learning experience. Coursework examines the artistic and business sides of the profession.

"Learning how to build and maintain a freelance business and the importance of a brand – and marketing that brand – is essential for students to learn," Kelly said.

Earheart agreed.

"The journalism, marketing and business aspect of the courses is worth it by itself," he said.

Credits earned for the associate degree in photography can be easily applied toward a bachelor’s degree in digital photography, graphic design and media arts or a variety of other liberal arts majors.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • General education courses: All associate in photography students are required to take 21 credits of general education courses, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, providing the edge employers are looking for. This foundation will position you to be competitive in your career and in a future bachelor’s degree program online, or on campus, should you decide to continue on with your education.
  • Major courses: All associate in photography students will earn 27 credits of digital photography, communication and graphic design theory courses. Major courses may include Media Communication and Visual Literacy, Business of Photography, Lighting, History of Photography or Design and Color Theory.
  • Free electives: Every student has 12 free electives to use toward their associate degree in photography. You may use these courses to customize your study based on your interests and career goals.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
  • Hardware and software support: As noted below, you will need a DSLR camera, tripod and lighting kit to complete this program and be successful as a commercial or fine art photographer. Coursework includes instruction on popular photographic software, such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. You'll also learn about hardware and other technical equipment such as scanners, still cameras and lighting kits. You'll cover methods and techniques for creating and editing graphics. And, of course, you will have opportunities for the hands-on practice of your new skills.

In addition to the technical and theoretical photography skills you will learn in this exciting program, your coursework will prepare you for the business aspects of working as a commercial photographer.

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Communication, business, critical thinking and internet savvy are all skills that will serve you well for a future career or to move on to a bachelor’s degree. Many of your courses for the associate degree in photography can be applied to a bachelor’s degree, so continuing on with your education will be seamless.

Full Course Catalog
AA in Digital Photography
List of Courses
AA in Digital Photography
Total Credits: 60

Minimum Hardware Requirements

Digital Photography Technical Requirements

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional CostsNo Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get an associate degree in photography online?

What can you do with an associate degree in photography?

Is an associate degree in photography worth it?

What experience do you need to be a photographer?

How long do you have to go to school to be a photographer?

(Video) Associates Degree In Photography

How do I start my photography career?

What is the best online photography school?

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)as well as several other accrediting bodies.

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What is the easiest online associates degree to get? ›

  • Easiest Online Associate Degrees.
  • Associate in Early Childhood Education.
  • Associate in Liberal Arts or General Education.
  • Associate in Accounting.
  • Associate in Healthcare Management.
  • Associate in Marketing.
  • Associate in Business Administration.
  • Associate in Fashion Merchandising.
7 Oct 2022

Do I need a photography degree to be a photographer? ›

IOP are often asked “Do I need a degree to be a photographer” and the short answer is no. Many professional photographers who are renowned in their respective fields do not have a degree in photography or any other creative subject.

Which associate degree is most useful? ›

Most Useful Associates Degrees
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology.
  • Health Science.
  • Network Systems Administration.
  • Nursing.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.
  • Paralegal Studies.
  • Physical Therapist Assistant.
  • Web Development.
31 May 2022

What degree is best for a photographer? ›

Students interested in a photography degree can choose from bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, and bachelor of science photography programs. Bachelor of science degrees and bachelor of fine arts degrees feature more professional and technical courses in photography.

What is the quickest associates degree? ›

Fast Online Associate's Degree Programs You Can Finish in 1 Year or Less
  • Accounting.
  • Animation.
  • Business Administration.
  • Child Development.
  • Communications.
  • Computer Engineering.
  • Computer Information Systems.
  • Computer Programming.
11 Sept 2022

What is the shortest degree to get? ›

Here are 7 college degrees you can earn for less than three years—and expect to land on the well-paying job upon completion!
  • Associates Degree in Information Technology – Computer Support.
  • Associates Degree in Nursing.
  • Associate's Degree in Web Development.
  • Associate's Degree in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology.
31 May 2022

How long is a photography degree? ›

The course is three years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credits. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

What qualifications are required for photography? ›

Eligibility to become Photographer
  • Candidates must have cleared class 12th in any stream.
  • Graduation, diploma or certificate in Photography courses is an added advantage.
  • Skills are preferred more than academic qualifications.
26 Aug 2022

How do I become a qualified photographer? ›

How to become a professional photographer
  1. Get some photography work experience.
  2. Do a photography course.
  3. Study a photography degree.
  4. Masters degrees in photography.
  5. Find a photography job.
  6. Join a professional body.
  7. Become a freelance photographer.

What is a degree in photography called? ›

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography programs generally focus on hands-on instruction in the technical and creative aspects of the visual art. Courses may include photography techniques, studio lighting, color theory, graphic design, digital photography, and artwork critique.

Do photographers make good money? ›

Full-time photographers can typically make anywhere between $30,000 and $75,000 per year, and some make even more than that. Many photographers prefer to transition into photography part-time so they can get an idea of if it will be financially sustainable as a career.

Do you need a degree to be a freelance photographer? ›

Although no formal training is required, most freelance photographers possess a degree in photography. When sorting for clients, a portfolio of high-quality work is more important than academic credentials. Some learn both the technical and creative aspects of the profession as apprentices for veteran photographers.

Is an associate degree enough? ›

If you're deciding between no higher education degree at all and an associate degree, the answer is, quite simply, “Yes; getting an associates degree is worth it!” If you are hoping to break into a professional field and want to raise your job prospects, getting an associate degree is going to serve you much better ...

How do you get 6 figures with an associate's degree? ›

The highest paying associate degree can result in a six figure salary. From technical careers to jobs in the medical profession, we list the best 2 year degrees for landing high paying jobs below.
Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
  1. Accounting.
  2. Web development & design.
  3. Nursing.
  4. Paralegal.
  5. Teaching assistant.
  6. Respiratory care.

Can you be successful with an associate's degree? ›

You can build a prosperous career without pursuing higher education. But a degree certainly doesn't hurt your chances of landing a high-paying job—and that includes an associate's degree. An associate's degree can lay the foundation for a financially rewarding career.

What is the best 2 year degree to get? ›

Highest Paying 2-Year Degrees
RankMajorDegree Type
Rank:1Computer Science (CS) & MathematicsDegree Type:Associates
2Nondestructive TestingDegree Type:Associates
3Radiation TherapyDegree Type:Associates
4Software EngineeringDegree Type:Associates
21 more rows

How do I get a degree in one year? ›

How to Complete Graduation in One Year? Eligible aspirants can get their Graduation completed in One Year either through Lateral Entry Scheme or Credit Transfer Scheme. Lateral Entry Scheme: Lateral Entry allows candidates with pre-requisite qualifications to get directly enrolled into 2nd year of a course.

How long does it take to get an associate degree? ›

An associate degree is often referred to as a “two-year degree,” because it typically takes about two years to earn one. You'll find associate degree options at a variety of post-secondary institutions, including vocational colleges, community colleges, and traditional colleges and universities.

Can I get a degree in 6 months? ›

About PSC Approved Degree in 6 Months

PSC Approved Degree, Diploma Courses from approved Government Universities in Fast Track Mode, One Sitting Mode, 6 Months Mode are available at the lowest fees and 100% results.

What degrees can you get online that pay well? ›

Best paying jobs you can get with an online degree
  • Business Management Degree. ...
  • Construction Technology Associate Degree. ...
  • Graphic Design Associate Degree. ...
  • Engineering Technology Associate Degree. ...
  • Human Resources Management Associate Degree. ...
  • Manufacturing Associate Degree. ...
  • Computer Information Systems Associate Degree.
7 Sept 2022

What degree can I get online? ›

10 Best Online Degrees
  • Computer Science Degree. There is an ever-increasing demand for computer professionals and a wide range of options within the hi-tech industry. ...
  • Business Administration Degree. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Engineering. ...
  • Nursing. ...
  • Accounting. ...
  • Marketing.

What are the easiest online degrees? ›

Easiest Majors and Degrees to Get Online
  • Business. Online business degrees prepare learners for diverse careers. ...
  • Liberal Arts. Liberal arts programs hone critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. ...
  • Education. ...
  • English. ...
  • Nursing. ...
  • Criminal Justice. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Agriculture Science.

Is a associate degree easy? ›

Online associate degree programs have always had the reputation of being “easier to earn” than bachelor's degrees. Associate degree programs are designed for the “middle workers” who require more education than a high school diploma and less than a bachelor's degree.

What is the best 2 year degree to get? ›

Highest Paying 2-Year Degrees
RankMajorDegree Type
Rank:1Computer Science (CS) & MathematicsDegree Type:Associates
2Nondestructive TestingDegree Type:Associates
3Radiation TherapyDegree Type:Associates
4Software EngineeringDegree Type:Associates
21 more rows

How can I get an associates degree without math? ›

Some schools allow associate degree-seeking students to replace some or all of the traditional math classes with others. General statistics, for instance, is commonly accepted. For other institutions, courses in economics, statistics related to the major such as psychology or logic may substitute for math.

What online degrees are worth it? ›

The Best Online Degrees To Get For Careers
  • Business Administration. Career Fields. Average Salaries: Bachelor's Degree. ...
  • Aviation. Career Field. Average Salary with a bachelor's degree. ...
  • Computer Science. Computer Science Careers. Average Salary with a Bachelor's Degree. ...
  • Engineering Management. Career Fields.
6 days ago

What degrees can you get online that pay well? ›

Best paying jobs you can get with an online degree
  • Business Management Degree. ...
  • Construction Technology Associate Degree. ...
  • Graphic Design Associate Degree. ...
  • Engineering Technology Associate Degree. ...
  • Human Resources Management Associate Degree. ...
  • Manufacturing Associate Degree. ...
  • Computer Information Systems Associate Degree.
7 Sept 2022

What degree can you get in 6 months? ›

6-Month Certificate Programs That Pay Well
  • Real Estate Agent. Selling real estate has limitless potential, and you can get started quickly. ...
  • Commercial Truck Driver. ...
  • Phlebotomy Tech. ...
  • HVAC Tech. ...
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) ...
  • Personal Trainer. ...
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Is an associate degree enough? ›

If you're deciding between no higher education degree at all and an associate degree, the answer is, quite simply, “Yes; getting an associates degree is worth it!” If you are hoping to break into a professional field and want to raise your job prospects, getting an associate degree is going to serve you much better ...

Is an associate degree worth it? ›

According to the BLS, people with associate degrees have better prospects for employment and earnings than those who have taken some college courses but haven't received a degree. If you didn't do quite as well in high school as you now realize you could have, an associate degree program is a great starting point.

Is an associate's degree a big deal? ›

With an associate degree, you'll have a better chance at finding plenty of job opportunities to choose from, no matter what the current unemployment rate is. Whether you plan on starting a new career or advancing in your current career, this kind of degree can open a lot of professional doors for you.

Can I get a job with an associate degree? ›

While it's true that many jobs require a bachelor's or master's degree, the reality is that associate degrees can open many job opportunities, too.

What jobs make 6 figures with an associate's degree? ›

24 Highest Paying Associate Degree Jobs
  • Air Traffic Controller. Salary: $124,540. ...
  • Computer Programmer. Salary: $82,240. ...
  • Radiation Therapist. Salary: $80,570. ...
  • Nuclear Technician. Salary: $80,370. ...
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Salary: $75,660. ...
  • Dental Hygienist. Salary: $74,070. ...
  • Registered Nurse. Salary: $70,000. ...
  • Web Developer.

Which is better AA or AS degree? ›

In essence, A.A. degrees are of a more general nature and can help students further their education or enter various occupational fields. A.S. degrees are more narrowly focused and may require students to take on additional courses when they wish to expand their studies.

What is the hardest class in college? ›

It shouldn't surprise you that organic chemistry takes the No. 1 spot as the hardest college course. This course is often referred to as the “pre-med killer” because it actually has caused many pre-med majors to switch their major.

What major has no math? ›

Political science, fine arts, elementary education, even a culinary arts degree – there are lots of options for those of us who hate math!

What are high paying jobs without math? ›

20 high-paying jobs that don't require math
  • Compliance manager.
  • Marketing manager.
  • Music teacher.
  • Historian.
  • Recruitment manager.
  • Art director.
  • Web developer.
  • Documentation manager.


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