Photography Program

Career/Program Overview

The Photography Certificate is a sequence of Art courses that emphasizes artistic expression while building technical, visual, and interpretive skills in the field of Fine Art photography. This certificate acknowledges successful completion of courses that cover both basic and creative aspects of camera, analog and digital darkrooms, lighting, digital imaging, critical history of photography, presentation and portfolio development. To complete the certificate, students will present a portfolio of photographic work demonstrating a personal photographic style as well as evidence of individual professional development training that supports their future photographic goals.


Coursework for the Photography Certificate includes: Photography I, Darkroom Photography, Photography II, Photo Lighting Techniques, Digital Art I, Directed Studio, and Art Portfolio. Coursework for students pursuing the AFA may also include: Drawing I & II, 2D Design, 3D Design, Ceramics I & II, Computers as a Creative Media, Art History I & II, Graphic Design 1, Painting 1

Program/Degree Options

RCTC’s Art + Design department offers a Photography, Certificate Program. Students who are completing the Associates of Fine Arts degree may also concentrate in Photography.

 Program Start Date(s)

Programs can be started when courses start at the beginning of any semester. Some courses may be offered only once a year. Check the RCTC catalog for course availability by semester. Consult your academic advisor for your program of study.

Career Opportunities/Information

Photographers create lens-based images using both digital and analog materials. Most of a Photographer’s day is spent creating images, networking, or managing a business. Photographers make images for clients, for publication, or for exhibition. Photographers are often self-employed or work as an in-house photographer for a business.

Studio artists who work in the field of photography might spend most of a Studio Artist’s day creating artwork, arranging shows, and preparing work for exhibition. They create work to display and sell in galleries. Studio Artists can also work in galleries, art centers, and provide artwork to collections.

Photographic training is also relevant for careers such as: Graphic Design and Web Design

Rochester Community and Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Students are exposed to the many certification options within this field and are trained and coached to succeed in the area they choose to certify with.  Some options include American Council on Exercise -ACE, National Federation of Personal Trainers – NFPT, National Strength and Conditioning Association – NSCA, American College of Sports Medicine – ACSM, National Academy of Sports Medicine – NASM.

For additional information on the most current list of RCTC program articulations see us at


Rochester Community and Technical College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

An articulation agreement for Art, Associate in Fine Arts Degree Program is established between RCTC and Winona State University. An articulation agreement for the Web Design and Development AS is established with Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Articulation agreements for the Graphic Design AS Degree Program and the Interaction Design AS Degree Program are established with Metropolitan State University. For additional information on the most current list of RCTC program articulations see us at

Additional Information

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Gainful Employment

The U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) gainful employment regulations require disclosure of certain program information for programs that lead to certificates or diplomas and are financial aid eligible.  The most current RCTC gainful employment information can be found at:  www.

Overview content updated: 2018-06-05