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Photography involves technical acuity, artistic vision, and a perceptive engagement with the world. Continuing Education Digital Photography Certificate is a comprehensive program offered at two levels (I + II) in which students explore photography from commercial, conceptual, critical, and cultural contexts and viewpoints, developing a visual language through studio work and critique. Students in the program cultivate technical proficiency in camera function and shooting, high-end digital printing, and presentation.  

Digital Photography certificate students are required to own a digital camera for use during the program. Check out our guide to selecting the professional DSLR camera that's right for you.

Download Camera Guide 

Focused on fine-tuning technical skills and developing a photographic vision, the Digital Photography Level I is the first step for students considering a career in photography or looking to gain experience with photography in an academic setting.

Digital Photo Level I Course Sequence

Participants complete the 9-credit Level I course sequence in three semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer). All classes meet on campus once a week from 6-9 pm. In addition, students attend guest lectures and presentations by professionals in the photography industry. 

1: Digital Photo I

Explore the fundamental principles, techniques, and application of digital camera-based image making. Learn to capture images by selecting your exposure settings for aperture and shutter while simultaneously learning about manual metering, color balance, and composition. This course employs a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, assignments, field trips, and critiques. (First course | 1.5 cr | 5 weeks | $405)

2: Adobe Lightroom

This course provides an overview of Adobe Lightroom. Providing a critical set of tools for digital imaging tasks, Lightroom helps photographers work more efficiently to sort and organize their images. Also spend time with advanced developing techniques to adjust exposure, contrast, and color of images. (Second course | 1.5 cr | 5 weeks | $405)

3: Digital Photo II

This course will expand your photographic competency and aesthetic sensibility while learning techniques to improve your work and understanding of advanced camera functions. The course stresses the development of a cohesive body of work. Prerequisite: Digital Photography I or equivalent experience. (Third course | 3 cr | 10 weeks | $790)

4: Digital Darkroom

Learn how to output artwork for digital media — websites, books, service bureaus, and fine art. (Fourth course | 1.5 cr | 5 weeks | $405)

5: Digital Fine Art Printing

In this course, learn to print high-end photographs for fine art and other contexts. (Fifth course | 1.5 cr | 5 weeks | $405)

Digital Photography Level II is for students who have completed Level I, or who already have some photography experience and are looking to expand or update their skillset.  Level II prepares you to enter the field of photography professionally. 

Begin Level II upon completion of Level I or submit a portfolio for review by a faculty advisor.

Digital Photo Level II Course Sequence

Participants complete the 13-credit Level II course sequence in three semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer).  All classes meet on campus once a week from 6-9 pm. Students must complete one elective during the program. In addition, students attend guest lectures and presentations by professionals in the photography industry. 

1: Studio Photography + Lighting

Explore advanced techniques such as working with natural light, portable flash, low light, Capture I, tethering, and lighting for studio, portrait, and product photography. (First course | 3 cr | 10 weeks | $790)

2: Business of Photography

This course serves as an introduction to the business and marketing practices common to photography and emphasizes developing professional objectives based upon careful consideration of the financial, legal, organizational, promotional, interpersonal and ethical practices of photography. Prerequisite: Digital Photography II or equivalent experience. This course is required for Digital Photography students preparing to enter the Capstone. (Second course | 1 cr | 2 Saturdays | $235)

3: Creative Digital Editing for Photographers

Advanced image preparation, working with multiple layers, green screen, and adjusting portraits. (Third course | 3 cr | 10 weeks | $790)

Studio Elective

Elective options include a rotation of courses such as: LED Lighting; Billboard Images with the Gigipan; Travel Photography; Fashion/Modeling Photography; Documentary/Street Photo; Experimental Photography; Advanced Photoshop; Color Photography; Extending the Photographic Image; Photo Collage; and Website Portfolio Builder for Artists + Photographers. (Elective may be taken at any time | 3 cr | 10 weeks | price varies)

Final Course: Capstone

This course is designed to provide you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have learned in the Digital Photography Certificate program. Explore and analyze topics within the discipline of photography to meet your individually defined goals. Work one-on-one with the instructor towards a public presentation of your work. For Digital Photography Certificate enrollees only; successful completion of all prerequisite classes is mandatory. (Final course | 3 cr | 10 weeks | $850)

Coming soon.

Past visiting artists, events & lectures have included:

Clay Williams
Clay Williams is a Brooklyn-based photographer specializing in food, drinks, and events. He shoots assignments for The New York Times, The James Beard Foundation and Edible Brooklyn. You can find more of Clay's photos in the new book, "111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss," in bookstores now. Clay talked about his background as a food photographer and current work.

Jay Muhlin 
Guilty Pleasures and Art Practice as a Working Photographer

Keith Yahrling
Keith discussed his two most recent bodies of work, What Was Lost At Fort Sill (2016-ongoing) and For the Revolution (2012-2015). Both bodies of work explore the psyche of the American landscape and examine how he interjects with the history of the places he photographs. He spoke about his process, what it is like to work on long term personal projects and a small segment of American history.

Jeffrey Stockbridge
Photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge has been documenting the opioid crisis in the neighborhood of Kensington in North Philadelphia for the past 10 years. Kensington Blues, self-published in 2017, pairs large-format color photographs of men and women struggling to survive their addiction with audio transcripts and journal entries composed by the subjects themselves. This multi-year collaboration began as a personal project and evolved into a blog, book and exhibition. Featuring audio recordings, videos and photographs, Stockbridge discussed how he approached his subject, the relationships he made and the changes happening in the neighborhood. For more information visit kensingtonblues.com.

John Caperton, Jensen Bryan Curator for The Print Center
Selected Exhibitions 2016-2010​​​​​

Claudia Gavin, Philadelphia Magazine
Editorial work and photojournalism​​​​​​​

Digital Photography certificate students are required to own a digital SLR camera for use during the program. Click to view the SLR Camera Recommendations PDF.

Applications are accepted for Fall 

Application deadline: September 9, 2019
Fall cohort begins: September 30, 2019 

Start your application 

If accepted, students must submit a non-refundable matriculation fee of $100 to hold their place in the program. The matriculation fee is used to cover costs associated with the certificate program such as UArts CS student photo ID and computer lab access.

If you would like to meet with a staff member or schedule an advising session, please email ce@uarts.edu to schedule an appointment at our Center City Philadelphia office.  Philadelphia Campus Tours: Contact the Office of Admissions to arrange for a tour — admissions@uarts.edu  or  (215) 717 - 6049


Request more info

Contact Continuing Education
School of Critical & Professional Studies
   with the Center for Engagement
211 S. Broad St, Terra Hall 905
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 717 - 6006