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University Catalog


College of Arts and Letters


The Bachelor of Arts in Photography is a joint major that prepares students to enter one of the exciting professional photographic fields. By combining courses from the Art Department and the Department of Design, as well as support classes in Journalism and Business, the program equips students aesthetically, technically, and professionally for a future in photography. The program has a curricular emphasis on the visual arts, integrating areas that are particularly valuable to those considering a professional photographic career or continuing in a graduate program. The major is structured to provide students with the skills and understanding to enable them to create images that will stand out among the profusion of photographs in the commercial, editorial, or fine art arenas.

Special Features

  • Sacramento State is uniquely positioned to offer students strong photographic curricula, internships, and professional connections. Because of its location in the state capital, students may complete fieldwork with state agencies, museums, professional associations, and news organizations.
  • Two campus galleries regularly exhibit student work: the Design Gallery on the 4th floor of Mariposa Hall and the Witt Gallery in Kadema Hall.
  • The Departments of Art and of Design both offer student scholarships.
  • Among the facilities available for photography students is a large digital lab furnished with Macintosh computers, Epson printers, film, and flat bed scanners. There is also an alternative process lab for platinum/palladium printing, a well equipped darkroom with 4x5 black and white and color enlarging stations, a Hope 20" color print processor, Wing Lynch film processor, and studio shooting facilities.


Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree

Units Required for the Major: 48 units
Minimum total units required for the BA: 120

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Lower Division Core Courses (15 units)



Art in the Western World: From Renaissance to Present



Introduction to Digital Design






Digital Imaging



Basic Techniques of Photography

B. Required Upper Division Core Courses (24 units)


ART 101

Art Photography


ART 161

Photography in the Field (PHOT 40 or equivalent)


ART 162

Alternative Photographic Processes (PHOT 141 or other basic photography)


PHOT 102

Photography, a Social History


PHOT 111

Intermediate Digital Imaging (PHOT 11 or equivalent or instructor permission)


PHOT 141

Intermediate Photography, Black and White (PHOT 40)


PHOT 148

Artificial Light Photography (PHOT 111 and PHOT 141 or equivalent or instructor permission)


PHOT 150

Senior Portfolio (Senior status, PHOT 11, PHOT 138, PHOT 143A, PHOT 148)

C. Studies in Photography Electives (9 units)

(9) Select three of the following:

ART 108

19th Century Art (ART 1B or equivalent)

ART 109

Modern Art (Upper-division standing and ART 1B or equivalent with instructor approval)

ART 169

Photography Studio (Instructor permission and Department Chair via signed petition form)

ART 163

Pinhole Photography (PHOT 40 or equivalent)

COMS 164

Visual Communication (COMS 100A and COMS 100B or equivalent with a grade of C- or better)

HRS 180

The Film


Journalism Laboratory (JOUR 30)

MKTG 101

Principles of Marketing

PHOT 135

Introduction to Photojournalism (PHOT 40 or equivalent)

PHOT 138

Color Photography A (PHOT 11 or equivalent)


Intermediate Photography, Color (PHOT 40)

PHOT 155

Advanced Photography (PHOT 141)

PHOT 160

Documentary Photography (PHOT 141)

PHOT 195

Internship in Photography (A minimum of two upper division photography courses)

PHOT 199

Special Problems

Career Possibilities

Photojournalist · Advertising Photographer · Editorial Photographer · Medical Photographer · Educator · Wedding Photographer · Portrait Photographer · Forensic Photographer · Military Photographer · Public Relations · Fashion Photographer · Wildlife Photographer · Stock Photographer · Archaeological Photographer · Photographic Historian · Freelance Photographer · Commercial Photographer · Food Photographer · Architectural Photographer · Videographer · Landscape Photographer


Doug Dertinger, Sharmon Goff , Nigel Poor

Contact Information

Sharmon Goff, Chair, Department of Design
Nigel Poor, Program Coordinator
Jan Lopez, Administrative Support Coordinator
Mariposa Hall 5001
(916) 278-3962; FAX (916) 278-6116