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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: 45 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 (30 units)



Photography, Inception to Mid-Century


PHOT 102

Photography, a Social History


PHOT 111

Intermediate Digital Imaging (PHOT 11 and PHOT 40; Photo majors only; corequisite: PHOT 102 and PHOT 141)


PHOT 141

Intermediate Black and White Photography (PHOT 11 and PHOT 40; corequisite; PHOT 102 and PHOT 111)


PHOT 148

Artificial Light Photography (PHOT 111 and PHOT 141 with a B- or better; corequisite: PHOT 101 or PHOT 155)


PHOT 149

Artificial Light, Location (PHOT 111 and PHOT 141 with a B- or better; corequisite: PHOT 101 or ART 101 and PHOT 155)


PHOT 155

Advanced Photographic Techniques (PHOT 111 and PHOT 141; Corequisite: PHOT 101 and either PHOT 148 or PHOT 149)


PHOT 165

Issues in Contemporary Photographic Practice (PHOT 155; Corequisite: PHOT 148 or PHOT 149)


PHOT 175

Studio Topics in Photography (PHOT 165; Corequisite: PHOT 180)


PHOT 180

Senior Portfolio (PHOT 165; corequisite: PHOT 175)

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

John P. Forrest Jr., Chair, Department of Design
Nigel Poor, Program Coordinator
Jan Lopez, Administrative Support Coordinator
Mariposa Hall 5001
(916) 278-3962; FAX (916) 278-6116