Jun 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Arapahoe Community College Catalog 
2022-2023 Arapahoe Community College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Commercial Photography AAS - Academic Plan

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The Commercial Photography AAS Degree offers a solid foundation for students to start a career in a range of photography and imaging-related fields. The curriculum provides extensive training in digital and traditional photography, professional camera equipment, contemporary studio and location lighting techniques, portraiture, events and multimedia photographic production. Students learn image capture and manipulation, digital asset management and workflow, and digital printing, publishing and video. Students will also learn about the business and marketing aspects of commercial photography necessary to be successful. This program is balanced between the technical and the aesthetic skills necessary to make compelling images. There is a balance between traditional and digital image making and balance between the art and business of commercial photography. Electives and portfolio development courses allow students to focus their exploration on the specific kinds of photography they enjoy. An emphasis is placed on strong conceptual thinking and storytelling.

This is a skills-focused, highly intensive program for students serious about working in the photography industry. Taught by expert faculty who have first-hand experience working with top clients and agencies, students will emerge from the AAS Degree program prepared to compete in a range of photographic fields. Students will work with high- end industry standard equipment available for checkout. Don’t take on tens of thousands of dollars in for-profit college student loan debt, when you can gain the excellent training and education you need for a fraction of the cost, right here at Arapahoe Community College!

Course Availability

Total Credits = 60

Required Courses - General Education Courses Credits Pre or Co Reqs Required Course Available Fall? Course Available Spring? Course Available Summer?
ART 1111  - Art History: Ancient to Medieval OR
ART 1112  - Art History: Renaissance to 1900 OR
ART 1113  - Art History: 1900 to Present*
3 No Yes Yes Yes
BUS 1015  - Introduction to Business 3 No Yes Yes Yes
COM 1150  - Public Speaking* OR
COM 1250  - Interpersonal Communication
3 No Yes Yes Yes
ENG 1021  - English Composition GT-CO1 OR
ENG 1031  - Technical Writing GT-CO1
3 Yes Yes Yes Yes
PSY 1001  - General Psychology I OR
SOC 1001  - Introduction to Sociology I OR
ANT 1001   - Cultural Anthropology*
3 No Yes Yes Yes


Required Courses - Major Courses Credits Pre or Co Reqs Required Course Available Fall? Course Available Spring? Course Available Summer?
ART 1402  - Film Photography I 3 No Yes Yes No
PHO 1021  - Photo-Image Capture I 3 Yes Yes Yes No
PHO 1022  - Photo-Image Capture II 3 Yes No Yes No
PHO 1043  - Perception and Photography I 3 No Yes No No
PHO 1061  - Digital Capture Processing 3 Yes Yes Yes No
PHO 1062  - Digital Capture Processing II 3 Yes No Yes No
PHO 2004  - Studio Lighting 3 Yes No Yes No
PHO 2032  - Professional Portraiture 3 Yes Yes No No
PHO 2037  - Advanced Lighting Techniques 3 Yes Yes No No
PHO 2044  - New Media Storytelling 3 Yes No Yes No
PHO 2063  - Digital Capture Processing III 3 No No Yes No
PHO 2188  - Portfolio and Career Exploration 3 Yes No Yes No
PHO 2187  - Business of Photography 3 No Yes No No


Required Courses - Restricted Elective Courses Credits Pre or Co Reqs Required Course Available Fall? Course Available Spring? Course Available Summer?
Photography Elective (See notes for details) 3 No Yes Yes Yes
Photography Elective (See notes for details) 3 No Yes Yes Yes


Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate strong professional interpersonal and communication skills. • Understand and utilize basic business principles and practices.
  • Apply traditional and contemporary marketing principles and practices.
  • Display the ability to think conceptually.
  • Execute strong critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Demonstrate lighting techniques in various settings.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with technology.
  • Demonstrate a conscious use of composition and visual literacy. 
  • The students will be able to understand and utilize storytelling skills.
  • The students will be able to develop the curiosity and skills to become lifelong learners.

Recommended Course Sequence (Full-Time Track)

English Course (3 credits)

~Recommended Course(s)~

Recommended Course Sequence (Part-Time Track)

Year 1: Summer

English Course (3 credits)

~Recommended Course(s)~

Year 2: Summer

Communication Course (3 credits)

~Choose One Course~

PSY, SOC, or ANT Course (3 credits)

~Recommended Course(s)~


  • *This course requires college level readiness as measured by Accuplacer, ACT, or SAT scores; approved high school course work that is less than five years old; or successful completion of an appropriate college-readiness course.
  • AAA 1001   – College 101: Student Experience is required for all new college students seeking degrees or transfer.
  • Course availability is subject to change.
  • Proficiency in Macintosh operations is required for classes in PHO labs. Recommended courses may be listed above for certain electives; consult with the Academic Advising Office (advising@arapahoe.edu or 303.797.5664) for additional elective recommendations.
  • Refer to the 2022/2023 catalog for specific requirements and important information about this degree.
  • Select two courses from any of the following: PHO 1044 , PHO 2052 , PHO 2035 , PHO 2059 , PHO 2060 , PHO 2080 .
  • To meet program requirements, students registered for ENG 1021  or ENG 1031  must also register for ENG 0094  unless they can demonstrate otherwise meeting the ENG 0094  standard through assessment testing, prior college coursework, or recent High School coursework. See an Advisor for details.

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