Photography Certificate

Photography Certificate Requirements

Interested in taking your photography coursework to the next level? The Academy of the Arts Photography program offers a certificate of achievement to students who have completed all required course work and successfully presented a portfolio for review. The certificate recognizes that the student has a broad background in photography and should be able to function at a high level as a photographer. Upon completion of the program, it is expected that students should be able to:

  • Understand and operate the camera and peripheral equipment quickly and efficiently;
  • Demonstrate a high degree of technical and artistic skills;
  • Download or develop and manipulate the images to achieve the look, the size and the format desired;
  • Deliver high-quality output either as a printed image or a digital file.

Core courses

Additional courses

Four additional Academy of the Arts photography courses numbered 100 or above are required. Note: Courses with the WKSP prefix (workshop) do not count toward the certificate. Choose from this list:

To successfully complete a class, you must attend a minimum of 80% of the class sessions (leaving at the break is considered a half class), and present work in each photography review program that immediately follows a completed class. Presentation at a review is not required for AR110 or AR120.

Portfolio Requirements

Upon satisfactory completion of the requirements, certificate candidates will submit their portfolio for judging. The student portfolio must pass the three-judge portfolio review panel with an average score of 70% or higher.

The student will present a portfolio of exactly twenty images. Five of the images will be in a series. The remaining fifteen will demonstrate mastery in a variety of subject areas; especially those in which the student has taken courses.

  • All twenty images will be included in a well presented digital portfolio.
  • At least ten of the images will be matted, archival quality prints.
  • The five images in a series must be among the printed images.
  • The prints must have been printed by the student.
  • The student will present an artist statement that is:
    • Well written and original
    • Printed on high quality linen paper
    • Attractively displayed


The candidate must select an advisor from among the photography instructors at the Academy of the Arts.

The advisor must be selected at least six months prior to application for the certificate so that the advisor has ample opportunity to counsel and direct the student in the finishing stages of the process.

The advisor may not serve as a judge on the portfolio review for any student he/she advised.

Certificate Award Ceremonies

Certificate Award Ceremonies are held during the annual photography review program.

Guidelines and Governing Covenants

The guidelines (this document) for the Certificate of Achievement in Photography will change from time to time. The candidate for the certificate will be governed by the guidelines that are in effect on the date the student notifies the Academy of the Arts Director of his/her choice of advisor.

Updated September 2013