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Explore the photography bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

Start your dream of becoming a photographer with a bachelor's degree in photography from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The rigorous degree is designed as a specialty for students pursuing graduate studies or careers in photography.

Courses throughout the major will teach you professional techniques and best practices for shooting, adjusting, filing, printing and sharing photos. You'll also explore the history and evolution of the art by examining ideas, processes and theories of still photography for the past and present, learning how the medium and other contemporary events have shaped our world.

Portfolio, resume and professional development are critical focuses of the program. Through a variety of theme-based assignments, you'll develop skills and personal visions in photography. You'll also discover your photography style and preferred genres.

To ensure graduates leave with a greater level of artistic development and focus, all photography students participate in an immersive, studio-focused curriculum. During your final semester at UW-Eau Claire, you'll choose groups of work to be featured in the Senior Exhibition. The culmination is an impressive collection of your highest professional-quality work and a portfolio that will make you extremely competitive for a career in photography.

Well-prepared, inside the classroom and out

As an art and design student at UWEC, you'll experience countless outside-the-classroom learning opportunities. From photographing on-campus happenings to organizing community art events, the possibilities really are endless. Just ask Trace Richolson, a photography major who earned the chance to be a creative assistant in the production of the Eaux Claires music and arts festival.

“The opportunity to work at the Eaux Claires festival as a student has helped me develop my management and multitasking abilities in a real-world context,” he said. “I managed a team of interns while also coordinating things like credentials, machinery and power needs, lodging and a wide variety of special requests for 26 different artists.”

It’s an accomplishment that not only gave Trace the opportunity to practice real-world skills, but one that is certain to set him apart in his career.

Photography degree scholarships

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation provides many scholarships for incoming and current Blugolds, including those seeking a photography degree. For example, the Spectator: David Gordon Reporting Scholarship awards $850 to a photography major who is also a reporting and/or photography staff member for The Spectator, the UW-Eau Claire student newspaper. Another scholarship, the Patrick Danen Memorial Scholarship, awards $350 to a photography major who can demonstrate financial need.

We are proud to give you the funds you need to pursue your dreams. Learn more about which resources are available to you by checking out our scholarships page.

Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire

Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.

To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your photography degree.  

Learn more about the financial aid process at UWEC.

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Quick facts

Photography program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major does not require a minor.
  • Students majoring in this program will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. 
Student organizations
  • Art Student Association (ASA)
  • None of the Above (NOTA)
  • Photography Club
  • The Spectator

Photography bachelor’s degree program highlights

Skill-building curriculum. A portion of the photography degree is made up of other art-focused electives, allowing you to pursue multiple areas of interest. Explore courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, typography, illustration, ceramics and computer animation. This all-encompassing approach allows you to enter the working world with a variety of skills and talents to take your photography career to the next level. 

Opportunities to travel. All comprehensive art majors are required to participate in a travel experience while studying at UW-Eau Claire. This could include a study abroad program, one of the department’s national field trips or at least two of the department’s regional field trips. Explore contemporary art and design in Minneapolis, Chicago and New York City. Or find inspiration in some of the world's art and architecture meccas, like Florence, Rome or Paris.

Valuable student organizations. Numerous student clubs and organizations are available to art and design majors. Organize artistic activities and events on campus and in the community. Help run a campus literary and art magazine that publishes student submissions. Take photos for the UW-Eau Claire newspaper. And connect with peers, faculty, local professionals and potential mentors who love photography just as much as you do. 

Art close to home. UW-Eau Claire is home to the Foster Gallery, the largest art gallery in the Eau Claire area. Art and design students can take advantage of this learning space through exhibition receptions, open viewings, installation opportunities, guest speaker presentations and the chance to participate in the annual juried student art show.

Connection to local employers. Annual on-campus Career Conferences and a Client Communication and Management Career Fair bring potential employers right to you. These events are excellent opportunities to network and submit your resume for current and future job openings. 

What jobs can you get with a photography degree from UWEC?

Graduates of the comprehensive photography degree leave with a bachelor's in fine arts, a polished portfolio, countless connections and the skills needed to pursue their passion. From owning their own business to working in renowned media production and publication companies, UW-Eau Claire photography majors are using their talent to capture moments, tell stories and make history.

Photography careers

Photography bachelor’s degree program curriculum

Curriculum within the photography bachelor's degree includes core foundation courses in art as well as courses in art history and photography. A variety of electives throughout the major allow you to study additional areas of art that interest you or align with your career goals.

Classes for photography majors may include:

Learn more about the comprehensive photography major in the UWEC course catalog.

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in photography? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.

Department information

Learn more about the art and design department

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