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Photography Major

Do you see the world through a camera lens? A career in photography can be varied and exciting depending on the career path you take, from fine art to sports to journalism. A degree from Grand View will help you develop your photo taking, composition and editing skills and prepare you to be successful in the dynamic world of professional photography. Learn from experienced photographers and make the most of your career. 

Why Grand View?

  • Faculty committed to teaching and learning thorough active scholarship and involvement in the local arts community
  • A rich and diverse experience in a wide variety of media outlets
  • A focus on developing broad art skills that give you more options in the job market
  • Internships with a wide variety of local agencies, nonprofits and major corporations
Career Options

The photography program at Grand View will prepare you for a variety of careers in the field of photography such as:

  • Portrait Photographer
  • Commercial Photographer
  • Fine Arts Photographer
  • Scientific and Medical Photographer
  • News Photographer
  • Sports Photographer

What Can I Do With This Major?

Course Requirements


These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major.

ARTS 101 Foundations of Drawing I 3 credits
ARTS 103 Principles of Design I 3 credits
ARTS 104 Principles of Design II: Digital Media 3 credits
PHOT 131 Basic Digital Photography 3 credits

Requirements (42 credits)

Art History Courses (6 credits)

ARTS 231 Survey of the History of Art I 3 credits
ARTS 232 Survey of the History of Art II 3 credits
ARTS / ENGL 330 Visual Culture and Rhetoric 3 credits
ARTS 340 The History of Graphic Design 3 credits
ARTS 342 Twentieth Century Art History 3 credits
ARTS 431 Topics in Art History 3 credits

Additional Courses

ARTS 245 Interactive Design I 3 credits
PHOT 231 Intermediate Digital Photography 3 credits
ARTS 366 Advanced Digital Imaging 3 credits
PHOT 332 Narrative Photography 3 credits
PHOT 333 Light and Lighting 3 credits
PHOT 337 Creative Photo 6 credits
ARTS 440 or
ARTS 441
Advanced Studio Practice I or
Advanced Studio Practice II
3 credits
ARTS 450 Senior Seminar 3 credits
Art or Communication Courses (200 or above) 9 credits
ARTS 199 Soph/Transfer Portfolio Review 0 credits
Faculty approved senior year exhibit of work
Download Degree Checklist

Cowles Center

The Cowles Communication Center was dedicated in 1987 to house the communication department classrooms and faculty. The building also includes a photo studio, and digital photo lab. Today, Cowles Center houses the music and performing arts department with band and choir rooms, individual mix-use practice studios, and individual piano studios.


Awards and Accomplishments


Doug Wells • Adjunct Professor of Art and Design: Wells spent 34 years as a Photojournalist, 28 of them at the Des Moines Register, before coming to Grand View in 2009. His photos have won national and regional recognition from the National Press Photographers Association, Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and the Iowa Newspaper association. His work has been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, Track and Field News and Women’s World Magazine.  


Many alums have worked professionally as photographers for professional and college sports teams, at newspapers, nonprofits such as the American Legion, as editorial photographers, advertising photographers, commercial photographers and several recent grads have started their own studios shooting weddings, senior pictures and family portraits. They have shot single images and video for local entertainment venues and formal portraits for businesses.

Facts About the Photography Major 

  • Photography majors help design Grand View’s award-winning Honors magazine.
  • The major is set up in a way that makes it very easy to double major with other art majors.
  • While taking classes at Grand View many students have worked internships, part-time jobs or volunteered to use their skill to photograph for sports teams, entertainment venues, and governmental departments.
  • Plus, many of our photography students start businesses or make money from their photographic skills while attending Grand View.
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