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Commercial Photography AAS - Academic Plan


Total Credits = 60

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!

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)

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 [at] arapahoe [dot] edu or 303.797.5664) for additional elective recommendations.
  • Refer to the 2023/2024 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.