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Studio Arts

Specialization in Photographic Media Arts

Associate of Applied Arts

photography student taking a photo with her camera

Capture visual moments that inspire

State-of-the-art photography and videography facilities at the Visual Arts Center include 3 iMac labs with professional software and a fully equipped lighting studio

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The digital age has transformed the field of photography. Using cutting edge technologies, Tidewater Community College’s Associate of Applied Arts in Studio Arts with a Specialization in Photographic Media Arts teaches you the classic skills of composition, lighting, camera technique and video editing. With a strong foundation in photographic imaging and digital media, you will be challenged with courses in photography, video techniques and dark room techniques.

You will learn to tell stories, capture moments and communicate through visual images through an interactive curriculum designed by faculty with real-world experience. Classroom technical instruction focuses on digital photography and video art, but also includes studio lighting and traditional photographic forms. Relevant industry and technical skills are strengthened with historical and theoretical studies.

With access to industry-current equipment, studio facilities and computer labs at TCC's Visual Arts Center, you will assemble a professional portfolio of representative work. This portfolio of work will be a valuable asset for graduates interested in entry-level employment as a photographer’s assistant, photo lab technician, photography sales and service representative, freelance photographer or art center educator.

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What does this program cost?

You can complete a 2-year associate degree for less than the cost of 1 year at a 4-year college or university.

TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Studio Arts with Specialization in Photographic Media Arts consists of four semesters of full-time study, with most classes at at the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth.

If your schedule doesn't permit full-time attendance, you may also take classes part time.

Estimated Program Cost*:
64 credits x $185.35 per credit = $11,862.40 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Photography students are responsible for providing additional materials, such as cameras, memory devices, printing costs and materials for print presentation. All classes beyond Photography I require Digital SLR cameras. The total cost of the program largely depends on the quality and amount of equipment purchased by the student.

Where can you go?

Courses from the photography specialization may be transferrable to corresponding programs at four-year colleges and universities. TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Studio Arts is transferrable to James Madison University and Virginia Wesleyan College.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

  • are creative
  • are motivated
  • are comfortable using technology
  • have a passion for photography and digital design
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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

Fanned-out money

Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

TCC’s 33,330-square-foot Visual Arts Center houses 15 studios, glassblowing lab and 2,000 square feet of exhibition space

You may contribute to "340 High Street," an annual publication that showcases student artwork

Facilities include a full range of professional photography equipment, including digital cameras and lights for use in the studio and the field


See the world through a lens at TCC.

Arts @ TCC

Want to take better pictures? Consider a Career Studies Certificate in Photographic Media Arts

Student Success

Meet the student behind the Epic Beard