About Photography

The City College of San Francisco's Photography Department is one of the oldest and largest programs in the country founded in 1935.

We offer degrees and certificates and a broad selection of classes including but not limited to Digital Photography & Imaging, History and Aesthetics of Photography, Advanced B&W Darkroom Techniques, Advanced Studio Lighting, Mixed Media Processes and Business Practices of Photography.

Our faculty and staff consist of experienced professionals who create an environment that encourages creativity, technical aptitude and critical thinking. Whether your interest is as a commercial photographer, fine artist or enthusiast, we will provide the means and guidance that will help you achieve your goals.

Explore Potential Careers

Studying Photography can lead to a variety of different jobs or career paths. Below are just some of the many options you will have!

  • Commercial Photography
  • Portrait & Event Photography
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Editorial Photography
  • Documentary Photography
  • Photographic Lab Technician
  • Photo Assisting
  • Digital Imaging Artist
  • Photo Retoucher
  • Gallery or Museum Assistant
  • Digital Archivist
  • Photographic Drone Operator

Program Options 

Click on the degree or certificate you're interested in earning to see a sample map of courses to take to complete your goal from start to finish. 

Please note that the course maps provided are just an example to help you get started. Please meet with a counselor to personalize the plan to you and your Academic goals. 

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
PHOT 51 Beginning Photography 3  
PHOT 50A or PHOT 50B History & Aesthetics Pre-1945 or History & Aesthetics Since 1945 4  
PHOT 100/DSGN 101/VMD 101 Design Fundamentals  
ENGL 1A + 1AS University-Parallel Reading and Composition + Support 4-6  
CCSF GE Area A Communication and Analytical Thinking 3  

Total Units: 17-19 

Semester 2

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
PHOT 80 Outdoor & Ambient Lighting 3  
PHOT 85A Beginning Lighting Techniques 4  
MATH 46, MATH 60 or 860, ET 108B, or ET 50, or PSYC 5, or ECON 5, or LALS 5, or PHIL 12A, or FIN 136M or higher math course (or equivalent) Math Graduation Requirement 3-8  
CCSF GE Area D Social and Behavioral Sciences Requirement 3  
CCSF GE Area F United States History and Government Requirement 3  

Total Units: 16-21

Semester 3

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
PHOT 81A or 81D Intermediate Photo B&W Film/Darkroom or Intermediate Photo: Digital 4  
PHOT 85B Advanced Studio Lighting Tech 4  
PHOT 93 or 102B Editorial Photography or Documentary/News Photography 2  
PHOT 52 Photographers and Their Images or other PHOT Elective such as PHOT140 Internship or any PHOT 101 or PHOT102 1-3  
PHOT 99 Business Practices of Photography 3  
PHOT 60A Photoshop for Photographers 3  

Total Units: 17-19

Semester 4

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
PHOT 60B or PHOT 81B Intermediate Photoshop or Advanced Black & White Darkroom 3-4  
PHOT 130 Portfolio Production 2  
PHOT 90 Portraiture 4  
Additional Elective PHOT140 Internship or any PHOT 101 or PHOT102 1-3  
CCSF GE Area C Natural Sciences Requirement 3  
CCSF GE Area H Ethnic Studies, Women's and Gender Studies and LGBTQ Studies 3  

Total Units: 16-19

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
    3  
    3  
     
    3  

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View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

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    3  
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    3  

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View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

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    3  
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    3  

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View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

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    3  
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    3  

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View Requirements in College Catalog

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    3  
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    3  

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View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

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    3  
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    3  

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View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

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    3  
    3  
     
    3  

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View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
    3  
    3  
     
    3  

Total Units: 

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Transfer Options

The program coursework you complete at City College will satisfy lower-division requirements for related majors at several colleges and universities. The Photography AS degree also leads to Guided Pathways in many CSU and private colleges, including the following:

Have questions about transfer? Visit the Transfer Center for help, transfer information, and/or to speak with college representatives.