Digital Photography and Design

Students completing this certificate in Digital Photography and Design (DPD) will develop comprehensive creative and technical skills in the fields of digital photography and design for purposes ranging from personal artistic expression to commercial and professional applications through practice- and project-based learning. Courses in the DPD certificate provide students with the aesthetic, technical, and critical tools to understand and work with images in professional settings with training in industry-standard software programs used in photography editing and post-production, graphic design, and animation. Students choosing Special Topics in Advanced Digital Photography and/or Photojournalism as part of the certificate will be engaged in project-based learning as course projects require students to go out into the field with interactions beyond their instructors and classmates to design their own workflow and execute to create high-quality final products. Portfolios created as students complete the certificate curriculum will showcase acquired proficiencies and personal perspectives and styles that can be used as the basis to pursue either further artistic training or job opportunities in a variety of professions or personal entrepreneurship. This certificate is open to all enrolled students across UM-Dearborn and to non-degree-seeking students meeting specified requirements.

Students completing the certificate will meet the following goals:

  1. Proficiency and versatility in the use of professional quality digital cameras and lighting equipment including lens selection, lighting setup, composition, styles, genres.       
  2. Proficiency in the use of  digital editing and image production software for creation and post-production of photography, graphic design, and/or animation
  3. Understanding of digital photography and digital media creation for both artistic expression and commercial uses including issues pertaining to copyright, licensing, and image publication
  4. Ability to plan and execute substantive and complex photography and digital media projects through the assembling of final portfolios for courses
  5. An understanding of the history and impact of photography on society, art, and culture

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the certificates requires 4 courses (minimum 12 to 14 credits):

Foundation Course:
ART 220Intro to Digital Photography3
Elective Courses
Select 3 courses from the following:9-11
The Art of Animation
Intro to Graphic Design
Advanced Digital Photography
Global History of Photography
Documentary & Photojournalism
Total Credit Hours12-14


  1. No courses may be taken as pass/fail.
  2. A 3.0 GPA in the courses within the certificate is required.
  3. Certificate credit can be shared with a major, or minor, or other certificate.
  4. A maximum of one transfer course (ART 220, three credit hours) may count toward the certificate.