Get Started in Visual Media

The Visual Media program, which replaces the previous Commercial Photography program, is a rigorous 2-year curriculum providing the framework for a strong portfolio and guidance for career preparation, whether as an entrepreneur or as a visual communications professional.

Entry into the program is competitive. New students are only admitted for Fall Quarter, which ensures the development of a tight cohort for the duration of the program.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be eligible for Math 081 Pre-Algebra and English 101 Composition. To show that you meet these requirements, you can either take a placement test or provide transcripts from any previously attended accredited institution(s).

Steps to Enroll

  1. Attend a Visual Media Information Session or contact the department for more information (strongly recommended).
  2. Complete the 5-Step Enrollment Process for Seattle Central College, which includes submitting an application and placement for classes (testing and/or transcript evaluation). Acceptance to Seattle Central College does not guarantee entrance into the Visual Media program. To ensure the application process to the Visual Media program is complete, you must follow all the steps below.
  3. Once you have been admitted and have evidence that you have met the eligibility requirements, meet with an Academic Advisor to receive a form authorizing you to be placed on an Approved List. 
  4. Take the form to the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Division in room BE4128 and request to set up your program file. We will hold this file pending your portfolio passing a Portfolio Review at which point you will be put on the Approved List. You cannot be placed on the Approved List without an established program file.
  5. Students wishing to enter the program must submit an entrance portfolio that will be evaluated by faculty members in the Visual Media program.
  6. Once your entrance portfolio has been approved, you have completed the application process for the Visual Media program. Your name will be added to the list at the next update. 

Portfolio Review

Portfolios due to Division office in room BE4128. If you live out of town, your portfolio should be mailed to: Seattle Central Creative Academy, Attn: Visual Media Portfolios, 1701 Broadway, BE4128, Seattle, WA 98122. Please also include a pre-paid self-addressed envelope for its safe return.

There are several remaining portfolio reviews for students wanting to start Fall 2018. We take 24 students each year and it is competitive, so the first 24 students accepted are the class. If your portfolio is not accepted you may re-work it and re-submit it. Submissions are taken the second week of each month:

  • March 5 to 9
  • April 9 to 13
  • May 7 to 11
  • June 4 to 8
  • July 9 to 13
  • August 6 to 10

You will then be notified during the following couple of weeks

Include six to ten pieces of your best work. You may include still photography as well as motion or video.

Portfolio Exercise: Choose one of the following themes and submit five pieces in a sequence to best represent that theme. You may include still photography as well as motion or video. Motion or video should not be longer than 30 seconds.

  • Environment
  • The passage of time
  • A day in the life
  • A process
  • Texture / Pattern Portraiture

Also, please provide a typed response to the following questions.

  • Why are you interested in the Visual Media program?
  • What are your long- and short-term career goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is something you would be happy doing every single day for the rest of your career?
  • How did you learn about the program?

Submissions will be awarded 1 to 10 points for each of the following criteria: Creativity, Presentation, Essay, Visual Impact, and Portfolio Exercise. Maximum points possible is 50; minimum for acceptance is 35. The quality of your work is what is important.

If your portfolio is accepted, your academic prerequisites have been met and you have set up your file in the division office, you will be added to the “approved” list and invited to attend an enrollment meeting at the end of Spring Quarter.

  1. Once you have been admitted, you must email your Student Identification (SID) number to Distance Learning: and copy
    Please include Visual Media Portfolio in the Subject line, and your SID and name in the body of the email.
  2. You will receive an email from Distance Learning with login credentials and a link to upload your portfolio.
  3. Click the sent link and login to the site, using the credentials you received in the email. How to upload your portfolio in Canvas (pdf).
  4. Click on “Click Here to Begin”
  5. Click the “Portfolio upload” link
  6. Double-check the specifications. Listed are the same as those that were sent to you via email before you developed your portfolio.
  7. Click “Choose File” and navigate to the file on your device.
  8. For multiple files, Click “Add Another File”; and repeat this process BEFORE you hit the “Submit Assignment” button.
  9. Click “Submit Assignment” when ready.
  10. When your portfolio has been reviewed, you will receive the results via email, along with additional information.

Prospective students on the Approved List will be contacted by U.S. mail late in Spring Quarter and notified of an Enrollment Meeting, which will occur in early June. During the Enrollment Meeting the program will be filled in the order applicants were placed on the Approved List. If the program reaches capacity before we are able to offer you a position, you will be invited to declare your wish to remain available to fill any late openings, or defer to the following year. At that time no further process will be necessary, however, you will be required to attend the enrollment meeting again the following year.

Note: it is your responsibility to inform us if your contact information changes. Please inform the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Division directly in writing or by email. Notice of the Spring enrollment meeting is done once by first class regular mail only.
Students on the Approved List may defer entry by one year with a written or email request to the Division Office. This can be done only one time.
Students in these programs incur significant additional costs for tools and supplies. We advise prospective students to make financial plans accordingly while waiting to enter the program.

If you have questions about enrolling in the Visual Media program, contact us for more information.