Welcome to Photography Colleges : Get Your BA in Photography

Photography Colleges is your guide to:
  • Photography Colleges
  • Top Photography College Rankings
  • Online Photography Colleges
  • Associate Degree in Photography
  • Bachelor Degree in Photography
  • MA in Photography
  • MFA in Photography
  • Photojournalism programs

What Are Some Popular Online Photography Colleges?

  1. Boston University: Boston

    Photojournalism Program

    : Students are taught with an emphasis on experiential learning in this prestigious program. Graduates have gone on to become Pulitzer Prize winners and pursue careers in new media, the newspaper and magazine industry, and more.
  2. International Academy of Design and Technology: Tampa

    Associate of Science in Digital Photography

    : Courses in this introductory program include Lighting Basics, Marketing and Business Practices, Photoshop for Photographers I, Photojournalism, Portrait Photography and more, giving students a very well-rounded approach to photography. Students are expected to take advantage of opportunities which allow them to develop advertising and fashion images, cover real-life events, and more.
  3. Pratt Institute: Brooklyn

    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

    : This elite art school offers an 8-semester BFA program. Classes cover the history of photography, working in the studio, understanding color, and general academics.
  4. Savannah College of Art and Design: Savannah, Atlanta, Online

    Bachelor of Arts in Photography

    : This program requires students to complete 25 hours of foundation studies including drawing and color theory classes; 90 hours of general education classes; and 45 hours of photography classes and seminars. Photography classes cover the history of the field and artistic techniques.

    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

    : SCAD's BFA Photography program emphasizes more arts and creative classes, but students must still take 55 hours of general education classes, including courses in art history, English, speech and more. The major curriculum includes photography electives, history of photography classes, instruction in studio techniques and a senior project.

    Master of Arts in Photography

    : Students pursuing an MA in Photography can choose to concentrate in general photography, commercial photography, digital photography or documentary photography. Each of these concentrations requires 45 hours of study.

    Master of Fine Arts in Photography

    : SCAD's MFA Photography program requires students to complete 90 hours of coursework. Classes include upper level courses in color craft, studio craft, contemporary photography, art criticism, and a field or teaching internship.

    Minor in Photography

    : Students who want to minor in photography must complete 40 hours of photography coursework. Topics covered include large-format technique, black and white technique, and photography history.
  5. The Art Institute of Philadelphia: Philadelphia

    Associate of Science in Photography

    : In this program, students learn how to use the darkroom and get an introduction to photography equipment. Concepts covered include composition, light, color, digital imaging, and more.

    Bachelor of Science in Photography

    : This degree program challenges students to develop a more critical and creative eye when analyzing photographs and photographic methods. Courses are scheduled on the quarter system and include Advanced Principles of Photography, Location Photography and others.
  6. Academy of Art University: San Francisco

    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

    : Students are taught by working professionals in this program and are encouraged to find their own personal artistic style. Skills learned include the ability to create visual metaphors, organize and maintain a professional portfolio, work with clients, understand straight and conceptual photography and more.

    Master of Fine Arts in Photography

    : This graduate level program learn a combination of digital photography skills, business skills, lighting and equipment skills and conceptual photography skills. Graduates are highly qualified and eligible to work in a variety of photography and design environments.
  7. Brooks Institute: Santa Barbara

    Visual Journalism

    : This cutting edge program trains photojournalists how to respond to the needs of today's web savvy audiences. Courses teach methods in using new media platforms including digital imaging, computers and even video cameras.

    Professional Photography

    : Students enrolled in this program are allowed to concentrate in one of six areas: Commercial Photography, Advertising Photography, Industrial/Scientific Photography, Portraiture, Digital Imaging Photography or Digital Medial Photography. This program also encourages students to get out into the field in order to learn how to manage equipment and take advantage of different subjects and environments, including undersea environments, celebrities, food and nature.
  8. Maryland Institute College of Art: Baltimore

    Undergraduate Photography program

    : Students learn the basics of photography in this program while completing seminars, internships and more. The program also teaches skills in professional development, and alumni have gone on to work in studios, digital printing, documentary photography and other pursuits.
  9. Parsons: New York

    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

    : Students gain a modern perspective of creative photography. The curriculum emphasizes developing critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze photography with a global perspective.

    Master of Fine Arts in Photography

    : This program is described as "a 21st-century studio and think tank." Students meet with professors frequently but manage their own independent study during fall and spring semesters. Three eight-week summer sessions are conducted on-camups at Parsons.
What Types of Photography Degrees and Certifications Exist?

  • Associate degree in Photography: Associate programs in photography introduce students to the basics of the field. Students become familiar with different types of photography equipment and learn about the history of photography, and various concepts and skills needed to be a successful, cutting edge photographer, like light, storytelling and more. The curriculum includes a combination of general academics and photography courses.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Photography: BA programs give students the opportunity to learn more in-depth skills and concepts while developing their own artistic vision. Coursework includes general academics and photography classes, and students are usually allowed to choose electives or a special concentration to narrow their focus even further.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography: BFA programs also require students to complete a combination of general academics classes and photography courses, but the number of photography hours is greater than regular BA programs. Students also learn to develop a portfolio and take more upper level studio hours and creative courses. MFA programs also let students take electives and specialize in areas like portraiture, commercial photography, documentary photography and others.
  • Master of Arts in Photography: MA Photography programs feature upper level classes that challenge students to analyze and critique photography trends and attitudes. Students continue to maintain a portfolio and learn skills like marketing and client relations, which will help them become competitive artistic and professional talents after graduation. The best photography schools understand the need to give their students a combination of artistic practice and business preparation.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Photography: MFA students are expected to have highly developed artistic and analytical skills in photography. The curriculum features more studio work, exercises in critiquing and analyzing photography trends and individual pieces, and preparing a professional portfolio. The best photography colleges will give students the opportunity to complete an internship or teaching requirement.
  • Photojournalism programs: Some schools offer majors in photojournalism. Students learn key photography concepts like storytelling, lighting, and digital photography, as well as cutting edge journalistic techniques and ethics. Certain programs focus on the history of photojournalism and photojournalism for print medium only, but top photography schools will incorporate online and new media outlets as well.
  • Continuing education classes: Professional schools, online programs and special adult programs offer individual photography classes that allow students of varying levels the chance to develop their skills. There are introductory classes available, and top photography courses focus specifically in one area of photography, like digital photography, documentary photography or photojournalism. These classes usually do not fulfill any type of degree.
Resources to Read When Choosing a Photography College

  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design: Visit this site to learn all about accreditation for art schools and art programs. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, CHEA, recognizes the NASAD to approve art schools. The NASAD website answers questions about finding accredited programs, understanding the specific accreditation standards for art and design programs, and researching the top photography colleges.
  • The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications: The ACEJMC is also approved by CHEA to accredit journalism and mass communications programs. If you are interested in enrolling in a quality photojournalism program, visit this website to search the list of 112 accredited U.S. programs.
  • FAFSA: If you need financial assistance to fund your photography program, consider applying for the federal program, FAFSA. FAFSA is available for qualifying undergraduate and graduate students.
  • External Partnerships: If you're trying to decide between top photography colleges, take a look at each school's community involvement and external partnerships. The best photography programs will create opportunities for students to get real-world experience while making professional contacts.
  • Information Sessions: Find out if the school you're interested in offers information sessions for accepted or prospective students. You'll be able to show off your portfolio, learn about financial aid and tuition, meet other students, network with faculty, and get a feel for the overall environment of the school.
  • Photographer: To learn more about the different disciplines within photography, you can read Wikipedia's overviews here. Featured specializations include fashion photography, wedding photography, landscape, still life and others.