Masters Degrees in Photography

A master’s degree in photography is for the serious photographer who truly wants to push their art form forward with graduate-level study and expert practice of their craft. A master’s degree also allows students to specialize in a specific area, so they can gain depth as well as breadth in their studies. Also, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), along with a solid body of professional work, is also essential to becoming a photography professor.

An MFA program typically takes a minimum of two years because of the rigorous nature of the studies, and some programs will even require their students to defend a thesis involved with their specific practice of photography. Coursework in an MFA photography program blends the artistic and intuitive aspects of photography with advanced technique, theory and practice, thus preparing photographers to shine as true artists while they continue in their careers.

p>Entry into most graduate-level photography programs is contingent upon the applicant having a bachelor’s degree with a satisfactory GPA so the school can determine if you will be successful in a master’s degree program. Applicants usually must submit letters of recommendation from faculty and professional colleagues, a resume, a body of work or portfolio and a detailed statement of your goals regarding the program. Here we will provide three examples of master’s degree programs that will give you an idea of what to expect in a graduate-level photography program.

Some MFA programs, like that offered by the Columbia College—Chicago, involve a combination of graduate seminars, supervised independent studies and advanced photography courses. Graduate students work under and alongside professors and mentors that are experienced professionals in their respective fields. Some of the faculty you will come in contact with will even be nationally-known. In fact, many MFA students in photography report that the networking opportunities they encountered were one of the most valuable aspects of their graduate studies.

Another example of a master’s degree in photography is the
MFA in art photography
offered by Syracuse University’s Department of Transmedia. This program is less traditional and focuses on cutting-edge, contemporary photography that encourages students to take risks.

A third example is Boise State University’s Department of Art, which offers an MFA in visual arts with a specialization in photography. In this MFA program, an increased focus is put both on research and artistic criticism of the photography medium, so that you can learn to intelligently discuss technique on an expert level. In this program, the student will produce a large body of photographic work based on the thesis they write and is expected to defend them both.