What Schools Have Photography Classes in Chicago, Illinois?

Find out which Chicago schools offer photography classes. See requirements and prerequisites, school information, and the various degree program details from length and tuition stats. Schools offering Photography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

If you would like to advance your photography skills in Chicago, there are program options from the certificate to graduate level available. Continue reading for more information on each program.

What You Need to Know

Photography classes can be found at 2- and 4-year schools in and around Chicago. You might pursue a 2-semester certificate or a 2-year associate's degree in digital photography at a 2-year school located just outside of Chicago. Additionally, you could earn a bachelor's degree in photography through several 4-year schools and possibly choose from specializations such as photojournalism, fine art photography or commercial photography. Keep reading to zero in on the program that might work best for you.

Photography Certificate Programs in Chicago

Triton College

Located in a suburb just outside of Chicago, Triton offers a certificate program in digital photography designed to introduce you to the hardware, software programs, computing techniques and camera functions associated with digital photography. Due to the technological nature of the program, the college recommends that you have some functional computer knowledge before enrolling in some of these courses. A digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera isn't required, but it's recommended. Course topics may include basic and advanced Photoshop, digital video and computer art.

  • Program Name: Digital Photography Certificate
  • Program Length: 2 semesters
  • Tuition & Fees: $3,870 per year for in-district students; $9,360 per year for out-of-district students; $11,630 per year for out-of-state students (costs as of 2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 11,577 students (all undergraduate)

Photography Associate's Degree Programs in Chicago

Triton College

Triton's associate's degree program in digital photography is a more advanced and in-depth extension of its certificate program, with course offerings in digital video, web page design and studio photography, among other areas. These courses give you the ability to eventually market your images over the Internet and through other multimedia outlets. Among the software programs that you'll learn to master are Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Final Cut and Photoshop. In addition to assembling a visual portfolio, you also receive training in a number of professional tasks, such as measuring lighting conditions, operating professional-grade equipment and copyrighting your images. Like the certificate program, it's recommended that you have a DSLR camera and basic computer literacy.

  • Program Name: Associate in Applied Science in Digital Photography
  • Program Length: Two years, full-time
  • Tuition & Fees: $3,870 per year for in-district students; $9,360 per year for out-of-district students; $11,630 per year for out-of-state students (costs as of 2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 11,577 students (all undergraduate)

Photography Bachelor's Degree Programs in Chicago

Columbia College Chicago

As a photography major, you have access to a range of learning resources, including a digital-imaging laboratory equipped with large-format printers and scanning devices, two professional studios and numerous darkrooms. You're also within walking distance of famous cultural institutions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the City Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art, where some of Colombia's graduates have exhibited their works. In addition to building a portfolio, your studies give you the chance to explore many aspects of photography, such as lighting digital photo manipulation, location portraiture and camera technique. A portfolio is necessary for students seeking placement into upper-division photography classes, but not for general admission to the program.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Photography
  • Specialization Areas: Photojournalism, commercial photography, fine art photography
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition & Fees: $24,344 per year (costs as of 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Proof of immunization
  • School Type: 4-year, private non-profit; 9,003 undergraduate students and 437 graduate students

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography program encompasses a mix of traditional art topics with interdisciplinary seminars and studio, design and photography classes. Graphic design, drawing and color theory are some of the design-related classes available. The photography classes expose you to analog, digital and color photography, studio lighting and digital media projects. A thesis exhibition is required after completing the advanced critique courses. All students majoring in photography are subject to a portfolio review at the end of their first year.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $13,664 per year for in-state students; $26,520 per year for out-of-state students (guaranteed costs as of 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Mac laptop, Adobe CS5 Master Collection
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 16,718 undergraduate students and 11,251 graduate students

Photography Master's Degree Programs in Chicago

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

As a student in the Art Institute's master's-level photography courses, you'll be given your own studio, allowed access to the visiting artists who frequent the school and required to present an artist lecture about your work. The master's degree curriculum itself consists of courses that explore a range of different aspects of photography, such as color, black-and-white, post-production and documentary practices. Through assignments and lectures, in addition to hands-on tinkering, you'll become familiar with concepts and techniques, such as zone systems, landscapes, contrast control and scale. Some classes require a light meter, a DSLR camera and a laptop.

  • Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Studio-Photography
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time (60 credit hours)
  • Tuition: $45,810 per year (cost as of 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • Admission Requirements: Portfolio (still images or interactive work); statement of purpose; two letters of recommendation; interview
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 2,861 undergraduate students and 738 graduate students

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Through UIC's master's degree program in photography, you can take courses in a variety of advanced photographic techniques and methods, such as darkroom processing, color photography esthetics, digital imaging and analog photography. To proceed beyond the second semester, the Graduate Advisory Committee needs to evaluate your work. In addition to the traditional classroom resources, your studies at UIC may also provide you with the opportunity to exhibit your work in the school's nationally acclaimed non-profit exhibition space, Gallery 400. To meet graduation requirements, students need to complete a project for public viewing.

  • Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Photography
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $13,447 per year for in-state students; $22,306 per year for out-of-state students (costs as of 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in any field, portfolio
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 3.0 GPA in last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework; three letters of recommendation; personal statement; resume or CV
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 16,718 undergraduate students and 11,251 graduate students

Triton College offers a certificate program and an associate's degree in photography; Columbia College offers a BA in photography while UIC offers a BFA and MFA; and the School of Art Institute of Chicago provides an MFA.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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