Master's Degrees in Photography

A master's degree in photography could prepare you to teach others about this field. Get information about program option and the classes and requirements to earn a degree. Schools offering Photography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Photography Master's Degrees Can I Earn?

The two main types of master's degrees in photography that you can earn are a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Photography and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Photography. Both M.A. and MFA programs include practical training in photography. However, an M.A. program typically involves less rigorous hands-on training in the art form, replaced by more liberal arts courses, compared to an MFA program.

Degrees Available Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts
Common Courses Photography history, black and white photography, photojournalism, fashion photography, portraiture
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree and a portfolio of your previous photography are needed for admission
Online Availability Fully online programs are available, but rare
Possible Careers Teacher, artist, photojournalist, photo editor, photo archivist

What Courses Will I Take?

While earning your master's degree in photography, you'll spend significant time studying and practicing many different forms of photography. This may include photojournalism, fashion photography, black and white photography, portraiture and photography for special events, such as weddings. Throughout your courses, you'll study the history of this field and its contemporary leaders; you'll then head off with your camera to gain practical experience.

You'll experiment with both digital and film photography. For digital photography, you'll learn about computer-based editing software. For film photography, you'll test varying traditional developing practices. Your training will also include the study of lighting, color and camera craft. Most programs culminate with you compiling a portfolio of your work; this portfolio will demonstrate your progress in terms of technique and artistic expression.

Are There Any Specific Admissions Requirements?

The most important element of your application to a master's photography program will be a portfolio of your photography. The schools to which you apply will evaluate your proficiency and creativity. They'll also be interested to know if you've exhibited, sold or published your photographs. Additionally, you'll need to have a bachelor's degree. In most cases, your undergraduate degree doesn't need to be in photography or another studio art.

Can I Pursue My Degree Online?

Online master's degree programs in photography are very rare. Most programs are campus-based in order to provide you with access to studio space, editing software and technical equipment. However, some programs offer online study options for at least some of your courses. In these courses, you can study from home in an asynchronous format.

You'll need access to a computer with high-speed Internet capabilities and, in some cases you'll need specific software relevant to the class you are taking. Most online photography programs require some residency requirements, such as brief residency periods or hybrid-learning options, in which you study both online and in a classroom.

What Can I Do with This Degree?

After completing your master's degree in photography, you can work as a professional photographer. You can be an artist, compiling exhibitions for museums and selling your work. You can also work in advertising, aerial photography, forensic photography, specialized printing or commercial photography. In journalism, you may work as a magazine or newspaper photographer, photo editor or photo archivist.

You can also teach photography at a college or university. In many cases, an MFA is seen as a terminal degree that qualifies you for post-secondary teaching, as a doctoral degree does in many other fields. Most employers don't consider an M.A. as providing adequate education for post-secondary teaching.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Illinois at Chicago

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Chicago
  • The New School

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York
  • School of Visual Arts

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York
  • San Francisco Art Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • California: San Francisco
  • Rhode Island School of Design

    Campus Locations:

    • Rhode Island: Providence
  • Marywood University

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Scranton
  • University of Illinois

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Chicago
  • Lesley University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge