Professional Photography Master's Degree

A master's degree in photography may be something you'd like to pursue if you want to open your own photography studio or enhance your photography skills. For more information on degree programs and career options in this field, read below. Schools offering Photography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Master's Degree Program in Professional Photography Involve?

Earning your master's degree in professional photography can help you expand your knowledge of the fundamentals of photography. This might include developing your skills in retail photography, photojournalism, landscape photography and various other specialties. Additionally, these 2- to 3-year programs can teach you to incorporate technicalities and aesthetics of photography with basic elements of the craft.

Fully online programs are rare because of the hands-on nature of photography. However, some schools offer a 1-year master's program that has only some on-campus requirements.

Degree Programs Master of arts in photography, master of studies in photography
Common Courses History of photography, professional editing software, photojournalism
Other Requirements Internship may be required
Career Options Photojournalist, landscape photographer, advertising photographer
Median Salary (2018)$34,000* (for photographer)
Job Outlook (2016-26)6% decline* (for all photographers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Might I Learn at the Graduate Level?

A master's degree program for a career in professional photography likely will instruct you on the finer points of photographic mechanics, science and proper use of materials and equipment needed for the trade. While you're enrolled in a master's program, you might explore the history and evolution of the professional photography field, as well as current trends and industry advances. Courses might cover topics such as professional editing software, photojournalism practices and advanced camera operations. In addition to completing lectures and labs, you might take part in gallery visits, trade shows and internship opportunities.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Once you've completed your master's degree program in professional photography, you might find work in a specialized area of practice, such as:

  • Photojournalism
  • Landscape photography
  • Technical photography
  • Advertising photography
  • Art photography
  • Entertainment photography

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the number of jobs for professional photographers was expected to grow slower than the national average from 2016-2026 ( The BLS also reported that competition for available jobs could be intense since applicants were expected to outnumber available positions in industries that included news, business and art.

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