Photography Degree Programs

Study photography online

Digital technology has revolutionized the world of photography and made it possible for students to learn the intricacies of the photographic arts without ever setting foot inside a traditional classroom. Online photography programs combine theory and practice, introducing students to essential foundational concepts before sending them out in the world, camera in hand. Today's advanced digital cameras and imaging devices make it easy to transfer photographs from a memory card to a computer, and students can quickly and easily get feedback from their instructors and fellow students.

However, one word of caution about online photography programs: if you are interested in traditional photography -- the kind that uses manual analog cameras, film and darkrooms -- you are much better off attending physical classes than online classes. While you can learn a lot about photographic theory in an online class, there is no replicating the kind of hands-on instruction you will need to master the arts of film development and printmaking.

Online Photography Programs

You can take both diploma programs and degree programs in photography. The distinction between the two is not usually of high importance to prospective employers; rather, if you want to explore a serious interest in photography by studying a wide range of important technical, historical and aesthetic concepts in great detail, a degree program will likely be a better fit. On the other hand, if you are looking to build new skills in a relatively short period of time, a diploma program will probably suit your needs very well.

With those caveats in mind, here is a closer look at some of the top online photography programs available to students:

Photography Degree Programs
  • New York Institute of Photography. New York is a great place to study the arts, and the New York Institute of Photography is one of the best-regarded photographic arts schools in the country. While its tuition rates are relatively high compared to many other programs, you will get excellent training from seasoned and accomplished instructors. The New York Institute of Photography also offers students the option to combine online and traditional education, and provides comprehensive education for people looking to transition into careers as professional photographers.
  • The Perfect Picture School of Photography. This school offers four different program streams: one for beginners and intermediate students, one for intermediate and advanced students, one for aspiring professionals, and one for digital photographic technologies. Students proceed through all four streams, building high-level skills that translate well to the professional world. The school also offers a limited money-back guarantee.
  • Fodor's Travel Photography. If you are interested in travel photography, studying with Fodor's can be an excellent starting point. Fodor's is one of the leading names in travel publishing, and its name recognition can go a long way towards enhancing your job prospects.
  • School of Photography. If you're interested in developing photography skills in a casual environment, the School of Photography's seven-module program is an affordable option for personal enrichment students. Seven different modules are available, beginning with the introductory Basic and Digital Imaging courses. The five advanced modules include Freelance Photography, Wedding Photography, Black and White Photography, Landscape Photography and Glamor Photography. You can take as many or as few of these modules as you wish.

These are but a few of the many options available to you if you want to pursue your interest in digital photography through online courses. If you are planning to enroll in a degree program, check with the Department of Education (or the equivalent government agency in your country) to make sure the school is accredited. Avoid degree programs from unaccredited institutions, as your degree will not be officially recognized.