10 Best Colleges with Online Degrees in Photography in 2023

A picture, says the old adage, is worth a thousand words.

A single picture can speak volumes about the people in it. It can convey messages more clearly and provide an audience with visuals of the emotions that the messenger wants to express. It can immortalize special moments that only happen at least once in life. This is because photography captures the rawness of the moment within simple photographs.

Online Bachelor's in Photography - fact

Nowadays, photography has become increasingly popular, thanks to the advancement of technology and the accessibility of cameras. Furthermore, more and more people are considering a career in photography or looking to further their education in this field. Fortunately, the availability of online education has made it easier than ever to earn a bachelor’s degree in photography, regardless of your location or schedule.

A bachelor’s degree in photography will not only hone your skills but more importantly, prepare you for work doing various types of photography, including fashion, fine art, portrait, commercial, editorial, and documentary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics discloses that employment opportunities for photographers will increase by 9% by 2031.

The Lowdown

This article features some of the top colleges and universities that offer the best online bachelor’s degree program in photography across the United States. These online programs will prepare the next generation of photographers to be skilled, creative, and unique in how they capture special moments on camera.

Graduates of online Photography degree programs will have the necessary knowledge and skills to work in diverse settings, from still life to editorial, architectural to fashion, and photojournalism to sports. This proves that having the necessary credentials opens a whole new world of opportunities for those who want to make a living out of photography.


In the United States, many reputable Photography schools online offer the program. To know which school to attend in order to earn a Photography degree, it’s important to consider a few factors that will affect the quality of education and your foreseeable future.

This article is aimed at helping you save the time and effort of scouring the entire cyberspace to find the best schools that offer online bachelor’s degrees in Photography. With this photography degree programs methodology, we picked the following educational institutions offering online Photography degrees based on certain criteria to ensure getting the best quality education.

  • Provides students with the flexibility and convenience to study at their own pace with fully online Photography programs or hybrid degrees,
  • Offers online Photography degree online coursework aimed at providing students with the right education and training in various photography tools, processes, and techniques,
  • Provides graduates with valuable knowledge and skills for jobs as photographers for portrait, commercial, fashion, wildlife, family, pets, weddings, events, newborns, real estate, and more,
  • Accepts federal financial aid, transfer credits, grants, and scholarships,
  • Ensures the school meets educational standards set by accrediting bodies, such as the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC).

Check out our Methodology section for more information.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Photography Degree Programs

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

The Academy of Art University is one of the popular accredited online photography schools that offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. This is an excellent online degree program that will help enhance students’ photography skills and provide them with the knowledge and tools to become highly sought-after photographers in the future.

  • Develop the professional aptitude and skills to get ahead of the competition in the global art and design marketplace,
  • Create a portfolio that will showcase their knowledge and talents in their chosen field of art and design,
  • Convey their artistic ideas professionally and be able to connect with their target audience through their oral, written, and visual presentation skills,
  • Immerse in various communities outside of the classroom through study abroad programs, student interest clubs, internship opportunities, athletics, as well as pro bono, civic, and collaborative projects,
  • Make sound decisions that will optimize the cohesiveness, memorability, and conceptual impact of images,
  • Produce high-quality prints that display their knowledge of archival qualities, such as paper and ink stability.
What Makes This Program Unique:

Students enrolled in the online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography degree program will have a chance to learn in a creative environment and a fully equipped photography studio. Students will be able to work and learn in a real-world studio with industry standards tools and facilities.

Did You Know?

The Academy of Art University offers Learning Management System (LMS) that provides online students with the necessary learning materials to earn a degree wherever they are. Professional instructors teach online students to ensure the same learning opportunities for both online and on-campus learners.

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Arts and Design

Bachelor of Arts in Photography

Through Savannah College of Art and Design’s Bachelor of Arts in Photography, students who are interested in this field will gain the knowledge and skills to develop their artistic vision in fine art, documentary, and commercial photography. This program will teach students the full photography spectrum as they launch their creative careers.

  • Curriculum that focuses on marketing and business acumen
  • 24/7 access to the Museum of Art, SCAD’s premier contemporary art museum, to attend film screenings, lectures, workshops, gallery talks, and academic classes
  • An art gallery owner provides students with mentorship and technology to help them turn their passion into businesses
What Makes This Program Unique:

Photography students at SCAD are given the option to travel to any approved location to give them opportunities for meaningful collaborations and to broaden their perspectives. Majors are also given a chance to showcase their skills through deFINE ART, an annual symposium for artists and designers from all over the world to exhibit their works across various locations in the school.

Did You Know?

Photography graduates of Savannah College of Art and Design are highly sought-after image-makers all over the globe with some even earning commissions from Facebook, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Ralph Lauren.

This is thanks to SCAD’s commitment to ensuring students learn through state-of-the-art facilities and technology, including professional-level cameras, shooting studios, and film-processing labs.

California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Media

The curriculum for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Media at the California Institute of the Arts is designed to challenge traditional notions of art. It is distinguished by the school’s commitment to technical courses that address changes in theoretical coursework and image-making toolsets.

Faculty members and members provide majors with guidance and collegial advice to ensure the development of the skills necessary to excel as lens-based artists in the future.

  • Has a Digital Arts minor that will help students have a deeper understanding of the development, engineering, and designing of innovative systems
  • Holds workshops to introduce majors to the fundamentals of photography and media-based practice, including processes, technologies, and techniques
  • Coursework consists of topics that are aimed at honing students’ skills and knowhow required to get from concept to realization, including lighting, moving images, printing, sound production, and camera techniques
  • Classes are taught by faculty members who are recognized scholars in their own disciplines
What Makes This Program Unique:

The General Education curriculum for this program is designed to help students develop the communication and analytical skills needed to produce challenging and innovative art and to translate their vision into the larger social context.

Did You Know?

BFA in Photography and Media students are to complete 46 units of Critical Studies coursework, as well as pick courses from humanities, social sciences, mathematics and science, and cultural studies. Majors can also enroll in writing and computer science courses.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a Concentration in Photography

The goal of Arizona State University’s online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a Concentration in Photography is to guide students in developing their photography skills through one of the finest degree programs in the United States. Learners will be taught about the analysis and production of photographs as a creative expression through a wide range of media, such as analog, digital, and 19th-century processes.

  • Classes are taught by ASU’s photography faculty members that represent various photo-based art production approaches and are active participants in cooperative and nonprofit galleries in downtown Phoenix
  • Taught to be self-directed and self-disciplined in understanding complex ideas around the function of images in their work
  • Join the ASU Photographers’ Association to gain camaraderie among their peers and to get access to demos, exhibitions, and portfolio reviews
  • Photography curriculum includes Representation Lab, a series of courses that give students a chance to produce, assess, and disseminate works that challenge popular American cultural narratives
What Makes This Program Unique:

Faculty members have professional experience in various genres and encourage learners to cultivate technical expertise and creative ideas that will honor the history of photography and explore various media. Learners will also be able to have real-world experience through the Northlight Gallery, a photographic archive and gallery inside the university.

Did You Know?

All ASUS academic programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers many federal financial aid options, including loans, scholarships, fellowships, student employment, and teaching assistantship.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Bachelor of Arts in Digital Photography

Southern New Hampshire University’s BA in Digital Photography will help individuals kick-start their career journey in the art of photography. This online program provides learners with a strong foundation in technical skills and at the same time, enhances their visual literacy at a fraction of the cost.

  • Receive support and get access to the online classroom and learning resources 24/7
  • Learn about digital camera operation, post-production editing, lighting equipment use and techniques, and legal, entrepreneurial, and marketing aspects
  • Have access to a robust feedback process to enhance their learning experience and help them curate their professional portfolio
  • Enroll in General Education courses to help them enhance their critical-thinking, creative, and collaborative skills
What Makes This Program Unique:

SNHU is committed to making higher education more affordable and accepts transfer credits of up to 90 credits. It is a transfer-friendly program, allowing majors to pursue other academic interests, such as graphic design, communication, and marketing, alongside the photography degree program.

Did You Know?

SNHU has received recognition for the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). Because of this, 93.6% of online students recommend this university, according to a survey in 2022.

State University of New York New Paltz

State University of New York New Paltz

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

At SUNY New Paltz, individuals are required to take Foundation courses to apply for the BFA Photography. These courses focus on collaboration and community through events and activities that prepare freshmen students for critical and creative participation and continued education in other areas of art and design.

  • Enhance students’ knowhow of various cultural backgrounds and contemporary trends in studio art, design, and art education
  • Communicate students’ comprehension of art and design by writing, illustrating, and speaking about their social, political, cultural, aesthetic, and historical context
  • Cultivate self-awareness and articulate experiences as artists, designers, educators, and members of society
  • Foster collaboration and active participation in local and international art, design, and communities
  • Establish professional connections to encourage continual learning and sustainable practices
What Makes This Program Unique:

The photography program at SUNY New Paltz will have access to critique rooms and digital labs and be able to use large-format printers and scanners, a film-developing room, a mounting and cutting room, a lighting studio, and an 18-station black-and-white darkroom. Majors will also be able to use a range of digital and analog cameras and other equipment.

Did You Know?

Applicants for the BFA Photography will need to submit a written statement and portfolio. They will also be required to take all courses on the Plan of Study and meet college and departmental requirements. For their last two semesters, students will enroll in Senior Studio I and Senior Studio II and submit a written proposal and relevant samples of work.

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

With Rhode Island School of Design’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, students will be able to examine and explore historical, cultural, and social contexts to better understand the medium and discipline.

This program also has guided discussions and close observation to teach learners to read images and enhance their visual literacy to make meaningful work.

  • Explore analog and digital techniques and processes through conventional darkroom print production, camera formats, and digital workflows
  • Examine photographs closely to develop critical-thinking and visual literacy skills based on the history of photography
  • Experiment with various photographic mediums, subjects, approaches, and materials
  • Produce self-directed projects, methods of research, areas of injury, and abstract and conceptual ideas through public presentations, group critiques, and writing assignments
  • Complete a written thesis as the capstone project that is a definition of the evolution and scope of their work
What Makes This Program Unique:

The photography department has the Red Eye Gallery, the Design Center’s dedicated exhibition space for students. Aside from that, the department has an equipment checkout center called Photo Cage, which has high-end analog and digital cameras for use by majors to ensure they will be able to have a wide range of technical exploration.

Did You Know?

Applicants for the photography degree must present 12 to 20 work samples to showcase their skills, ideas, experimentation, curiosity, and experience in creating. Students are also advised to include research or preparatory work up to three portfolio slides or uploads.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography to help learners realize their dream of doing what they love for a living. Classes are aimed at helping students develop the necessary technical skills through a curriculum that covers the business aspects of photography and the creation of portfolios that reflect their unique, artistic visions.

  • Visual storytelling
  • Cinematography + video
  • Digital imaging
  • Lighting
  • Commercial photography
  • Marketing + business operations
What Makes This Program Unique:

RMCAD offers students multiple scheduling options, experience in the virtual environment, and various learning modalities by requiring all on-campus students to take part in online education.

This school provides numerous opportunities for students to acquire real-world experiences through gallery exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and visits to artists.

Did You Know?

RMCAD’s financial aid office can help students determine the best way to pay for their tuition. Students can apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), scholarships, private grants, and work-study programs.

Liberty University

Liberty University - Online

Bachelor of Science in Digital Design – Photographic Design

The Bachelor of Science in Digital Design – Photographic Design is offered by Liberty University 100% online. This degree program is designed to help students harness the power of photography and offer them invaluable knowledge and resources that can help them take their careers further in the future.

  • Introduction to 2D and 3D designs, studying the history of art and its connection to technology and culture
  • Study vector illustration, digital imaging, and typography
  • Have in-depth knowhow of graphic design, digital photography, principles of marketing, fundamentals of editing, and professional practices for photographers
  • Train principled leaders who pursue standards of professional and personal excellence
What Makes This Program Unique:

Liberty University is recognized for its accessibility, affordability, and academic quality. The institution is also committed to providing affordable education, providing all undergraduates with electronic textbooks at no cost to the students.

Did You Know?

Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The university’s online photography degree program is taught by professional faculty members who have years of experience in photography and digital design.

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design with Emphasis in Photography

Lindenwood University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design with Emphasis in Photography is offered both on-campus and online to equip students with the required technical knowledge and skills to have a future career in photography in the future. The first thing students will learn from this program is the foundational principles of web design, videography, and photography.

  • Focuses on problem-solving, creativity, teamwork, mastery of craftsmanship and technique, and project development
  • Major coursework includes Introduction to Art and Design, Visual Storytelling, Digital Photography, History of Western Art, Adobe Certification in Photoshop, and Advanced 3D
What Makes This Program Unique:

All courses for the photography emphasis program are asynchronous, allowing students to learn at their own pace.

This program uses immersive reality technologies integrated into the curriculum, requiring students to use virtual reality headsets.

Did You Know?

Lindenwood University is an institution approved by the National Council State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), which means that it follows national standards for interstate postsecondary distance learning.

This university accepts transfer credits from select community colleges to meet its general education requirements.

Salary Outlook for BS Photography Graduates

Each year, around 12,700 job openings for photographers are projected over the last decade.

While a photography degree isn’t usually required for portrait photographers, many people take classes to hone their skills and have better chances of landing better-paying jobs in the future.

Here’s a salary outlook for professional photographers nowadays:

  • Art Directors – $100,890
  • Film and Video Editors – $62,680
  • Set and Exhibit Designers – $54,860
  • Graphic Designers – $50,710
  • Photographers — Broadcasting (Except Internet) – $50,128
  • Craft and Fine Artists – $49,960
  • Media and Communication Equipment Workers – $48,921
  • Photographers — Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers – $47,132
  • Desktop Publishers – $46,910
  • Photographers — Photographic Services – $36,753

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a bachelor’s in Photography worth it?

While not all photographers have a bachelor’s degree in photography, those who do are able to gain the latest technical and professional knowledge and skills required to advance in their careers.

Aside from that, internships provide graduates with real-world digital photography program experience that helps them break into a highly competitive market.  

How much does it cost to get a bachelor’s in Photography?

The average tuition for an undergraduate online bachelor’s degree in Photography is $27,238.

What are the common entry requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Photography online?

An online Photography school typically requires applicants to submit a portfolio of their work in digital form. Aside from an admission interview, some schools may require a written admission application letter.

Summary Points

  • An online bachelor’s degree in Photography may be required by employers to prove an applicant’s technical and theoretical knowledge and skills, as well as professional photography, fine art photography, and fashion photography techniques and innovative approaches.
  • Through an online degree program in online Photography schools, working individuals will have more flexibility and convenience in pursuing a diploma in photography to become commercial photographers or begin their own photography business.
  • Earning an advanced digital photography degree will give students a chance to work on projects that will give them practical experience that can give them an edge over the competition.

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