Check the Guide to Accreditation in Higher Education to learn more about accreditation and how to determine if the program you select meets the necessary standards. Note that there is no official accrediting agency in the United States specifically for photography degree programs, so many hiring managers use school prestige and ranking as a way to assess the quality of your education and degree. Therefore, you should always attend an institutionally accredited school to distinguish your resumé and skill set from others.
Associate Degree in Photography
An Associate Degree in Photography is a good option for students who want an introductory primer to the history and process of photography.
- Credit hours/length of study: 1-2 years
- Employment prospects: An associate degree will qualify you to become a print worker, desktop application publisher or an independent photographer.
Bachelor’s Degree in Photography
Most Bachelor’s in Photography programs don’t offer specialty degrees but do offer specialty courses. Some online and on-campus programs will have niche specializations in fashion and marketing, but most degree programs are comprehensive and offer courses across the career spectrum. For example, you won’t find an abundance of wedding photography degrees, but you will find programs that offer a course in events and wedding photography.
- Credit hours/length of study: 4 years
- Employment prospects: A bachelor’s degree is a great choice if you are looking to hone your technical camera skills or expand your job outlook. Specifically, you can find work as a photojournalist, an aerial photographer or an industrial photographer.
Master’s Degree in Photography
A Master’s in Photography is for those who want to distinguish their skills further. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for professional purposes, but a master’s will give you proper credentials for studio management positions. Additionally, you could create your own imaging company or act as a consultant for businesses that require appealing visual marketing campaigns.
- Credit hours/length of study: 2-3 years
- Employment prospects: one or two sentences
- Advertising and Commercial Photography
- Architecture Photography
- Fashion Photography
- Food Photography
- Portrait Photography
- Product Photography
- Sports Photography
- Wedding Photography