Online Photography Degree

The School of Photography at Academy of Art University is one of the preeminent photography schools in the nation. Today's photography industry is in demand of highly educated professionals who can combine technical proficiency with visual creativity. Our forward-reaching curriculum is designed to teach students the skills necessary to succeed in this field.

Through innovative curriculum, we encourage students to develop their individual styles and coach them to create powerful portfolios demonstrating their unique artistic visions. In addition to providing students with the necessary technical, conceptual and professional skills, we also support our students with excellent networking opportunities with industry professionals. Our instructors are active professionals chosen for their expertise and achievements, as well as their working knowledge of contemporary trends in the industry.

Through effective and innovative curriculum, access to highly trained faculty, guidance in exceptional portfolio development, and support through professional connections in the industry, students in our photography degree programs graduate with the unique skills and vision required for success.

Online Degrees

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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program provides students with a solid foundation in technical, aesthetic, critical, and practical skills necessary to thrive in the challenging and diverse photography profession. Under the guidance of our faculty of photography professionals, students will refine their individual photographic style in terms of both content and approach. Once fundamental technical and design skills are solidified, the student will select an area of specialization—fine art, art for commerce, or documentary. They will then be guided through advanced curriculum relevant to their professional goals as a photographer.

The philosophy of the program is to foster the development of a unique independent approach to the medium, to offer guidance as students develop dynamic and cohesive portfolios, and to provide the skill sets necessary for graduates to successfully thrive in the marketplace upon graduation.

Master of Arts (MA) Degree

The MA in Photography program provides professional practice and intensive study of the photographic medium. Core curriculum covers historical perspective, in addition to advanced theoretical and conceptual development in traditional, experimental and digital photography capture, post-production and output with a focus on the development of a signature portfolio in the student’s area of interest (Fine Art Photography, Documentary, or Art for Commerce).

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

The Master of Fine Arts program imparts a high level of digital and traditional photography skill and graduate-level aesthetic theory, and it substantially educates and supports students in their investigation of the applied and fine arts specializations. This is accomplished through the mastery of specific skills according to the student's needs, strong education in relation to relevant theory, emphasis on the student's personal vision, a professional faculty that provides depth as well as breadth of experience, and facilities that provide a professional context for study.

Students have the opportunity to concentrate, learning about core principles related to photography as a medium. Our school supports graduate students in becoming leaders rather than followers in their area of specialization.

Photography courses include a mix of studio courses, individual advisement, and seminars. Strong conceptual and technical knowledge is the underpinning of the curriculum, with a powerful and cohesive final thesis project being the tangible result.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

The Associate of Arts program develops technically and aesthetically sound photographers, capable of successfully entering and competing in the photography marketplace upon graduation. Students are led through a series of classes conducted by working professionals in the field of photography, providing them with an understanding of photographic design. Instructors guide each student to finding his or her style, both in content and approach. Armed with technical skills along with design and concept knowledge, the student may develop a cohesive portfolio that has a personal signature in every image.


Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests and schedule. Enhance your knowledge, learn a new skill, or try out a new form of art.

Online Class Demo

Photography: Basic Light Positions

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Online Programs

Academy of Art’s innovative online program offers students the ability to receive instruction from career photographers in an intimate, cutting-edge environment. With individualized instruction and highly interactive discussions, take advantage of our global online photography community. Our advanced courses include one-on-one mentoring opportunities with iconic photographers in the industry. Our program provides the perfect opportunity to advance your skills and unleash your creativity as a photographer. 
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Get to Know Us

Ryan Baldwin

Vice President of Online Education & Director of Online Photography

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
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