Online Masters Degree in Photography: Program Info

Get information about online master's degree programs in photography. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career prospects.

Essential Information

Students may earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Photography through distance learning. Some programs are available entirely online, without any campus-visit requirements, while others are offered in a hybrid format that combine on-campus and online coursework. Some schools may require that students complete an internship.

The minimum admissions requirement is a bachelor's degree in the arts or fine arts. Once enrolled, students will need to practice their photography skills on their own time with specified equipment. Therefore, they must have a camera, access to a darkroom, and Adobe Photoshop software. The program can teach individuals about documentary, fashion, portrait, and journalistic photography. These programs typically end with a thesis in the form of a portfolio or an exhibition of work.

Master's Degree in Photography

In an online master's degree program in photography, students take courses that teach them to take artistic shots using both film and digital cameras. Students learn to use black and white film, find natural lighting, and edit photos. They acquire skills in taking professional-quality pictures, displaying them, and then editing them for the Web or print publications. Enrollment requirements include a bachelor's degree in the arts or the fine arts.

Information and Requirements

It takes about two years to complete an online master's degree program in photography. To complete online courses, students log on and watch video lectures, read professors' notes, participate in online activities and turn in assignments. Students can also interact with other students and instructors and participate in class discussions.

To complete the program, students must have reliable Internet access and a working computer. They also need a camera, access to a darkroom and Adobe Photoshop photo-editing software.

List of Common Photography Classes

Courses are flexible, and students can complete them asynchronously, mostly on their own time. Some classes may require that students participate in a virtual classroom, with regular due dates and class meeting times.

Digital Craft

Students study digital photography techniques and layouts. They learn to edit digital photos for color and composition.


How can photos tell a story? Through this course, students learn to select photographs that capture a moment in time that can be used to illustrate a story for a magazine or newspaper.

Issues and Trends in Contemporary Photography

Students explore aesthetic and practical issues for creating and displaying photographs in this class. They discuss issues pertinent to modern photographers, including shutter speed, capturing motion, editing pictures and displaying photos.


Through this class, students learn to use tools and techniques for image editing, color correction, and other effects. Students study the latest technology and use Photoshop to improve their work.

Career Information for Graduates

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the demand for photographers is expected to grow by 3% between 2014 and 2024, which is slower than the average career growth anticipated for all occupations in that time period. The mean annual salary for photographers in 2015 was $40,280.

Related Degree Options

Students may pursue master's degree programs in photography-related fields online. They may also find several online bachelor's degree programs in photography. Degree options include:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography
  • Master of Fine Arts in Illustration
  • Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Master of Arts in Fine Art

Hybrid and fully online master's degree programs in photography are available, and they generally offer instruction in advanced photography methods and technology. Since these programs are online, individuals often need to take, develop, and edit their own photographs to meet program requirements.

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