Digital Photography Schools and Colleges in Washington

Aug 01, 2019

Research digital photography programs in Washington, which currently has roughly nine universities and colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for seven of these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

Individuals interested in earning a photography degree in Washington have less than ten universities and colleges to choose from. However, among these schools, students can select from certificate, associate's, bachelor's, and master's programs. These programs generally teach both digital and analog photography. Graduate programs may ask to see portfolios of work from applicants, but undergraduate programs usually facilitate the development of such portfolios. Students may have the opportunity to show their work through on-campus exhibits.

Below are seven public and private not-for-profit schools that offer digital photography programs in Washington.

Central Washington University

Central Washington University in Ellensburg offers a photography concentration within its Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art degree program. This concentration can teach students to visually examine their surroundings and communicate that into photographic images. The curriculum covers technical skills, such as black and white photography, studio lighting and digital photography. Students have their work exhibited quarterly, and they can attend regional and national Society for Photographic Education conferences. University facilities include digital imaging labs, lighting kits and darkrooms.

Edmonds Community College

Situated in Lynnwood, this community college offers an associate's program in photography. Topics covered include black and white photography, digital photography, photographic history, and human photography. Students have access to wet labs for analog processing and digital labs to enhance images.

Seattle University

Seattle University in Seattle offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography program that emphasizes critical theory, photographic techniques and portfolio development. Students must pass a portfolio review after their sophomore year to pursue this major. The university also offers a bachelor's program in interdisciplinary arts with a photography emphasis that allows students to explore multiple artistic mediums. In addition, students have access to the Photographic Center Northwest, a non-profit community arts center that hosts workshops featuring internationally known photographers.

Spokane Falls Community College

Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane has an associate's degree program in photography. This intensive, 2-year program is designed to prepare graduates for career opportunities in multimedia production and commercial photography. Students can study topics such as composition and artistic design, while gaining technical skills in lighting, camera operation and digital technology. Courses include landscape and nature photography, portraiture, professional business practices, portfolio development and photojournalism.

University of Washington - Seattle Campus

Students in the Seattle area who are looking to improve their photographic abilities can enroll in a 9-month certificate program at the University of Washington - Seattle Campus. The curriculum includes three evening courses and covers analog and digital techniques. Students also have the opportunity to exhibit their work.

Washington State University

Located in Pullman, Washington State University offers photography degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. The bachelor's programs focus on photography within a studio art context. Students utilize various technical tools and can acquire the conceptual skills to critically review images. The master's program is competitive and selective. Facilities available for photography students include a professional lighting studio, digital print labs and traditional wet darkrooms, as well as various cameras and equipment. Graduate students are given their own studio and darkroom.

Western Washington University

Western Washington University in Bellingham offers a professional Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in photography. This 180-credit program provides students with cross-disciplinary training and a strong foundation in photography. Students develop knowledge and technical skills through projects, seminars, coursework, exhibitions and studies. Their body of academic work is displayed during a final BFA exhibition. The university's facilities include darkrooms and digital labs, and students have access to various cameras and equipment.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Photography Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
Central Washington University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in photography $8,072 (in-state); $23,053 (out-of-state)*
Edmonds Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Arts in Photography $4,136 (in-state); $9,506 (out-of-state)*
Seattle University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography,
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Arts with an emphasis in photography
Spokane Falls Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Photography $3,547 (in-state); $8,914 (out-of-state)*
University of Washington - Seattle Campus 4-year, public; large city Certificate in Photography $11,207 (in-state); $36,588 (out-of-state)*
Washington State University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts in Photography,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography,
Master of Fine Arts in Photography
$11,584 (in-state); $25,820 (out-of-state)*
Western Washington University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a photography concentration $8,126 (in-state); $23,540 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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