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Photography Classes in Boston with Degree Program Options

There are about six schools within 25 miles of Boston that have photography classes. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Boston Photography Schools

Several colleges in the Boston area offer photography classes and programs for enterprising students. This article highlights three of the closest schools, all of which are 14 miles or less from downtown Boston. The table compares important school information, like enrollment numbers, tuition figures and graduation rates. Also provided is a short paragraph discussing another local school option.

  • Situated 3.4 miles from downtown Boston, Lesley University features a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Photography, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Photography and a Minor in Photography.
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design, which is 1.8 miles from downtown, offers a BFA in Photography, MFA in Photography and a post-baccalaureate certificate in photography.
  • Students at Salem State University, which is 13.9 miles from downtown Boston, can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art with a concentration in photography.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Cinematography and Film Production
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Comparison of Schools

By comparing valuable school statistics, the following table can make it easier to choose the right school.

Lesley University Massachusetts College of Art and Design Salem State University
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit university 4-year; public college 4-year; public university
Total Enrollment (2017) 4,732* 2,064* 8,702*
Campus Setting Midsize city Large city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $26,675* $12,700 in-state;
$34,400 out-of-state*
$10,278 in-state; $16,706 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 98%* 98%* 90%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 73%* 71%* 82%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 80%* 87%* 77%*
Graduation Rate (students who began studies in Fall 2011) 60%* 73%* 52%*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

Lesley University

This university offers 2 undergraduate programs and 1 graduate program in photography, and students get ample experience with the photographic equipment and facilities available at the school. Photography program graduates are prepared for work in photojournalism, fine arts photography and documentary photography, among other areas.

Minor in Photography

For this minor, 15 credits in photography and related electives are required. Students can take courses such as color photography, digital printing and photo foundation, as well as seminars and labs.

BFA in Photography

Students receive a strong foundation in photography basics and technical studies and will be prepared to work in traditional and new media formats. Documentary photography, history of photography, and contemporary trends are some of the topics explored. A portfolio course is required, and students have their work evaluated by industry professionals.

MFA in Photography

This graduate program is made up of 60 credits, 15% of which give students the chance to participate in teaching assistantships, internships, mentoring programs and fellowships. Students also develop their aesthetic skills in photography and learn how society interacts with visual media. All students must do thesis work for a final exhibition and submit a written thesis as well.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Students can choose undergraduate, graduate or professional studies at this college. The BFA program provides foundational coursework in the art of photography, while the master's degree and post-baccalaureate certificate programs feature more advanced coursework and opportunities for photographers. Applicants to the MFA program need to submit a resume and portfolio.

BFA in Photography

In this program, students learn about different photography formats and a variety of equipment and become adept at color and black-and-white photography techniques. Digital, printing and fine art processes for photography are also important topics.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Photography

This 1-year program is intended for professional photographers who want to receive advanced training and develop their portfolios. Students take studio courses, electives, independent study and photography history courses.

MFA in Photography

This full-time degree program is 60 credits in length and focuses on photography for self-expression. Students develop skills in art, photography and photographic experimentation. Electives include lighting for photography, alternative camera techniques, landscape photo and advanced digital projects.

Salem State University

Salem State University offers a liberal arts program in art with a specialization in photography. Applicants to the program must submit a portfolio of their artwork.

BA in Art with a Concentration in Photography

In this program, students develop their creativity while learning how photography relates to society, ethics and culture. Classes train students in a variety of photography techniques for the darkroom, as well as in solid principles of design. Other courses include color, printmaking, form and electronic media.

Other School Option

Photography classes are also offered at Montserrat College of Art, a 4-year, private school located 17.3 miles from downtown Boston in Beverly, MA.


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