Photography Classes and Courses in NYC with School Overviews

Dec 19, 2018

The New York City area has at least ten schools that offer photography programs, including several located within 30 miles of the downtown. Learn about the degree programs, admission information and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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New York City Photography Schools

Aspiring photographers in the New York City area can find programs at three private universities, which are summarized below. This resource also includes a table of essential school facts and a paragraph about two other colleges in the area that provide training in photography.

  • New York University, located right in downtown New York City, offers an undergraduate major in photography, through which students have access to photographic and imaging labs. Notable school features include high retention and graduation rates.
  • St. John's University - New York, in Queens, offers a bachelor's degree program, which explores both film and digital photography. The university is located 11 miles from New York City's downtown.
  • Long Island University's C. W. Post Campus provides photography students with the lowest tuition of the three schools. This large, private college is located 20 miles from downtown New York City in Brookville, NY, and offers both an undergraduate major and minor in photography.

Comparison of Schools

Students who would like to earn a degree in photography can use the following table to compare their chances of being accepted, financial aid prospects and tuition costs. Additional information about graduation percentages and retention rates, or the number of students who return after their first year of study, can also be found below.

New York University St. John's University - New York Long Island University - C. W. Post Campus
School Type Four-year, private not-for-profit* Four-year, private not-for-profit* Four-year, private not-for-profit*
Total Enrollment (2017) 51,123* 21,340* 8,499*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $50,464* $40,520* $36,978*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-2017) 54%* 100%* 92%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 28%* 68%* 83%*
Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017) 93% full-time, 71% part-time* 83% full-time, 33% part-time* 78% full-time, 33% part-time*
Graduation Rate (Students who started Fall 2011) 84%* 58%* 47%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

New York University (NYU)

The photography program at NYU is offer through the Tisch School of the Arts' Department of Photography and Imaging. In addition to photography facilities and labs, students have access to 10 full-time faculty members, as of 2018.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Imaging

Creative practice and critical studies are the focus of the 128-credit photography program. The program is composed of studio and production courses, critical studies, liberal arts and elective courses, such as visual thinking, photography and imagining multimedia and history. Students must complete directed projects in their senior year and participate in an exhibition.

St. John's University - New York

Students can find the photography program through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' fine arts department. The department features more than 40 faculty members, as of 2018, and offers internship opportunities.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

Alongside mastering photography's technical aspects, students learn the history of photography. The coursework delves into both film and digital photography and ensures that students are able to demonstrate realistic ideas and ethical responsibility in their work. As part of the curriculum, students create a professional portfolio.

Photography Minor

The 18-credit photography minor includes courses in history, digital photography, design and film. Students may also choose to take some courses abroad, including Paris, France, and Rome, Italy.

Long Island University - C. W. Post Campus

At the School of Visual Arts, Communications and Digital Technologies, students can complete a bachelor's degree and minor in photography, as well as programs in art history, art therapy, art and digital art. Once enrolled, students have access to more than 20 faculty members, as of 2018, and facilities such as darkrooms and a shooting studio. Additional school features include small class sizes and lectures conducted by guest artists.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

The 120-credit photography program examines concepts in lighting, experimental techniques, digital imaging and photography history. Students also examine different types of photographic techniques, such as commercial, documentary and studio photography. In the senior year of the program, students complete a photo tutorial and project, which culminates in an exhibition.

Minor in Photography

Long Island University offers a 21-credit photography minor. Requirements include 15 credits in core areas, such as the history of photography and silver gelatin printing, and six credits in electives.

Other School Options

About two miles from downtown New York City is Marymount Manhattan College, which offers a bachelor's degree program in photography. CUNY LaGuardia Community College, about three miles from New York City's downtown, has an associate's degree program in commercial photography.

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