Photography Classes in Rhode Island with School Information

Aug 01, 2019

Research photography classes in Rhode Island, which currently has at least three colleges offering courses. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

Photography courses can be found at a community college, private university, and highly ranked design school in Rhode Island. Courses range from the beginning level to advanced graduate-level work within an associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree program in art or in photography. Students must provide their own camera for photography courses. Bachelor's students exhibit their work in their final year and graduate students have the opportunity to complete internships, in addition to a senior project and/or thesis. The following information details the photography programs available in Rhode Island, as well as a comparative chart for tuition costs and school settings.


Community College of Rhode Island

The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) has six campuses in total, but the Associate of Fine Arts degree program that can include photography courses is offered on the Liston campus in Providence, the Knight campus in Warwick, the Flanagan campus in Lincoln and the Newport County campus. Photo labs are found on the Flanagan and Knight campuses. Four courses within the art department focus on beginning and intermediate-level photography with 35mm cameras and beginning photography with digital cameras. The classes can be chosen to fulfill elective slots in the curriculum for the associate's degree.

Providence College

Located in the state capital of Providence, this 4-year private college of approximately 5,000 students is the only school of its kind in the country run by Dominican Friars. Photography classes are available through the bachelor's degree program in studio art. Studio art majors must pick a concentration by the end of their second year; available fields include drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, digital imaging, and photography. In addition to required liberal arts and general education courses, photography students take advanced courses in black and white photography and color photography. They also study artistry and techniques and have their work critiqued by faculty and peers. Students must develop work to show at a senior thesis exhibition at the end of their fourth year. A minor in studio art can also include several photography courses.

Rhode Island School of Design

Founded in 1877 and also located in Providence, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) offers 33 art and design majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels; options range from painting and sculpture to architecture and furniture design. The school offers both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography. Photography courses begin in an undergraduate student's second year, covering silver gelatin film technique in the first semester and digital processes in the second. In addition to learning technical processes, students take courses in history and critique of photography during their second and third years. Most of the fourth year of the undergraduate program is spent dedicated to a senior project, allowing students to focus on developing their own work, which may be displayed at a gallery on campus. In addition to formal coursework, students may also take up to two internships for credit; many RISD photography students intern at studios, newspapers, magazines, education programs or art galleries.

The Master of Fine Arts program in photography at RISD was ranked third in the country in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report. The program is less structured than at the undergraduate level and focuses more on individual creative work and research. Graduate students are expected to become familiar with theory and criticism in their field while developing the ability to speak and write critically about their own art. In addition, students must participate in a graduate thesis exhibition and submit a written thesis.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Photography Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-19)
Community College of Rhode Island 2-year, public; small city Associate of Fine Arts with Art Concentration $4,564 (in-state)
$12,156 (out-of-state)*
Providence College 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art $50,528*
Rhode Island School of Design 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography,
Master of Fine Arts in Photography
$50,960 (both undergraduate and graduate tuition and fees)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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