Photography Schools in Louisiana with Degree Program Overviews

Jul 30, 2019

Essential Information

Louisiana has roughly 9 schools that provide opportunities to study photography. The majority of these schools offer photography classes or concentrations within broader art degree programs. Programs lead to the award of bachelor's and master's degrees, although a few minors are also available. Students will likely be expected tp provide their own camera, but campus resources such as studio spaces or film development labs will vary by school. Students may have the opportunity to show their work through on-campus exhibitions.

The summaries below briefly explain the relevant programs available at each school, and the chart can be used to help compare schooling options.

Centenary College

This private college in Shreveport offers a minor and a bachelor's program in studio arts that allow students to take photography classes. To complete the studio arts minor, students take classes in drawing, 3D art and art history. Students can take 2 electives in photography as part of the minor.

Students in the bachelor's degree program can also expect to take foundational art courses in drawing, art history, design and sculpture. Within the major, students can choose to follow the photography course sequence and explore topics like aperture effects, shutter speed and digital darkroom techniques. Assignments may be related to commercial photography, photojournalism and fine art photography.

Louisiana State University - Shreveport

Students in Shreveport who want to learn about photography can enroll in this university's Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts program. Within the studio arts concentration, students can take a digital photography course. This course focuses on aesthetic interpretation and composition. It also makes available to students Apple computers and photography software programs, so students can gain experience with digital photo computer manipulation.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

At Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, students can study photography at the undergraduate level. Art majors can pursue a minor in photography, completing 15-18 credits of photography classes. The BFA program offers a concentration in photography with courses like intermediate and advanced photography, basic digital photography and color photography.

A small group of 4 faculty members, recognized as documentary and fine art photographers, teach photography classes. The School of Art houses darkrooms, studios and an art gallery. Student photographers may consider joining the Society of Notoriously Artistic Photographers, which has monthly meetings, sponsors artists' talks and organizes visits to exhibitions.

Louisiana Tech University

The city of Ruston is home to Louisiana Tech University, where students can complete programs that lead to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Photography. The MFA program in photography is available to students with relevant bachelor's degrees. The program requires 60 credits and is grounded in studio work. Each graduate student receives his or her own studio to work in during the 3 years it takes to complete the program. Students can expect to conduct research in the photography field. They also develop a body of work as part of a thesis project, which is presented in an exhibition.

Nicholls State University

Located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Nicholls State University offers a degree program leading to a BFA in Art with a concentration in photography and digital media. The general art core curriculum covers beginning drawing and design, various studio arts courses and art history courses. In photography courses at beginning through advanced levels, students learn camera operations, darkroom techniques, photo editing, lighting and visual communication.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Through its School of Creative and Performing Arts, this Natchitoches-based school has degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that allow students to focus on photography. Students can take photography courses while pursuing a BFA in Studio Art. Core art courses in this major include printmaking, art history and painting.

At the graduate level, students may study photography while pursuing the Master of Arts in Art. Students may complete the 33-credit curriculum on campus or in a hybrid format. In addition to art history, students take 18 credits of studio electives. A 6-credit thesis exhibition is required.

Tulane University of Louisiana

This university in New Orleans has undergraduate and graduate options for students who want to study photography, including B.A., BFA and MFA in Studio Art programs, as well as a minor. While photography at Tulane is grounded in traditional photography, students also study digital photography and alternative processes. Undergraduate photography courses cover digital and chemical processes, various photographic techniques and photography history. Upper-level undergraduate photography courses give students access to a lighting studio and digital imaging lab, among other resources and facilities. Students in advanced courses have constant access to a shared darkroom.

The Master of Fine Arts program lets students concentrate in photography. The 60-credit program takes about 2 years to complete. Between 30 and 42 of the required credits are dedicated to the student's chosen studio discipline(s). Art history classes and MFA seminars are also required. Additionally, each student must write a thesis, present a thesis exhibition and pass an oral exam.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The Lafayette campus of the University of Louisiana offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in photography. The curriculum offers photography courses at the introductory, intermediate and advanced levels. Students also take core art courses in art history, design and drawing. The program concludes with a 2-semester senior project seminar and portfolio. While completing the curriculum, students can take advantage of the 2,200-square-foot studio, which consists of working space, enlargers, darkrooms, printers, computers, format cameras and lighting equipment.

University of New Orleans

About 10 miles from downtown New Orleans, the University of New Orleans allows students to study photography at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In the broad-based Bachelor of Arts in Art program, students can pursue a concentration in art history or studio art. Within the studio arts concentration, students have the opportunity to complete a 9-credit advanced studio option in advanced imaging. Digital media, printmaking and photography are considered advanced imaging courses. Undergraduates take foundational art courses in design, drawing, sculpture and painting before taking the advanced studio courses. The program also requires completion of a senior project, which may be in photography.

The MFA program isn't specific to any particular medium. Graduate fine arts students complete studio courses in a major and minor, as well as MFA seminars and art history courses. A written thesis and thesis exhibition are required. Photography facilities for undergraduate and graduate students include a darkroom, a print-finishing area and a film-developing room. In addition, photography students have access to the Electronic Imaging Laboratory.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Photography Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Centenary College 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsized city Minor in Studio Arts,
Bachelor of Arts in Art - Studio Arts
Louisiana State University - Shreveport 4-year, public; midsized city Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art - Studio Art $7,327* for in-state students
$20,481* for out-of-state students
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College 4-year, public; midsized city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art - Photography $11,950* in-state, $28,627* out-of-state
Louisiana Tech University 4-year, public; distant town Master of Fine Arts in Photography $9,603* in-state graduate
$16,344* out-of-state graduate*
Nicholls State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art - Photography/Digital Media $7,952* in-state, $9,045* out-of-state
Northwestern State University of Louisiana 4-year, public; remote town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Master of Arts in Art
$7,922 in-state; $18,710 out-of-state; $8,909 in-state graduate, $19,697 out-of-state graduate*
Tulane University of Louisiana 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Minor in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art - Photography
$54,896 graduate*
University of Louisiana at Lafayette 4-year, public; midsized city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography $9,912 in-state, $23,640 out-of-state*
University of New Orleans 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Art - Studio Art,
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
$8,771 in-state, $13,607 out-of-state; $8,514 in-state graduate, $13,084 out-of-state graduate*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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