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Photography Schools in Ohio with Degree Program Information

Jul 19, 2019

Ohio has twelve schools that offer photography programs. Learn about the degrees and certificates, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Ohio students can choose from several schools offering both undergraduate degree and certificate programs in photography. In addition to classroom instruction and studio time practicing their skills, students in photography programs are encouraged to develop a portfolio of work and may be exposed to seminars, internship opportunities, or cooperative work experiences. Students will need to provide their own cameras, but will have access to a range of resources, which vary by school, including editing software in computer labs, lighting equipment, and/or studio space.

This article profiles the largest schools in Ohio to offer photography programs, not including for-profits, along with a comparison table with the individual programs and costs.


Art Academy of Cincinnati

The Art Academy of Cincinnati is a 4-year university that offers a major in photography. Students will complete coursework in topics of black and white, digital, color and darkroom photography. A senior seminar is included in this program. International artists visit this school annually and offer workshops and lectures to students. Graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.).

Clark State Community College

Springfield's Clark State Community College has a photography certificate program for aspiring professionals consisting of 35 credit hours of coursework. Students learn entry-level skills needed for employment, including exposure, focus, lighting and depth. Photography software, digital camera skills, imagery and psychology are some of the other courses in the program. The final semester consists of a 2-credit hour practicum and a portfolio class.

Cleveland Institute of Art

Located in Cleveland, the Cleveland Institute of Art provides a photography degree program with three tracks, including digital and photographic arts, film and video and publication photography. Students learn to use equipment, lighting and special effects. Digital editing, manipulation and enhancement are also covered, along with software, imagery processes and photographic materials.

Columbus State Community College

Columbus State Community College (CSCC) in Columbus offers an associate's degree program in photography along with various certificate programs. In the associate's degree program, students learn about such concepts as digital capture and image management. They learn how to use various software programs and digital photography equipment while acquiring skills in photo enhancement and editing. The certificate programs offered at CSCC require completion of 6-24 credits and include topics of basic and advanced digital photography, black and white photography, photography business and Photoshop.

Cuyahoga Community College District

Students at Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College District can pursue an Associate of Applied Business program in visual communication and design that includes a photography concentration. This program emphasizes development in both technical and visual photographic skills. Some course topics include digital video and imaging, Web design, interactive media, advertising and lighting. Students have the option of participating in internships or cooperative education experiences throughout the program.

Kent State University at Kent

Located in Kent, Kent State University has a bachelor's degree program in photo illustration. This program includes courses in multimedia and graphic design along with liberal arts requirements. Students can acquire experience through required hands-on learning projects and studio digital photography work. Portfolio reviews are required prior to the second and third years of study.

Ohio University

Undergraduate and graduate photography degree programs are available at Ohio University in Athens at its School of Visual Communication. The B.S. in Visual Communication has tracks for photojournalism or commercial photography, and the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Visual Communication has tracks in documentary photojournalism and commercial photography. Students in both programs need professional DSLR cameras along with specific equipment, such as lenses and tripods.

Owens Community College

Owens Community College in Perrysburg has three options in photography studies. The college's two degree programs include an Associate of Applied Science degree in commercial photography technology and an Associate of Art degree in photography, which is designed for students to transfer to a 4-year program. These programs cover black and white and color photography principles, along with training in digital photography. Alternatively, students can acquire basic skills in the commercial photography certificate program at this school.

University of Akron Main Campus

The University of Akron (UA), located in Akron, is a 4-year, public school. The school's Mary Schiller Myers School of Art administers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography program, in which students begin with foundational courses like drawing and 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional design. Photography course topics include black and white photography, color photography and photography history. Students create a portfolio, undergo a portfolio review and take part in a senior exhibition. Internship and cooperative work experiences are also available.

University of Dayton

At the University of Dayton in Dayton, students can complete a B.F.A. program in photography. Graduates are prepared for employment in the field or graduate-level training. Visual and technical ability in image making are a heavy focus of the program. Students build their portfolios throughout the program and showcase their work in a senior capstone course.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Photography Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Art Academy of Cincinnati 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography $33,450*
Clark State Community College 2-year, public; small suburb Photography Certificate $3,728 in-state; $6,880 out-of-state*
Cleveland Institute of Art 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography $42,055*
Columbus State Community College 2-year, public; large city Black and White Film, Basic Digital Photography, Advanced Digital Photography, Photoshop for Photographers and Business of Photography Certificates,
Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography
$4,284 in-state; $8,906 out-of-state*
Cuyahoga Community College District 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Business in Visual Communication and Design with a Concentration in Photography $3,436 in-district; $4,322 in-state; $8,136 out-of-state*
Kent State University at Kent 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Photo Illustration $10,312 in-state; $19,014 out-of-state*
Ohio University 4-year, public; fringe rural Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications in Commercial Photography or Photojournalism,
Master of Arts in Visual Communications in Commercial Photography or Documentary Photojournalism
$12,192 in-state; $21,656 out-of-state*
Owens Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Commercial Photography Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Commercial Photography Technology,
Associate of Art Transfer in Photography
$5,150 in-state; $9,062 out-of-state*
University of Akron 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography $11,463 in-state; $15,500 out-of-state*
University of Dayton 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography $42,900*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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