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Information on Master of Photography Degree Program

Majors Overview February 24, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in photography and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Master of Photography Program

While few schools, if any, offer a Master of Photography, students seeking graduate-level knowledge of photography can pursue a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Photography program. Incoming students are expected to have a firm introductory grasp of concepts such as lighting and camera operation. They learn about the uses of various advanced equipment and cameras. They also gain knowledge in a variety of photographic techniques and hone the ability to train other individuals using the knowledge acquired in the program. Internships and projects are used to teach students ways of using cutting-edge digital imaging software and traditional photo development methods.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in photography, in addition to submitting letters of recommendation and a digital portfolio of photographic work.


Program coursework involves devotion of considerable time to independent photo shoots in and out of studios. An internship and a thesis typically mark the end of the program, including a final portfolio of photographs. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•History of Photography
•Preparation for teaching photography
•Color processing
•Advanced lighting techniques
•Digital imaging software

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers that require the use of cameras and photo editing software for industrial, artistic, or research purposes, as well as teaching jobs related to the field of photography. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Scientific photographer
•College photography teacher
•Commercial photographer
•Fine arts photographer

Job and Wage Outlook

Photographers in all fields are expected to see a three percent job growth, over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, photographers in general brought in an average annual wage of $30,490 (BLS).

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