Photography Degree FAQ’s

Photography Degree FAQ’s


From the dark room to the digital lab, we give our photographers the tools and industry experience they need to have a successful career. Our Photography BFA features three areas of concentration:

  • Commercial Studio Practices
  • New Media Journalism
  • Fine Art & Museum/Gallery Practices

Photography Degrees FAQ’s

Are photography degrees worth it?

Yes, and because our students start studying photography right away as Freshman, you’ll receive a focused and deliberate education designed to take you into the career you want and need! Our BFA Photography degrees require internships, and our students have worked with the Outdoor Magazine, The Georgia O’keeffe Museum, Esquire Magazine, and have even traveled to London to work with a well-known Fashion photographer. All of our faculty members are still working photographers and their connections become your gateway to a professional network. Oh and did we mention we don’t make you buy your equipment, in fact, with our Camera in Every Hand initiative, you’ll receive your very own camera at orientation!

“It’s all been worth it, because without being here, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I’ve had.” Luke Montavon (‘15), Photography

“I think it’s really important to give something back to the people that you’re photographing, the individual, and I think that teaching is the way for me to do that.”Tony O’Brien, Photography Department Chair, nationally renowned photographer

What can I do with a photography degree?

Students who have a Photography degree learn the skills necessary to work across the industry, finding jobs in areas such as: Photojournalist, Fashion Photographer, Event Photographer, Media Production Specialist, Commercial Photographer, and Gallery/Museum Curator to name just a few. Learn more about the careers that will be available to you here!

Does SFUAD offer digital photography degrees?

Yes, all of our degrees are focused on preparing students to enter the professional industry in photography emphasizing a strong focus on digital photography and even video/audio. We also teach traditional darkroom techniques and present students with the opportunity to learn historical processes such as cyanotype, silvernitrate, and more.

Does SFUAD offer a free DSLR camera for photography students?

Yes! It is called Camera in Every Hand and it will be yours at orientation! We also don’t make you buy your own equipment like some programs!

What types of photography degrees are available?

The BFA in Photography emphasizes the skills, concepts, and historical awareness essential to anyone working within the broad spectrum of the rapidly changing world of photography. Each of the three new specializations allow our students to move beyond the classroom to experience photography as a world for aspiring professionals with the shared goal of pursuing a career in new media and the photographic arts. Each specialization focuses on a specific talent set, which will allow you to choose your individual direction for the post-graduation world.

  • Commercial Studio Practices: With a real world approach to professional photography, you can do anything. You’ll learn the technical and business skills necessary to open your own studio or work in a variety of commercial settings. You’ll be introduced to all aspects of photography, portraiture, and fashion shoots, including work in our new portrait studio. And when you’re ready to move beyond the world of Santa Fe, our photo studios in Berlin and Milan will welcome you for study abroad semesters during your Junior year.
  • New Media Journalism: The world of journalism is shifting – and you’re going to be ready to help define the direction it takes. This concentration will help you adapt to the expanding world of new media journalism, including interactive web publishing, video, audio, alternative format magazines, as well as traditional print media. Learn to combine video, audio, text, and images to tell a story, and engage with new forms of journalism demanded by an era of digital communication. In your junior year, study abroad at our sister schools in Berlin or Madrid for an international experience that will prepare you for graduation.
  • Fine Art & Museum/Gallery Practices: If you want an expansive fine art photographic experience, this specialization is perfect for you. Study traditional darkroom techniques along with the most up-to-date digital practices to create exhibition-ready portfolios suitable for publication or museum/gallery shows. You’ll leave the program prepared to enter the gallery and museum world, and have the opportunity to study abroad at any of our many network schools your Junior year. Regardless of your specialization, all Photography students will have the opportunity to work with traditional darkroom practices and cutting-edge digital techniques. You’ll learn historical processes (cyanotype, silver nitrate, and more) as well as digital editing. Our darkrooms, digital lab, framing and matting room, photography studio, and more, are open to you as a Photography student.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Photography: includes essential core photography courses in both studio and history. This degree permits students who have a strong interest in other subject areas to pursue multiple minors without extending their four-year college residency. Upon completing the BA program, students will possess a basic vocabulary and technical proficiency in using both analog and digital technologies. This program includes the study of a variety of processes and genres of photography. Students who earn this degree will be conversant in the history of photography, its major artists and movements, and contemporary issues and ethics.

BA vs BFA in Photography: What’s the difference between them?

Both of our BA and BFA get you studying your degree right away as a freshman! The BA degree track will provide you a general overview and allows more freedom to take electives in others majors. The BFA track has less electives, but is a professional track degree designed to give you a stronger concentration in a particular area of photography. If you know what you want to do as a photographer the BFA track is perfect to help you find the career you want and need!

What are the requirements for a photography degree?

Click below to see detailed major requirements outlining your degree track as a student at SFUAD!

How do I apply to the Photography program?

Students who apply to the photography program will be required to submit an online application, send transcripts, and upload a portfolio and a personal statement in order to be considered for admissions.