Academy of Art University

Master On Campus
42 months
1191 USD/credit
1137 USD/credit
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The faculty of working artist/professionals of the Photography program of Academy of Art University are experts at helping you learn the language of the medium in the course of the photography degree program, so you can share your unique stories to the world in beautiful new ways.


The Photography program of Academy of Art University provides advanced practice and intensive study of the photographic medium. Core curriculum covers historical perspective, advanced theoretical and conceptual development in traditional, experimental and digital photography capture, post-production and output. The program culminates with a formal thesis project and complete body of work that supports the thesis and showcases each student's unique vision and talent.

Program Learning Outcomes 

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Produce an advanced-level thesis project within a digital or traditional specialization, demonstrating mastery and synthesis of the skills taught in the program.

Thesis Project Development

  • Propose a solid concept suitable for refinement and development.
  • Select an appropriately challenging and feasible project.
  • Present a cohesive body of work
  • Successfully articulate the end result of the project.
  • Demonstrate sufficient preparation for their project (research, problem solving)

Conceptual and Design Skills

  • Make creative decisions that optimize conceptual impact, cohesiveness and personal style
  • Integrate conceptual and technical elements of photography to convey a story, idea, or emotion
  • Effectively deploy design elements within the composition and presentation of the imagery.

Technical Skills

  • Utilize effective lighting styles, techniques and equipment appropriate to art for commerce, photojournalism/documentary, or fine art applications, as determined by projects and professional focus
  • Master exposure, lighting ratios, and post–production skills as appropriate to the project.

Communication and Analysis

  • Communicate ideas and proposals clearly, verbally and in writing, including defending work and choices made during capture, output and presentation
  • Demonstrate professional behavior throughout the review process
  • Critique their photographs with an understanding of technical, aesthetic, and historical context
  • Build on feedback to improve their body of work

Professional Readiness

  • Assemble a cohesive portfolio, which shows a unique personal view and style.
  • Produce and present professional quality materials
  • Clearly articulate future plans and goals in the area of photographic specialty
  • Effectively library and archive complete body of work.


Academy of Art University offers some of the best training and hands-on experience to help accelerate your photography career. We pride ourselves in doing an exceptional job preparing you to excel in your chosen profession. Our degree programs are designed to equip aspiring photographers with a comprehensive toolbox of marketable skills that lead to success in the industry.

Commercial Photographer

Simply put, commercial photography means taking photos for commercial use; for business, for sales, for money. Commercial photographers often create photos for advertisements, sales pitches, brochures, product placements, and merchandising—to name a few. You also contribute to campaigns in illustration and editorial contexts for a variety of fields and industries. (Photo by Pablo Jimenez)

Documentary Photographer

Documentary photography aims to chronicle people, events, and environments in order to tell a story, and at times, send a message. Working as a documentary photographer, you will capture a series of images that represent pieces of what living means, and share them with the world. (Photo by Santosh Korthiwada)

Fine Art Photographer

As a fine art photographer, you will develop original works of art from concept to exhibition. The definition of what a fine art photographer is lies in the aspirations and motivations of the photographer—their personal style and preferences. The best fine art photographers create a visual language to communicate with the world. (Photo by Cadrian Johnston)


As a high-end retoucher/compositor, you’ll assist photographers, photo studios, or corporate clients in creating a unique digital composition after shooting. This usually involves combining layers of previously-created material to construct the final image. (Photo by Nathan Spotts)

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • History of Photography
  • The Language of Photography
  • Photoshop & Lightroom for Photographers
  • Photography Concept
  • Lighting
  • The Nature of Photography

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 42 months

Start dates & application deadlines




90 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • College transcripts must show the classes/subjects, grades, credits and number of hours completed for each class
  • Applicants and sponsors must complete the Affidavit of Support Form
  • An art portfolio in your chosen discipline is required with detailed descriptions for all international graduate school applicants
  • An official bank letter (from student. family/parents/sponsor) must show a minimum balance of $42,000 USD or equivalent
  • We do not require TOEFL or IELTS scores and do not have a minimum score requirement
  • Photocopy of your valid passport
  • Photocopy of your 1-20, 1-94, or other visa document
  • If your transcripts are not in English. they must be translated and notarized

Tuition Fee

  • International

    1191 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1191 USD per credit and a duration of 42 months.
  • National

    1137 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1137 USD per credit and a duration of 42 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

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Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Academy of Art University