How Much Does Photography School Cost?
Photography School Prices
Aspiring photographers have a broad range of career options, from photojournalism to wedding photography, to part-time freelance work. Your choice of photography school should be shaped by the type of career you hope to pursue.
There are two schooling options: You can major in photography at a traditional college or university or attend a specialized photography school or art institute, pursuing anything from a certificate program to a bachelor's degree in photography. Programs at specialized photography schools are typically shorter and focused primarily on photography-related courses. At a four-year college or university, photography courses will make up only a portion of your overall education.
Cost of Photography School
Because photography programs vary so widely in scope, tuition prices vary widely, too. Career-focused programs, which usually last one or two years, run anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 per year.
- New England School of Photography in Boston is a two-year professional photography program that costs about $19,000 per year. No on-campus housing is offered, so budget extra for that. Students select majors and minors in variety of specialties, including editorial, wedding photography, fine art photography and commercial photography.
- The Oklahoma School of Photography offers a 36-week program that costs about $10,000, including books and supplies. The school also does not offer on-campus housing.
- The Ohio Institute of Photography and Technology, a technical school that offers certificate programs to associate's degrees, charged $20,583 in tuition during the 2009-2010 school year. Books and supplies cost another $2,108 and on-campus room and board ran more than $10,000.
A degree in photography from a four-year school is more expensive, particularly if you choose a prestigious art school.
- Tuition at Maryland Institute College of Art for the 2010-2011 year was $34,550, both for undergraduate and graduate students. On-campus housing was another $3,720 to $4,085, depending on the accommodations.
If you select a four-year photography school, plan on spending at least another $2,000 per semester for expenses like a meal plan, student activity fees, technology fees and health insurance. First-year students often pay $150 or so for an orientation fee and another $150 or so for a security deposit. Optional parking permits run anywhere from $100 to $200 per year.
Choosing a Photography School
First, decide on your career path. Do you want a general program or one that trains you for a specialty like fine arts photography? Do you want to teach photography?
Run your own studio? You may be better suited for a career-focused certificate program. Aspiring photojournalists are better off pursuing a four-year degree.
Once you've selected some schools, call them to request copies of course lists and fee schedules.
Lastly, consider whether you're willing to relocate. You can save money by selecting a photography school within commuting distance.
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