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2023 Photography Degree Guide

Photography Degrees Decreasing

#310 Most Popular Major
2.2k Degrees Awarded
-11.6% Increase in Graduates

Photography was the 310th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 2,184 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 11.6% reduction in photography degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 2,438.

Our 2023 Best Photography Schools ranking analyzes 99 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for photography students. Explore this or one of our many other custom photography rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Photography
2023 Overall Best Photography Colleges >

Best Photography Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Photography
Bachelor's Degrees in Photography
Master's Degrees in Photography


Photography Degree Requirements

Talking to others to convey information effectively is a required skill for photography majors. Required skills include giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times and teaching others how to do something.

Prior Education for a Photography Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific photography careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Photography Degrees

There are various different levels of photography degrees. Photography programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest photography degree you can get. Different photography degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to photography, with approximately 25.3% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for photography workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 33.6%
Doctoral Degree 21.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 14.6%
High School Diploma 9.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 7.7%

57.3% of photography workers have at least a bachelor's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in photography careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the photography career you are seeking.

Photography Careers

Average Number of Jobs
62.7k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
2% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Steady Demand Projected for Photography Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your photography degree? Photography careers are expected to grow 2.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to photography.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Photographers 139,000 -5.6%
Art, Drama, and Music Professors 137,200 12.0%

How Much Money Do People With a Photography Degree Make?

As you might expect, salaries for photography graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

High Paying Careers for Photography Majors

Salaries for photography graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers photography grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Art, Drama, and Music Professors $82,560
Photographers $42,770

Getting Your Photography Degree

With over 340 different photography degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased photography school rankings to help you with this.

Photography is one of 4 different types of Film, Video & Photographic Arts programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Film & Video Production 7,768
Film/Cinema/Media Studies 5,191
Other Film/Video & Photographic Arts 1,557
Documentary Production 78

View All Photography Related Majors >


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