10 Best Online Photography Schools

If you want to harness or sharpen your skills as a photographer to be able to make ordinary photos extraordinary and beautiful, then this article is definitely going to give you a head start.

While some individuals want to learn photography, others who are already in the field want to advance their skills, but they seem to not find a school offering enough flexibility that will allow them to enroll in school and still juggle other life priorities such as work.

This is why we deemed it fit to curate the list of best photography schools with online learning models which allows you to study at your own convenience as far as you have access to the internet, and online learning tools.

Truly, we cannot overemphasize the importance of online courses. Video editors now take online courses on editing without leaving the confines of their homes, the same applies to marketers who can use certificate online marketing courses to advance in their field.

To thrive in a photography career, creativity coupled with great business acumen is needed. As a photographer, you can work for magazine agencies, modeling companies, or even own your studio. You can also be a freelancer, fashion or art photographer, photojournalist, etc.

In this article, we will be exploring those online schools that can equip you with all you need to thrive in the field of photography.

What Is A Photography School?

A photography school is an educational environment that equips the students with the technical, artistic, and conceptual skills used in photography. It is a place where the students acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge about photography as they tend to engage in intensive practice sessions.

Can I Become A Professional Photographer Through Online Classes?

Yes, you can. When you enroll in online photography classes, you are equipped with the in-depth skills and knowledge needed to compete in the global market. You will also carry out practical projects, and in some cases, there may be offline training.

Average Cost Of Online Photography Schools

The cost of enrolling in an online photography school is dependent on many factors such as the school, and the type of degree. So, to get the cost of a particular school, you can make inquiries from the admission officer or visit the school website.

Requirements For Online Photography Schools

Even though requirements differ from school to school, below are the basic ones you will possess before applying to a school offering photography online.

  • You must have completed your high school education from an accredited institution, whether online or traditional and in a case where there is no high school diploma, an equivalent like GED is allowed.
  • You must have access to the internet and tools for online education to enable you to take your lessons.
  • You must present all official documents and transcripts from previous schools attended if required.
  • You must fill out the online application form and submit it.
  • You must be ready for an interview with the school admission officials if required.
  • Your well-written essay and recommendation letters may also be required.
  • You may be asked about SAT or ACT.
  • You should have your photography equipment.

Benefits Of Online Photography Schools

There are numerous benefits to enjoy when you enroll in a school offering online programs in photography. These benefits include:

  • It gives you the flexibility to engage in other life activities such as work even while you study.
  • It is more affordable and reduces financial expenditures that would have been spent on travel, accommodation, etc.
  • It improves your technical skills as you will have to use a quite number of tools for the learning.
  • There is an increase in the teacher’s efficiency of teaching due to the presence of a number of tools like pdf, videos, podcasts, etc.
  • You can access the lessons and courses at any time and any place provided that there is an internet connection and your subscription plan has not expired.

online photography schoolsOnline Photography Schools

Here is the list of best online photography schools you can enroll in. Do pay keen attention as I list and explain to them for you to gain more insights.

The data is gotten from deep research about online photography schools on sources like college values online, and individual school websites.

  • California Institute Of The Arts
  • Savannah College Of Art And Design
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Long Island University
  • The Photography Institute
  • Arizona State University
  • Dakota College Of Bottineau
  • Columbus State Community College
  • American Intercontinental University
  • New York Institute Of Photography

1.      California Institute Of The Arts

California Institute Of The Arts is the first school on our list that offers photography programs online. It aims at giving students training in all needed to thrive in the field of photography through massive open online course providers (MOOC).

This school has about 300,000 students from over 200 countries. It is also important to note that non-credit courses are offered at no cost unless you are seeking a certification that attracts a fee.

2.      Savannah College Of Art And Design

This is another school that offers online photography programs. It awards online bachelor’s, BFA, and master’s degrees in photography. The online students get the same training as the traditional students.

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission, and it provides much flexibility needed to study and juggle other life activities. The program explores classes such as the history of photography, camera exploration and techniques, scanning and printing the color image, business practices for photography, etc.

3.      Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online bachelor’s in digital photography. It explores topics such as digital photography, media communication, innovations in digital imaging, digital narratives, documentary, visual literacy, etc.

The course is fully online, and taught by industry experts. Students are also required to have some home equipment such as a DSLR camera, tripod, and lighting kit for practical sessions.

SHNU is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

4.      Long Island University

This is another school that offers online photography programs. It explores courses in history, aesthetics, and the evolution of photography. The school aims at giving students adequate training to become professional photographers.

The courses are taught in small class sizes and contain topics like digital large format printing, basic lighting techniques, aesthetics, experimental and advanced techniques, etc. upon graduation, students are awarded an online BFA in photography.

5.      The Photography Institute

The Photography Institute offers diploma courses in all areas of photography online. It focuses on equipping students with in-depth skills in photography. The program carries 12 modules that cover cameras and lenses, exposure and metering, equipment and software, lighting, light and color, photography business and studio essentials, etc.

The photography institute is very affordable and is accredited by The International Accreditation and Recognition Council.

6.      Arizona State University

Next on our list is Arizona State University which offers online photography degree programs. The program is fully online and has a total of 40 classes. It explores courses such as digital photography, advanced digital photography, and photography now.

The duration of the course is seven weeks, and upon completion, graduates are awarded an online bachelor of fine arts (BFA)

7.      Dakota College Of Bottineau

This school is among the best online schools that offer an associate of arts and science in photography. It focuses on helping students to gain the knowledge and experience needed in the photography field.

The course explores business practices in photography, branding policies, printing processes, marketing, prices, portfolio making, etc., and students will also be given guidelines on how to buy their own lighting equipment.

8.      Columbus State Community College

Columbus State Community College is also one of the best online schools in photography. It focuses on giving students a strong foundation and in-depth knowledge of techniques, design, and the business of photography.

The courses are taught by industry experts, and upon completion, graduates can join a network of alumni who are changing narratives all over the globe for mentorship. A high school diploma & transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores are required for admission.

Columbus State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and awards an online associate degree in digital photography upon graduation.

9.      American Intercontinental University

This is also another best school when it comes to online photography. American Intercontinental University equips students with skills needed to gain entry positions in industry departments, and contribute positively to film and photography.

It offers an online BFA in media production and explores courses such as audio production, advanced digital cinematography, camera and lighting, film & audio aesthetics, field recording techniques, post-production recordings, etc.

The program carries a total of 180 credits and is taught online by AIU faculty. American Intercontinental University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

10.  New York Institute Of Photography

New York Institute of Photography offers online photography programs. The school is very affordable and payments can be made monthly.

The program explores courses like fundamentals of digital photography, business for photographers, nature and landscape photography, wedding photography, photojournalism, etc.

You can check out the program here


The schools listed above are the best online schools in photography. And at this point, I can say that you have gotten enough details on what it takes to enroll in photography programs online. I hope you make the most out of the information provided.

Online Photography Schools- FAQs

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about online photography schools. Go through them carefully.

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