College of Fine & Applied Arts


What is Photography?

This major focuses on using photographic imagery to create works of art. As a Photography student, you’ll study how to expand the bounds of creative expression. You will also learn to illuminate and challenge the way we visually perceive the world. Coursework includes a balance of practice and theory. Our curriculum emphasizes the ability to understand photography’s unique narrative potential. Students then use technology to apply this potential. You will have access to video and digital cameras, shooting studios, and darkrooms. Professional scanners, editing facilities, and Epson large format printers are also available. You must submit a portfolio before being accepted into this program.

Career Options

  • Commercial photography
  • Fine art photography
  • Gallery work
  • Museum work
  • Photo archiving

Post-Graduation Success1

83% employed or continuing education

71% employed after graduation

12% attending graduate school

$37,544 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Archdiocese Of Chicago, Casting House, Caterpillar View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign View All

Graduation & Retention2

4.3 years to degree

84% freshman retention rate

75% four-year graduation rate

89% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $13,858
  • Fees: $4,612
  • Expenses3: $16,194
  • Total: $34,664


  • Tuition: $31,308
  • Fees: $4,612
  • Expenses3: $16,534
  • Total: $52,454


  • Tuition: $32,198
  • Fees: $4,612
  • Expenses3: $16,534
  • Total: $53,344