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​Art Photography

Explore the creative process, develop your skills and confidence, and produce technically and visually professional work.

Students have access to professional cameras, lighting equipment, and digital color and black-and-white facilities that allow them to create museum-quality photographs.

A key benefit of the program is the department’s close partnership with Light Work, a world-renowned, state-of-the-art photography center on campus. Students have access to the facility's equipment and the guidance of its experts. With an emphasis on creativity, intellectual development, and skill development, you’ll leave the program ready to succeed in museums, photo studios, magazines, galleries and the fashion industry.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Core coursework stresses art history, criticism, and contemporary models. Sample courses include:

  • Lighting for Photography
  • Image/Sequence: Photo Book
  • Performance Art
  • Photography and Cinema
  • Studio Concepts
  • Interconnected Studios

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

The art photography program boasts a number of outside learning opportunities for students in the discipline.

  • Work closely with professionals at Light Work, which hosts the art photography program’s annual student exhibition.
  • Intern at powerhouse firms and corporations including Cosmopolitan, Museum of Modern Art, NBC Universal, Real Simple, and Vogue.
  • Combine coursework and internship experience with a six-week summer class in Los Angeles.
  • Contribute photography to one of the student-run publications on campus such as Jerk, Perception, or 360 Magazine.

Study Abroad

Add to your resume and challenge your perspective with a study abroad experience during your time at Syracuse. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries. 

Art photography majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence and London, and to our World Partner program CET Art Photography at FAMU (Prague). Summer programs of interest may include The Constructed Photograph (Florence).

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in art photography, you can pursue careers including:

  • Photojournalist
  • Art conservator
  • Restoration artist
  • Photographer
  • Archivist

Or, earn a graduate degree in business, art photography, or film. Past graduates have continued their education at some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the U.S.