Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration and Digital Photography
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Online Bachelors Degree in Digital Photography at Sessions College

Online Bachelors Degree in Digital Photography

BFA in Digital Photography

Your portfolio starts here. Launch your creative career by building the skills and portfolio to excel in a professional environment.

NEXT CLASS: Sept 27th mid-term. Apply Now

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The online Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Photography program prepares new and current professionals in photography for their careers as professional creatives. This BFA program is designed to produce graduates with the skills and attributes for tomorrow’s challenges: resourceful, adaptive critical thinkers who are prepared to excel in a professional environment, and whose work is based on effective research, problem-solving, and technical know-how.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Photography program is a 120-credit program completed in 10 semesters (15 weeks per semester) by a student on a full-time schedule (12 credit hours per semester). The program is suitable for both aspiring high school graduates and adult learners looking to advance their skills or earn a degree.

During the BFA program, students enhance their artistic point of view while expanding their photographic experience with an emphasis upon strengthening their own creative voice.

Felicia Kieselhorst

Sessions College, Department Head of Digital Photography

BFA Program At a Glance

Earn a BFA

The #1 credential for creatives.

100% Online

Flexible program designed for adult learners.

Under 4 years

Graduate in less than 4 years.

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1to1 Faculty Feedback

Learn from creative professionals.

Study At Your Own Pace

Full and part-time schedules available.

$510/Credit Tuition

Recognized for affordability.

Studying Online at Sessions

Founded in 1997, Sessions College has delivered accredited and affordable fully online programs for creative professionals for more than 20 years. Take a virtual college tour in this video!

BFA in Digital Photography Student Experience

The Sessions College BFA in Digital Photography program inspires students to advance their creative careers by developing work for a global audience that is aligned with their future career goals.

Build a Foundation in Relevant Skills.

During the first two years of the program, you’ll establish a strong foundation in the technical, design, and critical thinking skills required by employers in creative industries. No textbooks required; you will learn by applying current art, design, photography, and software skills to a wide range of projects.

Customize Your Creative Path.

Our BFA is focused on helping you achieve your creative ambitions. In year three, working closely with our faculty, you’ll develop a customized educational plan to help you craft a portfolio of work to achieve your personal or professional goals. Adapt your classes by working on projects that inspire you and advance your career.

Focus on Research and Presentation.

Upper level courses provide a highly structured context for students to deepen their research, photography, and presentation skills. Mentored by experienced faculty, you will delve deeper into your projects, and develop the communication skills to ace your client interviews.

Experience Real-World Applications.

Study professional practices and gain invaluable work experience with a real client or employer, as part of your program. Discover how to market and monetize your work in interactive media and accounting classes.

Be Industry Ready.

Employers are looking for problem solvers and adaptable professionals. Throughout the program, you’ll access industry-relevant opportunities to develop and advance your proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.

Build a Professional Portfolio.

The program is relentlessly focused on helping you generate compelling creative work. Your final BFA portfolio and exhibition will speak for itself, helping you express your passions and talents in pursuit of your desired career path.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design is a 120-credit program completed in 3.3 years. Part-time schedules are available.

The Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Digital Photography is a 72-credit program completed in two years. Part-time schedules are available.

Digital Photography Major - Year One

First Semester

Second Semester

Third Semester

Digital Photography Major - Year Two

Fourth Semester

Fifth Semester

Sixth Semester

Students must complete 54 credits of Art/Design coursework and 18 credits of General Education. (DES = Design, PHO = Photography, WEB = Web, DIG = Digital Media, ILL = Illustration, DEG = Degree, GEN = General Education)

* Elective course requirement may be fulfilled by any lower level 3-credit course, subject to availability and prerequisites.

Digital Photography Major - Year Three

Seventh Semester

  • PHO 360 Project Management and Workflow - 3 credits
  • PHO 301 Photographic Genres - 3 credits
  • PHO 302 Late 20th Century Photography to Today - 3 credits
  • GEN 409 Cultural Anthropology* - 3 credits

Eighth Semester

  • DEG 344 Professional Practices - 3 credits
  • PHO 333 Creative Exploration - 3 credits
  • PHO 304 Special Topics - 3 credits
  • GEN 402 Communication* - 3 credits

Ninth Semester

  • DES 411 Interactive Marketing - 3 credits
  • DEG 410 Internship & Entrepreneurship - 3 credits
  • PHO 404 Senior Project - 3 credits
  • GEN 401 Accounting for Creatives* - 3 credits
Digital Photography Major - Year Four

Tenth Semester

  • PHO 422 Global View of Photography - 3 credits
  • DEG 460 BFA Portfolio - 3 credits
  • BFA Elective*** - 3 credits
  • GEN 410 The Science of Light, Color, and Motion* - 3 credits

* General Education course work.** BFA Elective course requirement may be fulfilled by any 3-credit course in the degree program, subject to availability and prerequisites.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: 100-200 Level

DES 104 COLOR THEORY - 1.5 credits

Focus on developing appropriate color systems for graphic design projects. Projects explore the principles, terminology, and applications of color theory, with an emphasis on manipulating color. A working knowledge of the expression and perception of color, and color interaction, lends credibility and sophistication to a designer’s work.

DES 105 DESIGN AND COMPOSITION - 1.5 credits

Discover the principles of effective composition in print design and advertising. Composition, literally the assembly of elements, is the artful arrangement that guides the eye and unifies a design work. Case studies and hands-on projects address closed/open space, negative space, movement, and more.

DES 111 DRAWING I - 3 credits

Learn how to analyze what you see in the world around you and communicate it on paper. Through hands-on projects, and guided by a professional artist, you will explore the critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, and composition, building a solid foundation for all your art and design work.

DES 121 PHOTOSHOP I - 3 credits

Get a thorough grounding in Adobe Photoshop, the premiere image manipulation tool for print design, Web design, and photography. You’ll learn to choose and use the best techniques for common Photoshop jobs including selecting and isolating objects, creating image composites, masking and vignetting images, setting typography, and improving images with retouching and effects. Every designer must tame this creative powerhouse of a program.

DES 151 DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY I - 3 credits

Explore the interaction of photography techniques and environmental factors to create powerful digital images. Students learn the fundamentals of lighting, perspective, and set up and explore techniques for classic assignments: portraits, product shots, indoor and outdoor location shoots, and fast-action sports. Whether you’re a fine artist, graphic designer, or Web developer, a mastery of digital photograph gives you creative control of the medium.

DES 222 PHOTOSHOP II - 3 credits

Transcend the basic current Photoshop skillset to learn vector illustration techniques, photo-realistic painting tools, high-impact typography approaches, and professional photo editing methods, all with attention to preserving the editability of your original images. Students will build proficiency with the Pen tool, select perfect color harmonies with Kuler, use Smart Objects and Smart Filters to non-destructively edit images, and even create paintings with custom brushes and the Mixer Brush.

DIG 201 DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING I - 3 credits

Learn the art and craft of editing videos from two award-winning filmmakers. The course explores techniques that can be applied in a range of non-linear editing programs, including Adobe Premiere Pro. Yet the main focus is not just on developing software skills; it’s on exploring the magic behind video editing. Challenging projects including editing a commercial, an interview, a narrative scene, a music video, a video diary, and a text title sequence.

DIG 204 DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCTION - 3 credits

Learn how to control white balance, aperture, and shutter speed, to get high quality images from your digital video camera. You’ll explore the different types of shots and camera motion techniques used by the pros and learn how to do location scouting, plan props, wardrobe, and sets, and work with talent. Course lectures challenge you to think about different storytelling conventions in narrative and documentary moviemaking and address the fundamentals of sound recording. You’ll script and storyboard short movie sequences and develop an understanding of the various roles in the video post-production process.

PHO 104 HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY - 1.5 credits

This course provides a historical overview of photography, from the invention of the photographic process, to the evolution of the medium, to the role of the image in contemporary art and design. You’ll gain an introduction to the styles and achievements of important photographers, and be provided the tools to understand the context of their work as well as their influence on society.

PHO 105 PHOTO LIGHTING AND PLANNING - 3 credits

Focus on the planning and preparation that lead to the successful execution of a photo shoot. Develop a thorough understanding of different types of lighting, both natural and artificial. Learn the limitations and advantages of varied shooting conditions, and explore methods to effectively stage and style photographs to achieve your desired effect.

PHO 106 PHOTO RETOUCHING - 1.5 credits

Learn techniques for removing, correcting and manipulating photographic flubs or flaws using Photoshop. You will explore professional selection techniques, and how to clone, patch, and heal problem areas, and adjust colors and tones to create a seamless and professional quality product. The course examines image correction and enhancement scenarios a designer or photographer might typically encounter.

PHO 152 DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY II - 3 credits

Take your digital photography artistry to a higher level. Advanced photography techniques and approaches to composition, learning how to correct images using Photoshop and print high-quality images. The emphasis of the class is developing a solid technical understanding of the medium and identifying one’s individual expressive vision. Advanced projects explore experimental methods for enhancing photographs with digital effects.

PHO 204 COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY I - 3 credits

Turn your creativity into a career by using photography as a communication tool in commercial and advertising scenarios. In this survey course, you will explore the equipment and techniques used for professional photography work in portraiture, product photography, real estate, and more. You will also learn how to represent yourself professionally and build your online presence.

PHO 206 LIGHTROOM - 3 credits

Learn how to manage, develop, print, and present your shots more efficiently with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Discover how to collect and catalog your images with ease, use basic and advanced development and retouching tools to create stellar shots, and present your work in slideshows, on the Web, and in print. The course will challenge you to take your shots to the next level of organization, quality, and presentation.

PHO 207 COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY II - 3 credits

Explore and practice advanced techniques for developing your skills and presence as a commercial photographer. Make images that accomplish specific objectives, with a focus on locationbased event photography for weddings, night life, and fashion. Finally, you’ll learn about photography products, including prints, books, and more.

PHO 208 COLOR CORRECTION - 3 credits

Learn how to achieve an effective color balance in your Photoshop images and optimize them for print output. Students explore professional techniques for working with scanned, film, and digital source material, learn how to control, correct, and enhance the color palette of digital images for print media. Course projects emphasize developing a technical knowledge and an artistic understanding of color calibration for professional-quality digital imaging.

PHO 214 NARRATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY - 3 credits

Explore the use of an editorial approach to photography in order to tell stories with images. Throughout the course you will use conceptualism in conjunction with documentary photography approaches to build photo essays and other narrative projects. Learn how to research, pitch, shoot, edit and present a body of work that encompasses unifying themes with scanned, film, and digital source material, learn how to control, correct, and enhance the color palette of digital images for print media. Course projects emphasize developing a technical knowledge and an artistic understanding of color calibration for professional-quality digital imaging.

PHO 259 CAPSTONE PROJECT - DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY - 2 credits

The course provides students the opportunity to complete a multidimensional digital photography project in three stages, working closely with a faculty member. The project will challenge students to demonstrate their proficiency key aspects of the Digital Photography program. The project will require research, concept development, and critical thinking, providing students with the opportunity to explore a professional, iterative process as well as experience simulated client interactions.

DEG 260 Portfolio Review - 1 credit

The course provides students the opportunity to gather and develop a portfolio of work and present it to faculty for two rounds of feedback. Faculty feedback will help students identify specific works or subject areas that need improvement. The class structure provides the ability to revise a portfolio for a final presentation, during which students present both their final work live. The class not only helps students understand the strengths of their portfolio from a real-world perspective, it also provides experience in developing and presenting their portfolio that will be useful to their future development as creative professionals.

WEB 101 HTML and CSS I - 3 credits

To create Web pages, a Web designer must have a foundation in HTML and CSS. This course begins with the basics of HTML markup and specifications for standards-compliant Web pages. CSS scripting is examined as a method for positioning page elements and styling typography. Cutting-edge features of HTML5 and CSS3 are also introduced. The emphasis is on the contemporary use of markup and scripting to create effective and attractive Web sites.

ADV 207 CREATIVE CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT - 3 credits

Develop your visual creativity. In advertising, illustration, or design, you need to be able generate many ideas for your clients and projects. This class provides you a training in identifying the needs of each projects, brainstorming solutions, challenging your assumptions, and testing/evaluating your ideas until you have a winner.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: 300-400 Level

PHO 360 PROJECT PLANNING & WORKFLOW - 3 credits

What kind of photographer do you want to be? Are you interested in developing Commercial, Documentary/Editorial and/or Fine Art photography? In collaboration with your faculty mentor you will review and analyze your current portfolio and workflow strategies, identify the type of work you want to create, develop your customized academic plan that will serve as a roadmap for the remainder of your Bachelor’s degree program, and expand your depth of experience with photographic project workflow components such as budgeting, estimating, scouting, shooting, processing, file management, and delivering client-based or exhibition ready work. This multi-faceted course has been provided as an opportunity for you to define your creative path with an emphasis upon academic and professional success.

PHO 301 PHOTOGRAPHIC GENRES - 3 credits

In alignment with your creative and professional goals, this course will allow you to “take a deep dive” into areas of focus within commercial photography, editorial photography, and fine art photography. Based upon your exploration and research of photographic genres, industry trends, and the work of exceptional photographers, you will create your own images inspired by your expanded view of photography.

PHO 302 LATE 20TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY TO TODAY - 3 credits

Closely examine and critically analyze contemporary photographic work, concepts, and exhibitions in relation to historical context and the impact of photography on art and culture. Through the development of both written and visual work you will present your research, an expanded view of photography, technology, aesthetics, and artistic concepts.

GEN 409 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY - 3 credits

As a designer, you will communicate ideas to complex and diverse audiences. This course explores multiple theories of cultural anthropological that inform the way we understand identities and societies. Areas of focus include language and communication, economic and political systems, ethnocentrism and culture, kinship and descent, marriage and family, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, religion and belief systems, the effects of colonialism and industrialization, and the impact of globalization on culture.

DEG 344 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES - 3 credits

During this class you will develop and/or enhance your creative business forms and collateral materials based upon industry standards and best practices. In preparation for running your own professional creative business, you will also create a business plan and marketing plan as you explore an ethical and scalable business philosophy. You will focus on networking with industry peers through local professional organizations and/or respected creative work sharing sites and implement your internship outreach plan in preparation for the DEG 410 Internship & Entrepreneurship course.

PHO 333 CREATIVE EXPLORATION - 3 credits

Explore, experiment, and expand your ability to manipulate, fabricate, and conceptualize images through the use of technology, alternative photographic processes, innovative photo setups, mixed media, collage, digital compositing and/or other approaches to creating unique and compelling images.

PHO 304 SPECIAL TOPICS - 3 credits

Building upon concepts from PHO 360 Project Planning & Workflow, you will continue to enhance your ability to produce compelling photographs with consideration of lighting, technology, art/design principles, and concept. In collaboration with your instructor, you will select or “spec out” and complete multi-faceted projects that support your portfolio goals. In this course, your instructor will serve as your client, and your class grade will be based not only on the quality of your work but also on your ability to meet deadlines, synthesize photographic principles and concepts, and effectively present professional level work.

GEN 402 COMMUNICATION - 3 credits

Engage in the process of examining, analyzing, summarizing, and evaluating communication strategies and theories. Students will demonstrate how to apply various communication principles through speech, including the consideration of the communication process, receiver perceptions, and verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as listening. The theory of communication will be explored in regard to engaging small groups, the public, and a variety of organizational contexts. Additionally, a broad range of communication venues and considerations will be evaluated including interviewing, mass media, the use of new technologies, the influence of relationships, body language, intercultural perspectives and gender, as well as how to address conflict and negotiations.

DEG 411 INTERACTIVE MARKETING - 3 credits

As a creative professional working today, you will likely need to develop designs deployed through a wide range of interactive media and/or social media. How will you react when a client wants you to direct their web strategy or coordinate their social media campaigns? In this class, we will research and discuss current interactive marketing strategies and venues. You will then translate your research into the development of practical interactive media projects that can expand the depth of your portfolio. The final presentation should reflect your research and include finalized designs that demonstrate your expertise and ability to strategically plan the development of interactive marketing.

DEG 410 INTERNSHIP & ENTREPRENEURSHIP - 3 credits

To get your foot in the door in the design field, experience matters. In this industry-focused class, you will engage with a professional client or employer in your local area and expand your experience in the field, with the benefit of the insightful support of your instructor. Working for a real client or employer will provide you an opportunity to hone your problem-solving, client communication, and project management skills, creating a business solution(s) that will stand out in your portfolio and on your resume.

PHO 404 SENIOR PROJECT - 3 credits

Follow your creative passion by conceiving and producing an innovative series of images in alignment with your artistic and professional goals. At the conclusion of this course you will present and defend your work through video conference as well as exhibit your Senior Project within the Sessions College Online Gallery.

DEG 460 BFA PORTFOLIO - 3 credits

In collaboration with your instructor, you will finalize your portfolio, business materials, and resume, in preparation for pursuing or advancing your design career. The course structure includes the opportunity to enhance your portfolio as well as demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate the depth of your creative and technical skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, work ethic, and passion for developing impactful and compelling professional work.

GEN 401 ACCOUNTING FOR CREATIVES - 3 credits

Any creative who wants to establish a freelance career or succeed in business will benefit from a basic understanding of accounting. This course includes a focus on basic accounting principles and how they can be applied within the context of a small creative business. You will explore and identify how to use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), ledgers and journals, and how to follow and apply accounting strategies and cycles when running a creative focused business. Additionally, this course provides an introduction to bank reconciliation strategies, balance sheets, financial statements, assets and liabilities, and equity, as well as an exploration of business ethics.

PHO 422 GLOBAL VIEW OF PHOTOGRAPHY - 3 credits

Contemporary photographers must be prepared to produce work that appeals to a global audience. You will research photographers and creative image makers who produce international work. Based upon your findings, you will develop and produce a multi-faceted photographic campaign focused on gaining the attention of an international audience. By considering cultural differences, you will develop the cultural sensitivity required to be a global creative and the skills to effectively research compelling and contemporary imagery for domestic and international audiences.

DEG 460 BFA PORTFOLIO - 3 credits

In collaboration with your instructor, you will finalize your portfolio, business materials, and resume, in preparation for pursuing or advancing your design career. The course structure includes the opportunity to enhance your portfolio as well as demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate the depth of your creative and technical skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, work ethic, and passion for developing impactful and compelling professional work.

BFA ELECTIVE 3 credits

For your elective course, choose an available 3-credit course from our degree programs to add depth to your portfolio by demonstrating additional/enhanced skillsets. Selection of course must be in alignment with prescribed prerequisites.

GEN 410 THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT, COLOR, AND MOTION – 3 credits

Any creative professional – artist, designer, or photographer – creates artwork, images, or animations in a natural world that is governed by the laws of physics. In this introductory science class, students will explore and apply scientific principles that are fundamental to visual perception. Students will learn the scientific basis of key concepts in light, color, and motion, explore research methods to discover how they work, and express this scientific knowledge in their creative work. Students will graduate the course with a solid understanding of how scientific theories, research, and experimental methodology are applied, building a foundation for future learning.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

BFA Program Outcomes

By completing the program, students develop the following competencies:

1. Photography

Demonstrate effective and efficient use of a digital camera to create photographs with careful consideration of lighting, color, exposure, composition, and point of view. Effectively conceptualize and post-process (cull, edit/enhance, and retouching), and manage files for publication, exhibition, and commercial distribution, explore multiple image making techniques, and produce compelling, innovative, and professional images.

2. Lighting

Plan, stage, and execute photo shoots by adapting for a variety of settings and lighting situations (studio and on-location), in fulfillment of project goals.

3. Art/Design Principles

Demonstrate the ability to effectively apply knowledge of color theory, art/design principles including pattern, rhythm, detail, and composition, and advanced attention to detail.

4. Technology and Image Enhancement

Apply and demonstrate technically proficient retouching, careful consideration of contrast, cropping, exposure, and color correction techniques to improve or enhance photographic images to a professional level utilizing software including Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as other industry and web-based technologies.

5. Research, History, Criticism

Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize historical photographic/artistic concepts and styles, effectively communicate and defend aesthetic ideas based upon research, critically evaluate the work of multiple artists and photographers, consider the influence of photography on art and culture and consider research as well as context when producing your innovative work.

6. Portfolio

Successfully conceive, produce, and present a coherent body of compelling and effectively produced photographic work by applying technical expertise, visual storytelling, creative problem solving and presentation in response to constructive feedback that showcases your skills and unique artistic voice to potential clients and employers. Through your work demonstrate a professional aesthetic based upon your professional goals and creative voice.

7. Critical Thinking, Communication, and Writing

Effectively generate, clearly and professionally convey, and support ideas by employing critical thinking, communication, and writing skills while considering divergent perspectives, cultural framing, historical context, research, and ethical concerns.

8. Professional Practice and Readiness

Demonstrate the ability to fulfill creative briefs, accept constructive feedback, develop and implement a professional branding, file management and workflow system, cultivate a client network and entrepreneurial strategies, apply ethical business practices and accountability, consider the impact of culture and organizational behavior, and consistently strive to exceed expectations.

Outcomes Assessment

To learn more about our outcomes assessment process, visit our Academic Team.

Sessions Student Work

BFA FACULTY

Felicia Kieselhorst, Department Head of Digital Photography

Felicia Kieselhorst is freelance photographer with her own business based in Oakland, CA. Felicia, known as Flee to most, specializes in wedding and product photography, and works in digital and film photography, using primarily Nikon, Hasselblad, and an array of toy cameras. Felicia earned her MFA in Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. The California native can often be found hanging out with her hairless pup Qispi, hiking, gardening, kayaking, or just sipping on a cup of tea.
Full bio

Melanie Fiander, BFA Photography Faculty

Melanie Fiander is a professional photographer and passionate educator focused on student success. She currently runs her wedding and event company from the island of Bermuda. Her work has been featured in Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Abroad, New York Weddings, PDN, The Vendor Report, Scotland Wedding, Tie the Knot Scotland, Ländle Wedding's "Seasons of Yes", Whimsically Wed, Bermuda Weddings and Honeymoons, Bermudian Weddings, How They Asked by The Knot, The Gray Collective, Wedding Wire, United With Love, National Geographic, It Started With Yes, Glittery Bride, 100 Layer Cake, Lets Bee Together, The Newport Bride, and Wedding Chicks.

GETTING STARTED

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Why is earning a Bachelors Degree in Photography relevant today?

Professional photographers need the ability to get great results in a wide range of professional scenarios, expertly using cameras, editing equipment, staging, lighting, and creative direction as they work. You will develop these skills as you earn your digital photography bachelor's degree online with Sessions College. Our degree programs are developed and taught by faculty with industry experience, so that our students are prepared for jobs in design when they graduate.

In 2019, 64% of photographers were self-employed and there were 133,500 photographers employed in the United States. According to the Dept. of Labor job prospects are best for photographers who have "a strong portfolio and related skills, such as in editing photos and capturing digital video."

For more information on photography careers, browse the Federal Occupational Handbook or the O*NET database.

What is the difference between a BFA and a BA?

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is generally considered to be the most prestigious, professionally oriented bachelor's degree in the visual arts.

  • In a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program, you are generally required to complete at least 65% of courses in your art/design major subject, and no more than 35% in general education. In the Sessions College BFA, 75% of the coursework is focused on your art/design studies.
  • In a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program, you are generally required to complete up to 50% of courses in general education, with a lower percentage in your art/design major. The focus of a BA is to provide a well-rounded education.

For more information on the difference between a BA and a BFA, view this GDUSA article about benefits of getting a BFA.

What makes the Sessions College BFA in in Digital Photography program distinctive?

Simply, the program is the most affordable, accessible, and portfolio-focused online Bachelor's Degree in Digital Photography available.

  • Affordable. Our $510/credit tuition is up to 200% lower than competitor programs, so you can graduate with a minimum of loan debt.
  • Accessible. Designed for busy adults with weekly deadlines but no set login times, you can complete the program from anywhere in the world, studying full-time or part-time. More than 50% of degree students complete programs while employed.
  • Portfolio-Focused. Build a solid foundation in art and photography, then customize your advanced level classes around your portfolio goals. Faculty mentoring will help you hone your final BFA portfolio to achieve YOUR creative career goals.

How long does the program take to complete?

Most Bachelor’s Degree programs take four years to complete. Who has that time? You can complete our BFA in Digital Photography program in 10 semesters or 3.3 years—and sooner if you have credit transfer. With our intensive program, you can graduate faster and get started sooner with your career goals.

What software and/or supplies do I need?

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • A digital camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance .
  • A digital video camera and ability to connect it to a computer to capture footage.
  • Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere CC software.
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
  • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

There are no textbook or course material costs to participate in this online program. Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1926 that operates as an institutional accreditor of distance education institutions. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

How do I apply?

To enter the program you are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will also need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

We have a convenient and student-friendly online application process.

To apply, simply complete our application form and provide transcripts, an application essay, and 5-10 samples or art/design work or alternative written assignment, and a $75 application fee. Applications are reviewed by our Acceptance Committee and generally returned within a business week. See our complete application guide and credit transfer policy.

You can begin your creative journey by completing our online application today. There is no charge until you submit your application materials and no obligation to enroll.

What else do I need to do?

All candidates are expected to complete a 15-minute phone or Zoom interview with one of our Admissions advisors. These talented, friendly professionals will explain the program options, answer your questions, and get you started with your financial aid process, if you are eligible.

What are the tuition and fees?

Effective July 1, 2021, the tuition and fees for Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (BFA) students is as follows:

$510 per credit
$6,120 per semester
$18,360 per calendar year
$61,200 total program tuition

A $200 registration fee is required to process your enrollment in the program. Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from the scheduled beginning of program orientation.

We encourage you to compare our tuition and fees to our competitors.  Sessions College is affordable:

  • Tuition guarantee. Your per-credit tuition rate at enrollment is guaranteed to stay the same throughout your program, provide you are continuously enrolled.
  • Same rate for full-time and part-time. Because our programs are designed for busy adults, our full-time and part-time students are charged at the same rate. If you have to go part-time for a while, you are not penalized (NOTE: A program change fee applies.)
  • No mysterious semester or technology fees. Many institutions charge online students additional fees by semester for things like technology, materials, parking, or even stadium use! Our fees are simple so that there are no hidden program costs.

Get Started Today

Take the first step on a rewarding creative journey towards earning a BFA in Digital Photography.

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