School of Photographic Arts and Sciences


The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences molds imaginative visual artists, practitioners, and technologists through its programs that explore the depth and scope of contemporary imaging practices today and into the future. A more than 93 percent job placement rate demonstrates the programs’ career-focused curriculums that prepare students for success in a variety of fields, including biomedical photography, photojournalism, advertising, media design, moving media, and much more. Here, photography is taken to ambitious levels to create an environment where innovation flourishes. Our prominence derives from professional courses of study as well as a one-of-a-kind educational community that consists of critically regarded faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, an unmatched repository of equipment, and co-operative education and internship opportunities.


Fully equipped studios for students to utilize, creating a professional environment for photoshoots.


More than 200 elective and core courses are offered at the undergraduate level.


Number of darkrooms, outfitted with both black-and-white and color enlargers.

Latest News

Featured Work

Undergraduate Programs

The photographic and imaging arts BFA program (with options in advertising photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, and visual media) promotes the creation, editing, and presentation of images in still, moving, and multimedia formats. The photographic sciences BS program (with options in biomedical photographic communications and imaging and photographic technology) prepares students for careers in healthcare and at scientific, forensic, and imaging technology companies.

Immerse yourself in the creativity and innovation of photography and imaging, with options in advertising photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, and visual media.

Learn More about Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA 

The advertising photography option prepares students for diverse and rewarding careers in the field of visual communications. While encouraging and nurturing students’ individual image-making practice, students learn to create photographs and moving media for a wide range of commercial use in today’s fast changing media environment. This option is part of the Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA program.

Learn More about Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA - Advertising Photography option 

The fine art photography option prepares students for careers as visual artists, educators, editorial photographers, or freelance artists. Graduates are employed in a number of professional fine-art related institutions such as museums, archives, studios, and commercial galleries. The primary goal is to nurture the artist’s personal aesthetic vision through photographic expression. Studying the theoretical and practical skills needed to create thought-provoking and meaningful images develops technical, conceptual, and aesthetic abilities, and furthers students' goals as contemporary image-makers. This option is part of the Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA program.

Learn More about Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA - Fine Art Photography option 

The photojournalism option teaches students to produce non-fiction visual reporting that tells the stories of people, social issues and events for diverse and modern media outlets including digital and print. Students learn to create and publish both still photographic reporting as well as moving and interactive media that document our diverse culture, evoking both the momentous and the everyday circumstances of contemporary life and society. The photojournalism option allows flexibility and individual specialization where students can find their primary interest. Students take required courses in photojournalism fundamentals, picture editing, and multimedia, including sound, video gathering, and video editing. This option is part of the Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA program.

Learn More about Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA - Photojournalism option 

The visual media option allows students to integrate the graphic communications professions of photography, media design, and business. Most visual media students earn a minor in business. This option prepares students for a career as a visual
 media specialist or other professional positions that have a demand for photographically skilled professionals who can work effectively with graphic designers, print media specialists, multimedia and social media professionals. This option is part of the Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA program.

Learn More about Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA - Visual Media option 

Gain experience in a wide range of technical imaging and photography applications by combining your imaging studies with studies in information technology, computer science, optics, and biology for careers with imaging and camera companies, research centers, forensic laboratories, and government agencies.

Learn More about Photographic Sciences BS 

The biomedical photographic communications option prepares students for photographic careers in a wide variety of environments including forensic and research laboratories, hospitals, and other biological settings such as ophthalmic (eye) clinics and veterinary research schools, or in other life science situations such as pharmaceutical companies. All students in the photographic sciences degree share foundational courses in combination with practical experiences using digital photographic equipment and processes, that include still and moving media, as well as digital media applications. Additional elective courses in the life sciences prepare students for work assignments such as creating images useful for scientists or biological research. Students can specialize in light and confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and ophthalmic imaging. Course work can be used to assist in the preparation for certification as a Certified Retinal Angiographer (CRA), administered by the Ophthalmic Photographer’s Society. This option is part of the Photographic Sciences BS program.

Learn More about Photographic Sciences BS - Biomedical Photographic Communications option 

The imaging and photographic technology option prepares students for imaging or image analysis careers in governmental agencies, industrial or corporate environments such as Apple Inc., NVIDIA, and NASA. The third and fourth years allow students to build on a strong foundation of photographic technology, creating areas of specialization that include color measurement, high-speed imaging, optics and camera testing, and image analysis. Complementary courses include programming for imaging, physics, and applications of color in imaging. These courses provide hands-on exposure using modern tools and techniques. Students may choose from a variety of electives including scanning electron microscopy, high-speed photography, and imaging science, as well as image quality and color measurement and management. Many students have also taken advantage of the imaging systems minor to complete a unique education only available at RIT. This option is part of the Photographic Sciences BS program.

Learn More about Photographic Sciences BS - Imaging and Photographic Technology option 

Graduate Programs

Students in the photography and related media MFA program study fine art practices with the goal of nurturing artistic individuality through extensive study of art practice, criticism, and aesthetics. The program is a professional two-year course of study in fine art photography, digital imaging, and moving media. In the 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings, RIT was fourth nationally among graduate schools offering the fine arts specialty of photography.

Deepen your understanding of the importance of graphic communication and immerse yourself in the technologies that are changing the industry.

Learn More about Media Arts and Technology MS 

Acquire the conceptual, academic and technical skills needed to succeed as an artist in the field of photography and related media.

Learn More about Photography and Related Media MFA 


The imaging systems minor offers students an introduction to the business and technology of photographic imaging services. Courses cover digital imaging capture systems, professional practices, output technologies, color management, and imaging workflows. The minor provides the foundation students need to pursue opportunities in photo technology management, color workflows, technical support, digital imaging technology, and sales for photography and imaging manufacturers.

Learn More about Imaging Systems Minor 

The photography minor explores the diverse subject of photography from either an art or science perspective. Students develop both technical and aesthetic skills needed for creative, communication, or scientific applications. Students choose one of the following areas of emphasis: general photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, or photo sciences. Course selections are based upon career goals and aspirations, personal interests, and the availability of photography courses. Courses for the minor are selected from the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences’s comprehensive portfolio of offerings in photographic sciences, photojournalism, applied photography, and fine art photography.

Learn More about Photography Minor 

Photography Blog

For a deeper look at the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences and its students, faculty, alumni and facilities, visit our blog!

Student Resources

For internal College of Art and Design resources such as academic information, forms, FAQs and more, visit For information about academic advising, visit here.