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.

With a legacy more than 100 years in the making, the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences is critically regarded as an educational leader in the professional study of photography and its multiple practices. The school’s high rankings from leading college guides, industry leaders and internationally respected publications include the MFA in photography and related media's No. 4 position U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of graduate photography programs. The school also recently received a $3.5 million gift from alumnus Chance Wright — which is being used for facilities renovations that will allow RIT to continue growing as one of the world's premier education and research centers in contemporary image creation. 


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.


Ten photography alumni have combined to win 14 Pulitzer Prizes.

Latest News

  • September 7, 2020

    Overhead view of students at tables set up in former gallery space.

    Innovative planning, teamwork transform RIT galleries into creative academic spaces

    Normally lined with exhibits showcasing the talents of RIT faculty, students, and alumni, three RIT galleries are instead outfitted this semester with the desks and technology necessary to meet the academic needs of hundreds of first-year College of Art and Design students. The University and Bevier Galleries inside Booth Hall and the William Harris Gallery in Gannett Hall have been transformed into creative classrooms.

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.

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 Advertising Photography Option - Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA 

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 Fine Art Photography Option - Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA 

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 

Gain experience in a wide range of technical imaging and photography applications by combining your imaging studies with 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 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 Photojournalism Option - Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA 

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 Visual Media Option - Photographic and Imaging Arts BFA 

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.

In the media arts and technology MFA program, you will learn to leverage emerging technologies to your advantage. With a management focus, technical expertise, and comprehensive knowledge of how to drive the graphics process from concept through completion, you will be an attractive prospect in a wide range of industries, including education, engineering, marketing, research science, human resources, public relations, and more.

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 

Earn your photography master’s degree at RIT, ranked by U.S. News as one of the top 10 best fine arts schools for a graduate degree in photography.

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 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 

Day of Photo

The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences hosts a Day of Photo event each year, allowing prospective students to gain insights from current students and award-winning faculty, participate in hands-on demos, tour our facilities and receive portfolio reviews. 

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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.