Seattle Photography Class Descriptions with School Information

Oct 20, 2021

Photography Programs at Seattle Schools

Several schools in Seattle, WA, offer classes and degree programs in photography, and this article looks at three that are no more than 10 minutes from downtown. Following information about the schools and their photography-related degree programs is a table of facts about each institution, such as tuition, enrollment and graduation rate. Prospective students can use this knowledge to help them select their best option.

  • Students can earn an associate's degree in visual media at Seattle Central College, less than two miles from the city center.
  • Also less than two miles from downtown, Seattle University has two bachelor's degree programs in photography.
  • The University of Washington - Seattle offers bachelor's degree and master's degree programs in photomedia. This school is located at the heart of the city.

Comparison of Schools

The following table offers information about each school in a way that makes it easy to compare them.

Seattle Central College Seattle University University of Washington - Seattle
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2019) 6,743* 7,199* 47,576*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) $3,779* $46,590* $11,465 in-state; $38,166 out-of-state*
% of Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2018-2019) 60%* 98%* 57%*
Acceptance Rate (2019) N/A - Open admissions* 78%* 52%*
Retention Rate (2018-2019) N/A 88% for full-time students; 11% for part-time students* 95% for full-time students; 82% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began Fall 2013) 33% (18% transfer-out rate)* 74%* 84%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Seattle Central College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Visual Media

Students in this program learn about digital imaging, lighting techniques and audio production. They are exposed to both in-studio and on-location techniques. Students have access to the school's 10,000 square foot studio as well as over 150 pieces of equipment. Applicants to the program must submit an entrance portfolio of six to ten pieces along a selected theme. This program was formerly the AAS in Commercial Photography.

Seattle University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography

Aspiring photographers complete 87 credits in this photography major. They take classes such as black/white photography, light control, color photography, digital imaging, portfolio seminar, business of art, documentary photography, art history, design/color, history of photography and chosen electives. Those learners who are especially interested in documentary photography may choose to complete an emphasis in that area by completing nine electives pertinent to that specialization. The faculty reviews all portfolios after the second year, to establish student eligibility for continuation in the major.

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Arts with Photography Emphasis

Learners interested in exploring other art forms, in addition to photography, may complete a 65-credit major that allows students to choose additional art electives. Students still complete classes pertaining to black/white photography, light control, color photography, design/color and history of photography.

University of Washington - Seattle

Bachelor of Arts in Art with Photo/Media Concentration

This 70-credit major is comprised of introductory art classes, intermediate photography, digital imaging, photography theory/criticism, advanced photomedia, art electives and additional recommended art classes, including art history. Faculty members review student portfolios and written work two times during the second year of classes, reducing the number of students remaining in the program.

Master of Fine Arts in Photomedia

In addition to the graduate school application, candidates for this program make online submissions of current resumes, statements of purpose and work samples. The program spans two years and is comprised of individual consultations, classes, seminars and research. Students investigate digital and analog photography, in addition to video/installation. Graduate students have studio space and round-the-clock access to the photographic facilities. For degree completion, these aspiring artists take part in a thesis exhibition in a university gallery.

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