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Photography, B.F.A.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 48 months
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SFAI is home to the first "fine art" photography program in the country founded by Ansel Adams. The curriculum of the Photography program of San Francisco Art Institute prepares students to bring a critical and historical understanding of the photographic medium in the exploration of conceptual ideas with new image making capabilities. Students work in both digital and analogue formats with the opportunity to experiment with a variety of photographic processes, print surfaces, and equipment while considering issues around representation, scale, installation, site-specific works, and audience.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will acquire a comprehensive working knowledge of analog photography, digital photography, and alternative photo-media skills.
  • Students will gain a thorough understanding of photography’s history, theory, and relationship to other media.
  • Students will understand both the aesthetic and instrumental functions of the medium and their relationship to social and cultural issues.
  • Students will develop a cohesive body of work that demonstrates conceptual and aesthetic consistency and a point of view.
  • Students will develop the ability to learn through the critique process and become self-critical.
  • Students will have the ability to articulate how their own work and the work of others functions in related contexts: historical, social, cultural, aesthetic, and psychological.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Photography
  • Contemporary Tools and Practices
  • Digital Photography
  • Beyond What's Out There: Constructed Photography
  • Digital Bookmarking and Publishing
  • History of Photography

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

General Requirements

  • Online application, including the $75 non-refundable application fee
  • Portfolio and artist statement (BFA applicants only)
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Official high school/secondary school transcript(s) or CHSPE/GED certificate

Tuition Fee

  • International

    45664 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 22832 USD per semester and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    45664 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 22832 USD per semester and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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