photography students assist in setting up large format camera.

In a world where image is everything...

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Design with a concentration in Photography empowers students to illuminate, challenge, and innovate with advanced photographic practice.

The Photography program at KU offers in-depth instruction in a range of analog, digital, still, and moving lens-based techniques within a rigorous intellectual and creative environment. KU students learn to apply and decipher photography and video in a world where image is everything and images are everywhere.

In today's constantly-evolving media landscape, photography is still the most essential and universal visual medium for documenting the world and conveying ideas. With a focus on both visual literacy and the development of a diverse technical skillset, the program develops creative students into confident, versatile practitioners who can evaluate and innovate visual culture in a variety of fields. Graduates of the KU Photography program possess the personal vision and conceptual, technical, and critical thinking skills vital to success as practitioners working in film, video, digital media, publishing, and more.  

We are currently not accepting freshman applicants to the Photography BFA for Fall 2024. Change of school and transfer applications are still being considered.

Studio photograph of a man with a mask and a flowy navy outfit

Work by Madeline Mannin

Black and white photograph of a dilapidated building

Work by Tomas Andreas

collage of people with faces covered and holding an umbrella surrounded by flowers

Work by Charlie Pott


KU Photography graduates work as photographers, artists, designers, cinematographers, editors, assistants, coordinators, archivists, technicians, account executives and art directors in a wide range of visual fields, including: arts organizations, galleries and museums, advertising, studios, marketing and communications, media, editorial and publishing. 


Student holding negative photograph up to the light.


Enjoy access to state-of-the-art facilities.

Including cutting-edge digital imaging labs with flatbed and virtual drum scanners and large format inkjet printers and a color viewing station, a spacious and fully-equipped lighting studio, a traditional wet darkroom with twenty enlarging stations, a dedicated alternative processes lab, and an expansive collection of camera, video, and sound equipment available for studio use or check out, including: 

Various film cameras, from 35mm to medium format 

Canon dSLR cameras up to the 5D Mark IV 

Sony & Fuji digital mirrorless and medium format cameras 

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema cameras 

Tascam audio recorders and lavalier and shotgun microphones 

Photography Lab Info

Student works in dark room


Document the world and convey ideas.

Through a progression of studio projects and career-focused experiences, you will enhance your proficiency as a photographer. This journey will equip you with essential skills and an understanding of visual language, spanning historical, experimental, and cutting-edge image and media techniques.

Seminars foster a sustained practice and communication through peer critique, theory courses explore how images function in society, studios offer a choice of hands-on special topics, and professional practice presents career and funding opportunities through conversations with those working in the field.  

Coursework is supplemented by internships, national and international visiting artists, conferences, and field trips, and culminates in a senior showcase where students create, curate and install a public exhibition of their final work.

Student takes picture with large camera

Photographing the habitat of home

Grace Worden, KU Photography Major and Environmental Studies Minor, has been awarded three competitive Undergraduate Research Awards totaling $3,000, to complete her large format photography project examining the natural landscape of Kansas as a foundation of place and home.

Inside the Program

The Photography program is dedicated to evaluating and redefining the practice of photography and related media. We offer in-depth instruction in a range of analog and digital lens-based techniques within a rigorous learning, making and critique environment.