Student reviews black and white photo prints and negatives in photo lab


Share your artistic passion with others through strong conceptual development, innovative imagery and problem-solving skills through strong studio practice, advanced darkroom techniques and exhibition opportunities across the region and nation.

Develop your Talent

As a photography student at USD, you will develop skills in traditional film, digital and experimental forms of photography. You will be guided by the only full-time art photographic professor in South Dakota's higher education system with more than 35 years of experience. Together, you will explore techniques in photography development, darkroom techniques, printing and the creative process. You will participate in class critiques, lectures and demonstrations on critical issues in photography.

Degrees & Offerings

Art: Photography (MFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

As a graduate student, you will take master-level studio courses in materials and methods, creative research photography, concepts and theories, photography issues and master's portfolio/thesis courses. Your coursework will challenge you to dig deeper and grow creatively as you work with faculty who will prepare you for a life as a creative leader and professional artist. Outside of the classroom you will have opportunities for dedicated studio and workstations, assistantships and leadership opportunities within the art community at USD.

Learn more about the art program

Program Details






Graduate Admissions

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in the only College of Fine Art in the state.
Students in an art gallery


The Department of Art will provide you with unique and applicable real-world experience and connections that enable you to immerse yourself in an environment built for personal and creative discovery.

USD Photography Facility

Our Facility

Here are some of the facilities and resources available to photography students:


  • Fully equipped Camera studio: Nikon 3200 Digital SLRs, 8’x 10’ cameras, 4’x5’ cameras, medium format cameras, 35mm single lens reflective cameras
  • A large selection of lenses, accessories, LED and hot light kits, analog and digital lab equipment
  • Shooting and lighting studio with a high-end strobe system and backdrops
  • Black-and-white darkroom with 22 enlargers
  • Alternative processes and film developing facility for palladium, wet plate collodion, other historic processes and black and white film processing
  • Fully equipped printing shop: Epson 9800 printer, 44” wide Epson 4900 professional printer and 17” wide professional printer
Student viewing negatives.

Develop Your Talents

Share your passion with others through skills in traditional film, digital and experimental forms of photography.
Photography Student Graciela DeAnda shares photo of her photo showcase on personal struggles of migrant workers.

Impacting the World

Graciella De Anda is working on her UDiscover Grant documenting migrant workers in the Siouxland area. Her photos showcase personal struggles of migrant workers as they journey to a new and different place.  Learn more about Graciella's photo series and her opportunities as a photography student at USD.

Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program. 

Graduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Graduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees.

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.

Graduate Assistantships

USD offers opportunities for grad students to earn a reduced tuition rate in exchange for their teaching, research and service efforts to the university.


Take the Next Step