Tisch Summer High School Photography and Imaging Program

These days, anyone can take a snapshot. Learn what it takes to create an image.

Through the Summer High School Program in Photography and Imaging, you will focus on using photo-based image-making for communication, creative expression, and personal exploration. You will gain the visual and verbal vocabulary to further articulate your interests in relation to creating and discussing imagery.  



Program Overview

Designed for beginning and advanced students, this program is a rigorous combination of cultural, technical, and historical lectures; darkroom work; critiques of student work; and critical discussions and written responses to lectures, readings, and gallery visits. You will be introduced to 35 mm manual cameras, proper black-and-white film exposure, and darkroom printing, as well as color slide film, scanning, basic Photoshop, and digital color printing. You’ll also have a chance to take full advantage of the creative communities in New York City, embarking on photographic expeditions and visiting major museums, galleries, and artist’s studios.

Note: The Tisch Summer High School Program is not a leisure camp. While the average program runs daily, Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm, including academic classes, professional training, and/or studio and production time, students will often be just as busy in the evenings and weekends which also include curricular events and opportunities to work individually or collaborate with peers on assigned projects.

“Even if you are at any level of photography or what focus you are on, you leave after those four weeks with such a feeling. Personally, after this experience, I felt as if I could go through a course like this, I could do anything. And I did; I joined so many clubs and activities because after this program I felt that I can truly put effort and create my art.” — Nicole Motta

Core Curriculum

Students take the following courses for a combined total of 6 units.

(Within the Department of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, 4 units count towards studio credit and 2 units count towards critical studies credit.)


Photography and Imaging

PHTI-UT 1700 | 6 units

This course introduces students to 35 mm manual cameras, proper black-and-white film exposure, and darkroom printing, as well as color slide film, scanning, basic Photoshop, and digital color printing. Students are expected to photograph both during and outside of class hours. The students’ photographic work is exhibited in the Tisch Gulf and Western Gallery and at community settings.

Sample Schedule for Tisch Summer High School Photography + Imaging Program

Classes take place 7 days a week. This sample schedule is based on previous summers to give prospective students an understanding of the highly structured and rigorous training offered in the Summer High School Photography and Imaging Program. This is an overview of one of the four weeks in the program. Students accepted and confirmed for the program will be given their actual schedule on orientation day.

10 a.m.-1:00 p.m Group Check-in; discussion of readings; individual progress meetings; split filter printing demo

1-2:00 p.m. Lunch

2-5:00 p.m. Individual Progress Meetings and Open Lab

6-9:00 p.m. Open Lab to finish projects 

11 p.m. Curfew

10 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Open Lab for printing

1-2:00 p.m. Lunch

2-5:00 pm Project critique

10:00 a.m. Introduction to Digital SLRs, digital work-flow, Photoshop, photo processing software and digital printing

11:30 a.m Trip to Harlem

12 – 12:30 p.m. Lunch in Harlem

12:30 – 3:00 p.m. Tour of Harlem galleries. 

3 p.m. Head back to NYU

3:30 – 5 p.m. Digital printing demo and discussion of Lighting and Portraits self assignment.

11 p.m. Curfew

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Review: Digital SLRs, digital work-flow, Photoshop, photo processing software and digital printing.

1-2:00 p.m. Lunch

2 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Slideshow (artists who have used portraits and the concept of self in their work) and Lighting Demo 

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Lab time

6 - 9:00 p.m. Open lab 

11 p.m. Curfew

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Field trip: Bronx Museum & Bronx Documentary Center. 

5 p.m. - 6 .pm. Dinner in the Bronx

7 - 10 p.m. NY Yankees game vs. NY Mets

Midnight Curfew

Saturday & Sunday 11 p.m. Curfew
Field-trip Assignment: International Center of Photography (ICP) & The Whitney Museum of American Art; Open Lab & Library Research for Critical Analysis Paper; Studio Lighting Demo



Program Dates

Summer 2020

Sunday, July 12 - Saturday, August 8, 2020

Additional important dates are available on the Tisch Admissions Calendar.


Open to high school sophomores and juniors.

  • Online application fee: $75
  • Printed application fee: $90

Summer 2020 Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 5:00PM ET

Please read through the Admissions for High School Program page.


Summer 2020

Total Program Cost: $12,606

Breakdown of costs:

  • Tuition for 6 units (credits): $8,958

Additional Fees Include:

  • Registration and Services Fee: $848
  • Program Fee (activities facilitated by Residential Life & Housing): $160
  • Housing for 4 weeks: $1,116
  • 10 meals a week for 4 weeks: $680*

*As this is a residential program, students are automatically enrolled in the 10 meals a week plan for the length of the program. Students have the option of increasing their meal plan if they wish.

Program Specific Fees: 

  • Photography and Imaging Lab Fee: $422
  • Photography and Imaging Ticket Fee: $422

Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.


Tisch has a limited number of full scholarships for high school students to attend the Tisch summer programs.  Scholarships are given to students who demonstrate the most financial need.

Review the Tisch Summer High School Scholarships page for more information.