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Education FAQs




Q: What types of educational programs does the International Center of Photography offer?
A: ICP offers a wide range of Continuing Education classes in digital and analogue photography. Classes span from fundamental principles in image making to exploring personal visions. Our Continuing Education Track Program provides students with a faculty advisor and a strategic sequence of classes drawn from our Continuing Education offerings.

ICP has four Full-Time Programs: a One Year-Certificate in General Studies in Photography, a One-Year Certificate in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, a One-Year Certificate in New Media Narratives, and the ICP-Bard MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies.

Q: Where are the classes held at ICP?
A: The School is located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, New York, New York 10036. The Museum is moving to ICP Bowery and will open in Fall 2015. For more information on how to get to ICP, including available transportation routes, click here.

Q: What are the Education Office hours?
A: We are open Monday–Friday, 9:30 am–7 pm; Saturday, 9 am–3 pm. We are closed New Year's Day, January 1; Independence Day, July 4; Thanksgiving Day; Christmas Day, December 25.

Q: What are the Library hours?
A: The Library is open to students Monday–Thursday, 10 am–7 pm; and Friday, 10 am–6 pm. It is open to the public by appointment only. For more information, call 212.857.0004 or email [email protected].

Q: How do I enter the building?
A: Guests are required to sign in at the entrance of the building at the security desk located on the upper level of the pavilion. All registered students will be provided with an ID on the first day of class. The ID will help you gain access into the building. If an ID is not provided, please request one be made for you in the Education Office.

Q: How can I get a course catalogue mailed to me?
A: Sign up for our mailing list here.

Q: Are gift certificates for classes at ICP available?
A: Yes. Gift certificates are available for purchase in-person or over the phone. The gift certificate should be treated like cash and must be presented to the registrar when the gift recipient registers for their course. They are valid one year from the purchase date.

Q: Where can I find out if my class is cancelled due to inclement weather?
A: Please call the ICP weather hotline at 212.857.9777. We suggest you call it before leaving home, as it will announce our decision. We also have this information posted on the website by 7:30 am.

Q: Does ICP offer internship/teacher assistant opportunities?
A: Yes. ICP offers a wide array of internships in various departments. ICP is also a proud participant of ARTS INTERN, a summer internship program made available to undergraduate students who live or go to colleges in New York City. For more information, click here or email [email protected]. Teaching assistant positions are also available on a term by term basis. Students interested in teaching assistant opportunities should email [email protected].

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Continuing Education

Q: When will the schedule for Continuing Education classes be available?
A: Continuing Education Programs Guides are typically posted one and half to two months in advance prior to the beginning of classes. Join our mailing list here.

Q: How do I register?
A: Review the course catalogue and determine if there are prerequisites or a required portfolio review. If so, attend a portfolio review session, schedule an appointment, or email samples of your work to [email protected] prior to registering for the class. If the class does not require a portfolio review, or if you have the sufficient level of required skills for the class, you may register:
• Online:
• By Mail: 1114 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
• By Fax: 212.857.0091
• In-person and by phone a month before classes begin: 212.857.0001

Q: What is the deadline for registration?
A: Registration is on a first-come first-serve basis. As long as a class is open, students are welcome to register up until the start date of the course. Interested applicants are welcome to register for classes as soon as each term's course catalogue becomes available. To ensure your placement in the class of your choice, we recommend that you take advantage of early registration by mail, fax, or online.

Q: What is a prerequisite?
A: A prerequisite is the level of proficiency or technical ability needed to participate in a class. Prerequisites are dependent on the level of classes offered, and are in place to help ensure that students are appropriately prepared for the type of work to be done in class.

Q: What is a portfolio?
A: A portfolio consists of 10–15 images of your work (digital and print formats accepted) that best represent your current photographic skill level. These images will help ICP determine which class will be the best fit.

Q: How do I schedule a portfolio review?
A: If the class you are requesting requires a portfolio review, you may present your portfolio either in-person or by submitting a digital portfolio. To present your portfolio in-person, call 212.857.0001 to make an appointment. To submit a digital portfolio, please email 10–15 small jpeg images or send a website link to [email protected]. Be sure to include any photography classes you have taken and/or your photographic history. List the specific class(es) you are interested in taking.

Q: Will I need to buy a camera for my class?
A: Yes, you will need your own camera equipment, with the exception of Photo I: Digital Classes. ICP suggests students borrow rather than purchase a digital SLR camera for Photo I: Digital. This allows the new student time and experience needed to make the best purchase decision. Cameras can be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis after registering for a class. This camera loan program is made possible by the generous support of Canon and Pentax.

Q: What is the typical class size?
A: Class size is limited to 17 students.

Q: Are Continuing Education classes accredited?
A: Continuing Education classes offered at ICP are non-accredited, and no grades are given. Students in the Continuing Education Track Program receive a certificate of proficiency upon completion of eight classes taught over three consecutive terms.

Q: What is the refund policy?
A: Please refer to our refund policy here.

Q: Are there financial aid or payment plans for Continuing Education classes?
A: No. There are no financial aid or payment plans available for Continuing Education classes. To be registered for a class, each student must pay the full tuition price at the time of registration. Note: Members of ICP enjoy discounts on classes, lectures, and public programs. To become a member, email [email protected] or call 212.857.0003.

Q: Is there any way to receive a discount on classes?
A: Members of ICP enjoy discounts on classes, lectures, and public programs. ICP offers promotions on some courses throughout the year. Become a member.

Q: What are acceptable payment methods for the School at ICP?
A: Cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or ICP Gift Certificate.

Q: Where can I find my class letter?
A: Class preparation details are listed directly below the description of each course. Additionally, the information will be attached to the email confirmation received after registration has been completed.

Q: What does the Continuing Education Track Program entail?
A: This new program consists of three seminars and six elective classes; which are taught over the course of three consecutive terms. Upon completion, each student receives a certificate of proficiency.

Q: Does ICP offer classes for high school students?
A: Yes, we offer classes just for teens. ICP's Teen Academy program offers a range of opportunities for teenagers to develop their knowledge of photography. In-class sessions range from ten-week classes to a yearlong intensive program focusing on professional applications.

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One-Year Certificate Programs

Q: What are the One-Year Certificate Programs?
A: The three One-Year Certificate Programs are General Studies in PhotographyDocumentary Photography and Photojournalism, and New Media Narratives. General Studies embraces the study of photographic practices, including fine art, editorial, fashion, documentary, and experimental image production. The Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program focuses specifically on the investigative skills and technical knowledge necessary to succeed in the complex and constantly changing world of visual journalism. New Media Narratives explores the new image-based strategies made possible by digital media. 

Q: Where can I find the academic calendar?
A: The current calendar can be found here.

Q: What are the degree requirements?
A: There are no degree requirements for the One-Year Programs; however, they are not designed for the beginner photographer. These programs are for intermediate to advanced photographers interested in a concentrated program to advance their photographic skills and education. The MFA program is for the advanced student and requires that all applicants have a Bachelor's degree.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Apply online. The application and instructions for admission can be found in the back of the One-Year Certificate catalogue. The following items are required of the applicant: a resume, statement of purpose, portfolio, image list, two letters of recommendations, $100 application fee, and TOEFL scores for international applicants.

Q: How do I get assistance with my online application?
A: Please visit or contact us at [email protected].

Q: Is there tuition assistance for accepted students?
A: Yes. Work-study opportunities are available for full-time students. Students can receive a tuition reduction in exchange for working in one of ICP's administrative or education departments. ICP scholarships are available to a limited number of students after successfully completing the Fall Term.

Q: How much is the cost of tuition?
A: Tuition for the 2014–2015 academic year is $32,817 with an annual lab fee of $1,500.

Q: Is it possible to obtain a certificate as a part-time student?
A: No. Due to the intensive nature of the programs and their curricula, all students enrolled in a certificate program must be full-time students.

Q: If I successfully complete a certificate program at ICP, does that count as credit towards the first year of the MFA program?
A: No. The certificate programs are separate from the MFA program. If you are accepted into the MFA program, you will need to complete the two full years of study.

Q: Is there an undergraduate credit option?
A: Yes, but it only applicable towards the General Studies Program. Students who successfully complete the program can apply for 32 academic credits at Bard College. The cost of the credit option is a $2,000 fee paid to Bard College after graduation.

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MFA Program

Q: Where can I find the academic calendar?
A: The current calendar can be found here.

Q: What are the degree requirements?
A: Applicants for admission should hold an AB, BA, BS, or BFA degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or a baccalaureate or equivalent degree from an international college or university. An applicant's undergraduate major need not be in photography; however, applicants must demonstrate that they have a broad knowledge of the practice and history of photography as well as an understanding of contemporary visual arts.

Q: How do I apply?
A: A: Apply online. The application and instructions for admission can be found in the back of the ICP Bard MFA catalogue. The following items are required of the applicant: a resume, statement of purpose, portfolio, image list, three letters of recommendation, transcript(s) (from all prior undergraduate institutions), $100 application fee, and TOEFL scores (for international applicants).

Q: How do I get assistance with my online application?
A: Please visit or contact us at [email protected].

Q: Is there tuition assistance for accepted students?
A: Yes. Work-study opportunities are available for full-time students. Students can receive a tuition reduction in exchange for working in one of ICP's administration or education departments. Scholarships are made possible with the generous support of many of ICP's private donors. If you would like to be considered for an MFA Scholarship, please mark the Merit Scholarship box on your application. Students may also file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This makes the student eligible to borrow through the Federal Stafford Loan program, which makes available loans.

Q: How much is the cost of tuition?
A: Tuition for the 2013–2014 academic year is $34,063, with an annual Center fee of $2,700. A semester registration fee of $100 is paid twice per year.

Q: Is it possible to obtain a MFA as a part-time student?
A: No. Due to the intensive nature of the program and curriculum, all students enrolled in the MFA Program must be full-time students.

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International Students

Q: Am I an international student?
A: An international student is defined as a student who is enrolled or intends to enroll in an institution of education in the U.S. and is not:
• A citizen of the U.S.
• An immigrant (permanent resident with an I-51 or Green Card)
• In the process of applying or does not have an application pending for or U.S. permanent residence
• An approved refugee or has been granted political asylum
• An undocumented immigrant

Q: What is an F-1 Visa?
A: The F-1 Student Visas is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreigners to pursue education in the U.S. on a full-time basis. F-1 Visas are only issued by the U.S. embassies or consulates outside the U.S. We request that you obtain your Visa in your home country. Prospective F-1 international students must apply for and receive a Form I-20 in order to apply for an F-1 Visa.

Q: What is a Form I-20?
A: A Form I-20 is a government form that tells the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 Student Status. It certifies that:
• You meet our admissions requirements
• You will pursue a full course of study
• You proved to us that you have enough money to study and live in the U.S. without working illegally or suffering from poverty

International students will use this form to apply for an F-1 student visa at the United States embassy in their home country prior to their arrival in New York.

Q: Is an F-1 Student Visa needed to take a Continuing Education class?
A: No. Continuing Education students at ICP do not qualify for an F-1 Student Visa. We are not able to issue Form I-20 for Continuing Education students because they are not enrolling in a full-time course of study. (i.e. One-Year Certificate Program or ICP-Bard MFA).

Q: What are the English Language requirements for the Full-Time programs?
A: All international students applying to a full-time program must possess oral and written proficiency of the English language and are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The score requirement for an internet based test is a 79 or higher.

Q: Do I have to take the TOEFL exam?
A: TOEFL scores are required for international applicants with English not as the first language. We may consider waiving the TOEFL score is if an applicant has received a degree from an English speaking institution or has worked at an English speaking company for a length of time and can provide a reference.

Q: Where can I find more information for international students?
A: Click here or contact the International Student Advisor Sergio Sandoval at [email protected].

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Teen Academy

Q: What is the Imagemakers Program, and how is it different from the 10-week Teen Academy courses?
A: The Imagemakers program is a year-long, advanced level photography program providing high school students the opportunity to explore their creativity and learn the technical and professional skills necessary to pursue higher education or a career in photography. The 10-week classes are for the beginner and intermediate photographer. Photo I classes focus on the fundamentals of 35mm photography. Photo II & III classes are theme-based and center around personal vision while honing technical skills. These courses are excellent for students looking to learn photography as an extracurricular activity or for students looking to gain the prerequisites for the Imagemakers program.

Q: Is Teen Academy just for high school students?
A: No. Students are eligible to enroll in Teen Academy courses the summer before high school begins through the summer following high school graduation.

Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Yes. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to teens before the start of each term. Download this PDF for more information here.

Q: When can I register?
A: Registration dates are available here and registration is only available online.

Q: Is there a summer program for teens?
A: Yes. There are summer classes available through Teen Academy. These courses meet twice a week for a four-week time period.

Q: Do I need my own equipment?
A: No. ICP has 35mm cameras available for Teen Academy students to use for the duration of their course.

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Labs and Equipment Policies

Q: What types of facilities are available to students?
A: ICP's photographic facilities include three Film/Darkroom Labs (one for color printing, two for black-and-white printing), four state-of-the-art Digital Media Labs, an extensive Library, and the Rita K. Hillman Exhibition Gallery.

Q: Are the Labs open to the public?
A: No. Darkroom, Digital Labs, and Camera Equipment are for currently enrolled ICP Continuing Education, One Year Certificate and MFA students only.

Q: What is the Lab Rental Policy?
A: The Digital and Film Darkroom Lab is available on a rental basis to ICP students for $10.00/hour during their enrolled term and the term following. There are additional fees for prints in the digital media lab.

Q: Is equipment loan available?
A: Through the generous support of Canon U.S.A. and Pentax U.S.A., ICP now has a large inventory of state-of-the-art DSLR s to loan beginning students taking Photography I: Digital classes at ICP. Cameras can be reserved on a first come, first serve basis after registering for a class. To reserve a camera, call 212.857.0001. There is no other equipment available for rent to Continuing Education students.

Q: Where can I find the open printing schedules for the Labs?
A: The open printing schedule will be posted at the beginning of each term. Mini-versions are available at the Photo Lab office counter. Printing schedules can be subject to last minute changes. Please call the number on the schedule for up-to-date information.

Q: Can I bring a guest to any of the ICP labs?
A: No. Guests are not allowed in the labs. They are allowed in the studio area if they are being photographed and with advance notice given. Guests are not allowed to use ICP equipment.

Q: Can I sign up for studio space in the School?
A: Yes. Full-Time students have priority for studio rental. Continuing Education students taking lighting and/or portraiture courses are also eligible to rent out studio space. Studio space can be rented in three-hour time allotments by emailing Ksenia Pavlenko at [email protected].

Q: What facilities can I expect in the Photo Lab?
A: There are two B&W "gang labs." When not being used by a class, these labs will be available to all registered students for black-and-white Open Printing Sessions on a non-reservation basis. All enlargers are Saunders 4x5 enlargers with one Omega enlarger in each lab. All sinks can handle up to 20"x24" paper. The open printing schedule will be posted at the beginning of each term. Mini-versions are available at the Photo Lab office counter.

PRINT WASHERS AND TONING SINK: Located outside B/W Lab B, this area is used for print washing, toning, and RC and fiber print drying. There are "rocker" washers and archival washers available. There are two RC dryers that handle a minimum print size of 8"x10." Drying screens are available for fiber prints. There is also a dehumidification fiber print dryer for anyone in a rush.

FILM DEVELOPING AREA: The lab is located just south of the print washing area and can be accessed from the Classroom Hallway. Stock solutions supplied here include: D-76, Selectol-soft, T-Max developer, stop bath, film strength fixer, selenium toner, and Photo-Flo. Full-time students have access to other chemistry not already supplied in the labs. A binder listing almost all film/developer/time combinations has been placed on the shelf in between the dryers. Three film loading rooms are available. There is also a Sheet Film Lab for tray processing. Various sheet film tanks are available. There are eight film dryers located in this area.

COLOR LAB: There is one color lab with 18 enlargers. The color printer is a KM-4 processor. Minimum size is 8x10, maximum is 30" wide.

PRINT FINISHING AREA: Heat presses are for use by all students for mounting or flattening prints. Main worktable is covered with a protective cutting surface. Here you will also find weights, light tables, and various cutters.

Q: What does the Digital Media Lab include?
A: It includes four digital labs with up to 18 Quad-core Intel Mac Pro workstations. Each station has a printer (Epson 3880s, 3800s, 2880s, 1900s—also Epson 9880, 9800, 7880, 7800) and a scanner (Imacon X1, X5, Nikon 9000, Nikon 5000, Epson V750, 10000XL).

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