I was looking online and noticed this requirement was included in the application materials. They could deny you if you don't include a photo of yourself. And mind you this is for a fully ONLINE program.

1 Answer 1


What makes you think it isn't legal?

You can be excluded for any reason other than one that is prohibited by law (race, sex, etc.). Refusing to provide a photo is not one of those.

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    Agreed. Asking for a photo would make it easier for them to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, etc, if they wanted to; and it might lead people to suspect that illegal discrimination is happening; but it isn't in itself discriminatory. Jan 19, 2017 at 23:25
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    I would think that requesting a photo greatly facilitates discrimination on the basis of a prohibited class membership and would be evidence that would potentially expose the institution to liability, although standing alone it probably wouldn't prove it. Requiring a photo after admission would be a completely different matter.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 20, 2017 at 0:26
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    @ohwilleke not significantly more than requiring a name does - names almost always disclose both sex and ethnicity - not to mention that we all have cognitive bias towards or against particular names thedigeratilife.com/blog/index.php/2007/07/02/…
    – Dale M
    Jan 20, 2017 at 0:55
  • Lots of names are gender ambiguous, a significant number of ethnicity ambiguous. For example, I was a judge at a recent speech and debate tournament. In one round, two of six had gender ambiguous names and only two had names that clearly identified ethnicity (in each case as white). Both an Asian student and a black student had names that did not clearly convey ethnicity.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 20, 2017 at 1:56

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