Photography schools offer the great opportunity to improve your skills. You also get recognition for your abilities, which might help with finding a job.
It’s also one of the most efficient ways to meet like-minded people.
There are many types of schools, degrees, and universities for artists of all kinds. Here are 21 best photography schools, degrees, and universities.
Best Photography Degrees
Some schools offer a wide variety of photography courses. Others are much more limited. What you choose depends on the genres you want to specialise in and how much money you want to make in the long run.
Professional photographers earn anywhere from $30,000 to $77,000 (or more) annually. Even if you charge $10 per hour as a beginner, you can make around $21,000 a year.
A few top-paying photography careers are filmmaking, scientific research, and information services.
There are also exclusive photography careers that can help you make a lot of money. These include portrait, commercial, wedding, and news photography.
These genres are all connected in their own ways. If you like at least one of them, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy studying the others too.
Once you get a Bachelors degree, you’ll be able to find a job in most of these industries.
Best Photography Schools & Universities
21. California Institute of the Arts
The California Institute of the Arts, also known as CalArts, is a private art university. It was created by none other than Walt Disney and his brother. It’s considered one of the best art universities in the United States.
CalArts offers Bachelor Fine Arts (BFA) and Masters Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in photography and media. As a student, you’ll be encouraged to experiment with different mediums. Some might not even be related to photography at all, like puppetry.
The institute’s main goal is to encourage students to familiarise themselves with all forms of art.
20. Vevey School of Photography
Located in Switzerland, Vevey is a fine arts school respected by well-known photographers and companies. It offers an International Photography Award with a prize of €33,000 for the best projects or ideas.
Students can expect to focus on creativity and learn how to use it in business.
You can even choose subjects that will give you work opportunities.
19. Parsons School of Design
Founded in 1896, the Parsons School of Design is one of the best art schools in the United states. Located in New York City, Parsons offers a variety of degrees (BFA and MFA) for aspiring photographers.
In the comprehensive photography course, students learn about analogue and digital photography. You’ll also study other mediums that aim to improve their knowledge of design. And you’ll be introduced to film and installation.
18. Yale University School of Art
Yale School of Art is located in Connecticut and offers MFAs only. If you want to get a BFA, you’ll have to apply to Yale University exclusively.
Yale is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Photography students can expect thorough reviews of their work every week. And introductions to a variety of photography mediums, such as non silver processes.
Only 10 students are accepted every year. Receiving an MFA from Yale will increase your chances of finding a great photography job.
17. Goldsmiths, University of London
Goldsmiths has 18 academic departments and offers two MAs in photography:
- Photography: The Image & Electronic Arts
- Photography & Urban Cultures
Getting an MA in Photography & Urban Cultures will help you find jobs in urban research, architectural research, human rights, and other similar industries.
An MA in Image & Electronic Arts will help you evolve your photography work. You’ll experience different mediums, and improve your understanding of electronic arts. These include 2D computer animation and web construction.
Compared to the first degree, this seems to focus more on improving your photos than getting involved in other industries.
16. Ryerson University – School of Image Arts
Located in Toronto, Ryerson is one of the best schools for fine art enthusiasts.
The school’s aim is to teach students how to balance their creativity and photography knowledge in the modern world. Students have to study for a total of four years.
During this time, they learn about every aspect of photography imaginable. From aesthetics to relevant cultural issues.
After four years, they receive a BFA degree.
15. Tokyo Zokei University
Zokei is a private university that’s considered to be one of the best art schools in Japan.
In Japanese, “zokei” means “formative design”. Students can expect to have a deep knowledge of both photography and design after they graduate.
Students are also introduced to workshops, archiving, and other important aspects of photography.
14. Spéos: Photography School
Located in both London and Paris, Spéos has a variety of photography courses made for all kinds of photographers. Its courses are taught in English and French.
Spéos offers a 1-year intensive course. This gives graduates the title of European Master of Professional Photography. Students can specialise in photojournalism, fashion, and sports photography, to name a few.
13. Royal College of Art
Located in London, Royal College is the only university in the world that offers postgraduate courses in art and design. Amongst these is photography, for which you can earn a Master’s degree.
The 2-year course aims to help photographers develop their personal style. And build a solid foundation for their work.
12. Academy of Art University
Academy of Art is a private university in California. Founded in 1929, it offers both online and offline courses.
Its admission acceptance rate is 100%, which means that anyone who applies can be a part of the university.
11. Istituto Europeo di Design
Istituto Europeo di Design is a private Italian design school. It teaches design, fashion, photography, and management. It has schools located in both Rome and Madrid.
The school provides a creative and freeing space for students to grow. It offers BFAs and MFAs in photography.
10. Rochester Institute of Technology
Located in the United States, Rochester is the perfect institute for aspiring photographers who enjoy learning about the scientific side of art.
Nine of RIT’s graduates have won 13 Pulitzer Prizes for photojournalism. It’s also known for having very talented counsellors.
9. European Academy of Fine Arts
The European Academy of Fine Arts offers a variety of art courses. From painting to printmaking. One of its courses includes an introduction to digital image processing.
The course isn’t intensive. But it seems to be a helpful introduction to the basics of digital photography.
8. Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College has an affordable photography program with a strong focus on financial aid. It’s considered one of the top photography schools in the United States.
It offers BAs and MAs in photography. The program lasts for four years.
7. Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art
Sir J.J. is located in Mumbai, India and provides students with a unique view of the photography world. Thanks to India’s rich culture, students can ind inspiration in their surroundings.
6. International Center of Photography School
The International Center of Photography School is one of the most popular photography schools in NYC. It focuses on photography’s relation to social change. And it encourages students to do the same.
The school has exhibitions, workshops, and other social events that anyone can attend.
5. The Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia
Founded in 2006, this school offers a 3-year program. Students learn about a combination of Russian and international art.
If you pass the admissions exam, you will be able to study for free. The catch is that you have to know enough Russian to participate in classes and interact with other students.
4. Kent State University
Based in Ohio, Kent State offers a BFA in photography. Its aim is to introduce students to the commercial side of photography. And help them succeed in their respective genres.
The school combines elements of graphic design with photography. This gives students a clear idea of art and its many forms.
3. Accademia Italiana
This institute is ideal for students who want to immerse themselves in Italy’s rich culture and fashion-oriented world.
It combines photography theories and the students’ unique talents for a wholesome experience. Students are promised to excel in their workplaces upon graduating.
Best Online Photography Schools
There are many credible options for those who can’t afford to travel or attend a school. A certificate or degree from these schools can be as valuable as one received from an actual university.
2. New York Institute of Photography
Students learn using a variety of digital files, from audio messages to simple text lessons. At the end of every unit, they submit a project that’s reviewed by a mentor.
Once a course is completed, students receive a NYIP Graduate Certificate.
Courses cost around $700 each.
1. Udemy – Introduction to Photography
Udemy is a website made for all kinds of online teaching. One of its most popular photography courses, made by Chris Bray, is meant to help beginners feel more confident about their approach to photography.
The course is completely free and includes 2.5 hours of videos.
Upon completing the course, students receive a certificate of completion.
There are many photography schools available out there. People with all kinds of interests and budgets can find something that works for them.
You might be a curious fashion photographer or a beginner looking to get a certificate. You’ll find something valuable in one of these schools.