Best Colleges with Photography Degrees in the U.S.

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Do you have the ability to take any old random thing and turn it into a photographic work of art? Are you the person who takes a camera everywhere you go because you're fascinated with the idea of forever capturing the human journey? If you answered "yes", or even thought a confident "maybe", a degree in photography is definitely for you. Photographers must be more than creative; they must have a thorough understanding of the subject and the equipment. As a photography student, you will learn the basics of photography: the history of photography, lighting and composition, how to capture objects in motion, equipment operation and maintenance, and the use of computer applications to enhance images. Because the technology world is constantly changing, successful photography students must learn how to adapt to the changes. What you learn while earning your degree should complement your current photography knowledge.

You can go to school to become a photography generalist or you can have a specialty such as photojournalism, digital media, or portraits. Make sure to do in-depth research to find the school that best fits your goals. Keep in mind that fine arts specialty schools are typically more competitive than liberal arts colleges and typically require a strong portfolio. Most entry-level positions in photography require a bachelor's degree, while some technical positions may only require an associate degree; teaching photography generally requires a master's degree.

The Best Photography Colleges of 2017

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 School of Visual Arts New York, NY

School of Visual Arts offers 2 Photography Degree programs. It's a medium sized private university in a large city. In 2015, 188 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 123 Bachelor's degrees, and 65 Master's degrees.

2 Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO

Washington University in St Louis offers 1 Photography Degree program. It's a large private university in a large suburb.

Based on 36 Reviews
3 New York University New York, NY

New York University offers 2 Photography Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 32 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 32 Bachelor's degrees.

Based on 60 Reviews
4 Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA

Savannah College of Art and Design offers 2 Photography Degree programs. It's a medium sized private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 150 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 113 Bachelor's degrees, and 37 Master's degrees.

Based on 12 Reviews
5 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY

Rochester Institute of Technology offers 2 Photography Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 99 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 94 Bachelor's degrees, and 5 Master's degrees.

Based on 36 Reviews
6 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University offers 2 Photography Degree programs. It's a large private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 30 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 28 Bachelor's degrees, and 2 Master's degrees.

Based on 60 Reviews
7 George Washington University Washington, DC

George Washington University offers 2 Photography Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 14 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 13 Bachelor's degrees, and 1 Associate's degree.

Based on 28 Reviews
8 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL

University of Miami offers 1 Photography Degree program. It's a large private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 3 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 3 Bachelor's degrees.

Based on 16 Reviews
9 Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI

Rhode Island School of Design offers 2 Photography Degree programs. It's a small private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 19 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 13 Bachelor's degrees, and 6 Master's degrees.

10 University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
UW Seattle

University of Washington-Seattle Campus offers 4 Photography Degree programs. It's a large public university in a large city. In 2015, 20 students graduated in the study area of Photography with students earning 17 Bachelor's degrees, and 3 Master's degrees.

Based on 144 Reviews

List of Photography Schools in the U.S.

Filter:
Degree Levels
  • Associate's
  • Bachelor's
  • Certificates
  • Doctoral
  • Master's
Program Length
  • Less than 2 years (below associate)
  • At least 2 but less than 4 years
  • Four or more years
Control Type
  • Private for-profit
  • Private not-for-profit
  • Public
School Logo School Name Average tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
School of Visual Arts School of Visual Arts New York, NY
5/5
9 : 1 4,408
Washington University in St Louis Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
5/5
9 : 1 14,688
New York University New York University New York, NY
5/5
8 : 1 50,027
Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA
5/5
22 : 1 11,861
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
5/5
15 : 1 16,639
Syracuse University Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
5/5
18 : 1 21,789
George Washington University George Washington University Washington, DC
5/5
17 : 1 26,212
University of Miami University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
5/5
11 : 1 16,825
Rhode Island School of Design Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI
5/5
10 : 1 2,481
University of Washington-Seattle Campus University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
3/5
12 : 1 45,408
The New School The New School New York, NY
5/5
11 : 1 10,344
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
4/5
20 : 1 45,842
Texas Christian University Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
5/5
15 : 1 10,323
University of Central Florida University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
2/5
41 : 1 62,953
Temple University Temple University Philadelphia, PA
4/5
15 : 1 38,007
Purdue University-Main Campus Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
3/5
20 : 1 40,472
Lesley University Lesley University Cambridge, MA
5/5
17 : 1 5,067
Brigham Young University-Provo Brigham Young University-Provo Provo, UT
2/5
24 : 1 33,469
Pratt Institute-Main Pratt Institute-Main Brooklyn, NY
5/5
11 : 1 4,784
Seattle University Seattle University Seattle, WA
5/5
13 : 1 7,405
State University of New York at New Paltz State University of New York at New Paltz New Paltz, NY
2/5
17 : 1 7,751
Maryland Institute College of Art Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, MD
5/5
8 : 1 2,197
Drexel University Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
5/5
14 : 1 25,595
University of Dayton University of Dayton Dayton, OH
5/5
16 : 1 11,250
Academy of Art University Academy of Art University San Francisco, CA
4/5
22 : 1 13,800

Find Local Colleges Offering Photography Degrees

Getting a Photography Degree Online

Schools offering online Photography degrees

Online Photography degrees are available at a variety of different schools with as many as 212 degrees earned at the most popular school. Read more below about all schools that have offered online Photography degrees. If you are interested learning more about getting a degree online, check out our page dedicated to online degree information.

Certificate
Associate's
Bachelor's
Master's
Doctoral
School Name Certificate Associate's Bachelor's Master's Doctoral
Academy of Art University 0 56 87 69 0
Savannah College of Art and Design 0 0 0 37 0
Columbus State Community College 33 0 0 0 0
Oklahoma School of Photography 26 0 0 0 0
Northern Arizona University 0 0 22 0 0
How many schools offer online Photography degrees?
  • 3 Certificates
  • 3 Associate's
  • 2 Bachelor's
  • 3 Master's

What degrees do people get in Photography?

Degree Level Program Length Colleges Graduates
Associate's 2-year Length 94 Colleges 588 Graduates
Bachelor's 4-year Length 138 Colleges 1,759 Graduates
Certificates < 1 year Length 110 Colleges 593 Graduates
Master's 1+ years Length 27 Colleges 313 Graduates

Photography Degree Overview

When it comes to choosing a Photography degree, getting a traditional degree is very prevalent. The most normal path for those earning a degree in Photography can presume a standard two to four years to earn a degree. The most commonplace Photography degree earned was a bachelor's degree and it also has the widest range of school possibilities as well. The second most popular Photography degree that people get is a certificate. While a bachelor's degree is the likely degree choice, acquiring a certificate degree isn't out of the question. Although a master's degree is offered at some schools, getting an advanced degree is not very common. Picking a degree in Photography will ultimately come down to what you hope to achieve with that degree in addition to finding something that meets your personal requirements such as school availability and schedule flexibility.

Average cost of college for a Photography degree

Average Tuition and Fees for a 2 year Degree

Average Tuition and Fees School Control Student Residence
$3,105 Public In-State
$13,811 Private In-State
$7,394 Public Out-of-State
$13,811 Private Out-of-State

Average Tuition and Fees for a 4 year Degree

Average Tuition and Fees School Control Student Residence
$8,295 Public In-State
$26,704 Private In-State
$18,856 Public Out-of-State
$26,704 Private Out-of-State
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