What Are Some Good Colleges for Photography?

By Meg Jernigan

  • Overview

    Every college with a Fine Arts program offers courses in photography, but there are many universities dedicated solely to art and design. Whether or not a school is considered a good college for photography depends on a number of variables, among them reputation, size, degree programs and course offerings.
  • International Center of Photography

    ICP, in Manhattan, is one of the best-equipped photography schools in the world. The Center offers 400 courses for both one-year certificate programs and a Master of Fine Arts degree. Photojournalism, general studies and continuing education are also offered. Faculty members are prominent educators and photographers. Lecture series by distinguished photographers contribute to the educational experience. The Museum at ICP mounts exhibits by noted photographers, and the permanent collection consists of 100,000 images that span the history of photography.
  • The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    The School of the Art Institute of Chicago was named the third best graduate school in the country by US News & World Report. Columbia University's National Arts Journalism Program named SAIC "the most influential art school." SAIC was founded in 1866 as the Chicago Academy of Design and is partnered with the Art Institute. The holdings of the museum are available to students for research. The school offers graduate and post graduate degrees, as well as certification.


  • The Royal College of Art in London

    92% of RCA graduates find employment in their field. The student body and faculty are drawn from around the world, creating a diverse learning experience. The college employs world-famous artists and designers and works with other art institutions to promote research in photography. Director Ridley Scott and author Len Deighton are RCA graduates. The RCA is limited to post-graduate studies, so admission requirements include a BA from a photography school.
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art- College of Art + Design

    Because of its location in Washington, DC and its affiliation with the Corcoran Gallery, the College of Art + Design attracts noted faculty in a city full of museums and photography opportunities. The Gallery mounts innovative exhibitions and holds a large collection of photographs. Undergraduate and graduate degrees in both fine art photography and photojournalism are offered. The curriculum is based around core classes that teach both technique and artistic expression.
  • Hallmark Institute of Photography

    The Hallmark Institute, in Turners Falls, MA, offers a total immersion 10-month program with 1400 hours of course work. The program focuses on both the techniques of photography and the business aspects of the profession. Graduates are fully prepared to enter the workforce as professionals in a much shorter period of time than at other arts schools. Because of the small size of the student body, learning is hands-on with noted photographers.
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