List of Photography Universities in the U.S.

Photography universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees that specialize in digital or manual photography, preparing the student for many different careers behind the camera. Graduates can go on to become studio or fashion photographers or even work on movie sets.

How to Select a Photography University

Bachelor's degree programs in photography normally take four years to complete and usually offer concentrations in either digital or manual photography. Graduate degree programs require two years of study after the completion of an undergraduate degree.

While researching schools, it's important to think about the kind of photography one wants to study, beyond just digital or manual photography. Students who graduate with a degree in photography can go on to work in the fields of commercial, portrait or editorial photography, among others, and the school selected should specialize in the desired field. Many photography programs also tie into other disciplines, such as advertising or marketing.

Prospective photography students may want to compare the facilities and equipment that schools have available for the students' use. Depending on the school, students may have access to digital labs, dark rooms, professional lighting equipment, film processing labs and other such facilities. Applicants may also want to research the school's faculty members to review their experience, creative interests and artwork; photography professors are often professional photographers and critics.

The curriculum of each program is another consideration. In a typical photography program, students not only learn the techniques and practices of professional photography, but also gain a comprehensive knowledge of the history and theory of the subject. Hands-on practice in photography familiarizes students with traditional developing and processing methods, as well as introducing techniques for digital media.

Prospective students may want to compare the balance between classroom work and hands-on camera practice in the program curriculum; they may also want to consider the capstone requirement. Traditionally, each student in a photography university program must create a professional portfolio or collection of their work before graduation.

Largest Universities by Total Student Population

University Student Population Institution Type
University of Central Florida50,121 4-year, Public
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign43,246 4-year, Public
New York University42,189 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Washington - Seattle Campus39,675 4-year, Public
University of Houston36,104 4-year, Public
Temple University35,490 4-year, Public
University of North Texas34,830 4-year, Public
Brigham Young University34,244 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Virginia Commonwealth University32,044 4-year, Public
California State University - Sacramento29,011 4-year, Public
University of Illinois at Chicago25,835 4-year, Public
George Washington University25,116 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Akron Main Campus24,119 4-year, Public
Grand Valley State University23,892 4-year, Public
Northern Arizona University22,502 4-year, Public
Drexel University21,537 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Oregon21,452 4-year, Public
Weber State University21,388 4-year, Public
Ohio University - Main Campus21,369 4-year, Public
St. John's University - New York20,109 4-year, Private not-for-profit

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