Best Colleges with a Photography Major: List of Schools

Jan 09, 2020

Gain information on the best colleges with photography majors in the country. Explore school rankings, degree options and location info, and compare similarities and differences to find the right school for you.

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94% college-bound high school students
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  • 0:02 School Information
  • 0:36 Providence College
  • 1:02 John Brown University
  • 1:30 Central Washington University
  • 2:11 More Top Photography Schools

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School Information

You'll find a number of schools that offer undergraduate majors in photography; more intensive photography training is typically available at the graduate level. Three of the top schools that offer photography programs are Providence College, John Brown University, and Central Washington University, all of which are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Students in these schools' programs learn techniques like lighting, composition, equipment use, and image processing. After learning more about these three schools, we'll briefly look at additional schools with good photography programs.

Providence College in Rhode Island

For 2020, Providence College was ranked #1 among regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report. The Providence College Studio Arts program offers a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in photography. Students learn the technical side of photography through hands-on training, and they receive extensive classmate and faculty critiques. They're also given the chance to publicly exhibit their work.

John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas

John Brown University (JBU) was ranked tied at #11 among regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report for 2020, and #15 among best value schools. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Photography program take classes in design, darkroom, social documentary, and commercial photography. Students from John Brown have gone on to careers in such fields as fashion, event, and crime scene photography.

Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington

Central Washington University was ranked #55 by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020 listing of best regional universities in the West, and #21 in the listing of top public schools. Undergraduates can earn a bachelor's degree in art or studio art with a photography emphasis. Graduate students can pursue a Master in Fine Arts in photography. The school features studio facilities for traditional black and white, digital and studio lighting, and 19th-century processes. Students must own either a 35mm film camera or a digital SLR camera, depending on what is appropriate for their program. Graduate students have 24-hour access to their own art studios.

More Top Photography Schools

Here's a list of 7 additional schools that offer programs with a photography major:

School Name Location Distinction
Columbia College Columbia, MO Offers a Bachelor of Arts in art with a photography concentration
Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI Offers photography students the opportunity to participate in a Photography and Art Desert Southwest Workshop class, traveling to various locations in the American Southwest
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY Has photography facilities that include 35 darkrooms, 5 computer labs, 30 studios, and an experimental space for presentations
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY Offers a photography major with two tracks: illustration photography and photojournalism.
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL Offers several awards for incoming freshmen studying the arts, including tuition waivers, the Lois Marie Orr Scholarship, and an exhibition scholarship
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL Tied #57 among all national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2020
Western Washington University Bellingham, WA Claims that 98% of its classes are taught by faculty rather than graduate assistants

The top photography schools are often nationally or regionally ranked and have state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for photography students. Depending on your interests, you may be able to explore numerous photography specialties, including commercial photography and photojournalism.

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