Top Photography School - Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati has few schools with programs in photography. Find the best program for you by reading about the schools' rankings, program offerings and tuition info.

School and Ranking Information

Both nonprofit and for-profit schools in Cincinnati provide studies in photography. The following three schools are considered the top Cincinnati schools for photography studies based on rankings, program offerings and graduation rates:

  • Winner: The University of Cincinnati, which offers photography studies through its undergraduate and graduate fine arts programs, is declared the winner because of its national and program rankings and the number of degrees awarded. It also has the highest graduation rate and the largest student population among the three schools.
  • Runner Up #1: The Art Academy of Cincinnati earns the top runner up spot because it is the only institution located in the city that offers a bachelor's degree program in photography. It also offers professional learning opportunities.
  • Runner Up #2: Antonelli College claims the third spot as the only school in Cincinnati offering a 2-year degree program in photography.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Cincinnati Art Academy of Cincinnati Antonelli College - Cincinnati
Rankings #62 among top graduate fine arts programs, nationwide (2012)*,
#139 among top national universities (2013)*
Location Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati, OH
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, private for-profit
Tuition & Fees in 2012-2013 $10,784 (undergraduate, in-state),
$25,816 (undergraduate, out-of-state);
$14,182 (graduate, in-state),
$25,696 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$24,330 (undergraduate)** $15,426 (undergraduate)**
Photography Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's degree Associate's degree
Photography Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012 81 for fine/studio arts (photography not reported)** 4** 25**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) 55% (18% transfer-out rate) for 2006 entering class** 53% for 2006 entering class** 39% for 2009 entering class**
Noteworthy There are 22 members of the fine arts faculty AICAD Mobility program, which allows students to spend one semester at another member school of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) The school is located near the Aronoff Center for the Arts and several other galleries

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics

Winner: University of Cincinnati

  • School offers a visiting artist program
  • The school has a Photo Complex with cameras, lighting equipment and facilities for silver-based, color-based and digital photography
  • Students can display their work in the school's 840 Gallery or online gallery

Offered through the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, the University of Cincinnati's Bachelor of Fine Arts program has a well-rounded curriculum that covers eight fields, including traditional fine arts (drawing and painting) as well as photography, electronic art and installation art. Students take classes in visual arts, professionalism for artists and contemporary arts. They also complete several studio courses and have freedom in selecting their studio disciplines. Photography classes examine traditional and digital photography, expressive photographic techniques and experimental photography.

A Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in media studies is also available. Within the media studies program, students explore photography and electronic arts. The curriculum is composed of several fine arts studios and graduate seminars, including multiple art critique seminars. There is a graduate-level photography class that focuses on photography research and critical analysis of photography as it's represented across numerous forms of media. MFA students may be eligible for a variety of financial aid resources, including assistantships, research grants and scholarships.

Runner-Up #1: Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC)

  • Students benefit from the yearly Lightborne Visiting Artist Program (LVAP)
  • Two students from the Art Academy are selected to complete a semester-long residency in New York each year
  • 5:1 student-faculty ratio, according to the NCES

Students in AAC's photography bachelor's degree program learn about both 35mm and digital formats, as well as many other printing and shooting techniques. Courses include darkroom photography, color photography, black and white photography and experimental photography. Art history and drawing courses are also required. The LVAP invites two international artists annually to give lectures, provide photography workshops and offer critical analyses of student work. Photography students complete a professional learning component, which may be a fine arts internship, a professional studio work experience or a design project for real customers.

Runner-Up #2: Antonelli College - Cincinnati

  • According to the NCES, 25 students out of 71 total graduates in 2011-2012 earned a photography degree, making it the most popular major
  • The photography curriculum includes business courses, since photographers often go into independent business

Antonelli College has an associate's degree program in photography. Students learn about the technicalities of the profession, including light manipulation, camera settings and the use of filters. They learn how to apply photography skills and creativity to multiple disciplines, including wedding, nature, product and aerial photography.

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