Top Schools for Photography, Film and Video

Learn about the top schools for photography, film and video. Review degree options and training at four leading universities, and see highlights of other schools in the U.S. that offer programs for photographers, filmmakers and video artists. View article »

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    • MA in Film
    • BS in Photography
    • BS in Digital Photography
    • BA in Photography & Design
    • BA in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production
    • AS in Applied Science - Digital Photography
    • AS in Video Production
    • AS in Photographic Imaging
    • Diploma in Commerical Photography
    • Diploma in VFX for Film & Television
    • Diploma in Digital Film & Video
    • Certificate in Acting 1
    • Certificate in Acting 2
    • Certificate in Acting 3
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Show Me Schools
  • 0:05 School Overviews
  • 0:40 Yale University
  • 1:20 USC
  • 2:10 UCLA
  • 2:56 University of Iowa
  • 3:33 Top Degree Programs

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

We'll look at some of the top schools in the nation that offer programs for photography, film, and video based on how they compare to other top schools in national rankings and the types of programs they offer. Students who are interested in creating moving and static images can find programs at both public and private institutions, including an Ivy League school. Each of the schools we'll review offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs in film and television production, digital media, and/or photography. They were also ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2017.

Yale University

Yale University tied as the third-best college in the country according to U.S News & World Report in 2017. Yale University is a private Ivy League institution that U.S. News & World Report designated as the top graduate program for photography. The university's School of Art offers a two-year graduate program in photography, as well as courses in film and video. Once enrolled, students learn about the technical workings of a camera and how to use darkroom facilities to alter photos. They also study with video artists and acquire the knowledge and technical skills necessary to create and edit moving images.


The University of Southern California's curriculum puts special focus on the artistic style of photography, starting students off with 35mm and black and white analog photography. The University of Southern California is a private nonprofit university that ranked 23rd-best college in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2017. At the School of Cinematic Arts, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Arts in one of several areas, such as film and television production, animation and digital arts, or interactive media. Students in the film and television production program learn how to create scripts and produce films using camera, editing, light, and sound equipment. Group projects with fellow filmmakers and actors are designed to help aspiring professionals improve their filmmaking and television production skills.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Cinematography and Film Production
  • Film and Cinema Studies
  • Photography


The University of California - Los Angeles' School of Theater, Film and Television claims Francis Ford Coppola and James Dean as alumni. The University of California in Los Angeles is a public research university that U.S. News & World Report ranked as tied for the 24th best college in the country for 2017. The School of Theater, Film, and Television offers undergraduate and graduate programs in all three fields of study, which may allow for specializations in acting, cinematography, or producing. Students in the film and television programs find out how to develop, direct, and produce movie and television projects. They also become familiar with the different types of cameras and editing software essential to the film and television industry.

University of Iowa

In 2016, the University of Iowa's printmaking program tied for fifth on U.S. News & World Report ranking. As of 2017, the University of Iowa was tied for the 33rd top public school in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Students had the option to pursue a B.A. in Cinema, M.A./Ph.D. in Film Studies, or an M.F.A. in Video Production from the Department of Cinematic Arts. Alternatively, students may pursue a B.A., B.F.A., M.A., or M.F.A. in Photography from the School of Art and Art History.

Top Degree Programs

Let's explore a few more colleges and universities that offer top-notch programs in photography, film, and video.

School Name Distinction Location
Massachusetts College of Art and Design Offers undergraduate and graduate degrees for all three majors Boston, MA
The College at Brockport - State University of New York Offers a teacher certification in the arts Brockport, NY
University of North Carolina School of the Arts Primarily focuses on the visual and performing arts Winston - Salem, NC
Western Michigan University Has many distance-learning opportunities for the majors Kalamazoo, MI
University of South Carolina Offers opportunities to study abroad Columbia, SC

Students interested in pursuing degrees in photography, film, and video can select their ideal program by reviewing a school's ranking, available degrees, and program specifics.

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