Top Photography College Degrees In America

Top Photography College Degrees In America

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Staff Writers
Updated June 24, 2021

Are you ready to find your fit?

Top Schools for Photography

The demand for photographers has never been greater. This is because of the popularity of social media platforms, like Instagram, mean that people are looking at photos more than ever before. Initially, you may think that that means there is less demand. After all, who needs a professional photographer when everyone has a high-end camera on their phone? But this is far from the truth. In actuality, companies are looking to make their mark on these social media platforms like never before. They need to stand out from the crowd; the key to this is hiring a photographer with an amazing eye for shots. And this is just one tiny area of the photography industry!

Now that you can see how in demand these skills are, you may be wondering how you can actually get into this market. After all, with so many people trying to make it as a photographer, getting established will always be a challenge. It all starts with the right education.

Average Yearly Wage for Photographers per State

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Top 30 Photography College Degrees 2021

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Photography degrees have existed for over 100 years, and photography technology has evolved rapidly throughout this time. That means that the best photography colleges have created a strong bedrock of teaching methods but have also adapted to new innovations. This is what you need to identify when looking for the right photography college. Yes, it's about classical composition techniques, but it's also about using modern resources in the right way.

With this in mind, before you take your first steps into the photographic world, you need to take some time out to assess which photography college is right for you. This article exists to make this difficult choice easier for you. In the creative industry, there is no one way to teach something. Some people will benefit from a technical education, while others want a free-flowing, abstract approach.

We've put in extensive research and identified America's top photography schools. After careful consideration, we know that the choices below are great for emerging photographers the world over. We've also discussed their approach to help you quickly determine if the college suits your learning style. And if none of the below are right for you, then you'll at least know what things to look for in your own college options.


We've consulted many articles to determine our results. Our primary sources come from creative publications that know lots about the photography industry. Additionally, we've consulted lists of the best creative degrees in the US and the world to see which American colleges are on par with the best educational practices.

In creating our final list, we've used these publications:

The Art Career Project, The Best Photography Schools in the U.S. 2018:

QS/Top Universities, Art & Design:

US News, Best Graduate Photography Programs:

Resource, 15 Great College and University Photography Programs in the U.S.:, Best Colleges with Photography Degrees in the U.S.:

College Raptor: Top Photography Bachelors Degree Programs - 2018:

After using these methodology lists as a starting point, we've then conducted further research and worked out whether or not the statements in the above articles are true. This includes going onto the college websites, looking at student reviews of the photography degrees and looking for evidence of innovation in the programs.

We're confident that the following list is the most reliable source on the internet for finding the best photography degree. Our rankings are sorted with the following criteria as a priority: methodology list placements, student satisfaction, evidence of alumni careers, evidence of innovation and experience of the faculty.

Additional Resources

Use articles and resources to uncover answers to common questions, get guidance on your goals, and learn about applying to schools.

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