There are many exceptional photography programs to research when applying to a school. To give a potential student a starting point for program consideration, four websites were evaluated for their top picks. The following programs are rated on the consulted sites.
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Santa Clarita is a private school. The goal of this program is to produce graduates who become artists working in analog and digital photography or video. Social commentary is supported as is involvement in grassroots organizations. Aside from artists, the career paths of graduates have included documentarians, educators, editorial and commercial photographers, journalists, curators, designers, and photographic entrepreneurs.
The University of California in Los Angeles is a program that is geared towards using photography to create art. A student’s ability to discuss the history of photography and its narrative potential is stressed while video and installation art are also explored. UCLA is a public university that was ranked first in this category by U.S. News & World Report in 2018.
Rhode Island School of Design is an art and design college located in Providence that has been consistently ranked as one of the top schools for art and design in the world. Its approach is to teach how symbols, metaphors, and cultural cues can be incorporated into image making. Creating photography is combined with learning how to interpret photographic images, thereby treating the venue as a craft and a language.
The Art Institute of Chicago‘s photography program teaches students to redefine photographic concepts. Technical and conceptual mastery are considered integral to a student’s ability to discuss their work and the work of other photographers. This independent school is located in downtown Chicago and has been rated as the most influential art school by Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism survey.
The University of New Mexico was found on all referenced websites, demonstrating its relevance and prominence. This program seeks to cultivate a student’s intellectual and aesthetic growth through visual literacy. Lens-based techniques are incorporated into a student’s acquired skill set. The school is a public university located in Albuquerque.
There are several variables to consider when choosing a photography program. Whether the school is private or public, its geographic location, and what type of career a student wants to pursue post graduation are important factors to evaluate. The programs listed in this article are all held in high regard; finding the right fit for a student’s desired qualities in a school just needs to be determined.