Priya Desai 5 min read Academic Tips and Info, College Lists

List of All U.S. Colleges with a Photography Major

Photography involves the study of visual communication and the production of images and art. Photographers must take into account the different aspects of the visual experience and decide how they choose to capture their subjects. Photography spans multiple genres, such as portraits, landscapes, macro, street, and still life. It’s an interdisciplinary major crucial to industries such as fashion, food, weddings, and sports.

 

Today, many colleges in the United States offer photography as a major. Photography skills are essential in a world that prioritizes documentation, and the prominence of social media has ushered in a wave of demand for digital art skills. Furthermore, photoshoots and professional camera crews at events have become increasingly common, so there are a range of career possibilities for photography majors. 

 

If you’re interested in pursuing a major in photography, read on to learn which schools offer the major and what to seek out in a program. 

 

Overview of the Photography Major

 

Most photography majors will need to take courses in a variety of art subjects in order to learn the basics of their craft. Coursework will revolve around the history of photography, theoretical knowledge, camera use, techniques, lighting, and image composition. You will learn to use film and digital cameras, and develop your own film (be ready to spend several hours in the darkroom).

 

There might also be course material relating to art history, 2- and 3-dimensional design, editing, and digital media. Depending on their unique personal style and the university’s course selection, students can craft their own path and explore specific subfields of photography.

 

To succeed in photography, students will need to have a desire to develop their aesthetic palate and broaden their horizons. As a photography major, you will be introduced to many different styles of work and will need to be able to think critically about each, and possibly even replicate them. 

 

Your work will also be subject to a lot of feedback from university faculty and your fellow students, so you will need to be receptive to—and welcome—constructive criticism. You might have showings on campus or in local art galleries, and potentially later on in your career. You will also need to be passionate about both creating original work and revising it as you continue throughout your learning process. 

 

Photography can involve many different industries, so the career possibilities are similarly varied. Students in the major can go into fields such as journalism, the fashion industry, animation and filmography. They can work for a corporation, such as a magazine, or start their own service, taking on contract jobs or creating their own content. 

 

After their undergraduate career, students can go on to earn their Master of Fine Arts (MFA). This will allow them to further hone their photography skills and more deeply pursue the discipline. Students who pursue this course of study can also become professors of photography. 

 

What to Look for in a College as a Psychology Major

 

Genres Offered

 

No two universities are the same – this goes for the campus, culture, and courses offered. Before you apply to a school, you should check that their course breadth encapsulates the skills and genres you wish to learn. This is instrumental in ensuring that your academic and professional career have a solid foundation.

 

Equipment Resources

 

You should also research the types of equipment loaning resources at each school you are interested in. Know what types of photography equipment are available to students and how they are distributed amongst photography majors. See what kind of cameras, darkroom supplies, and other materials are available and try to estimate how much it will cost for you on top of other university costs.

 

Affiliated Faculty

 

As you look into prospective schools, in addition to course availability, you should consider the people who are teaching them. Research their work, hone in on their style, and pay attention to their career trajectory. With art-related majors, this could make a huge difference in terms of what you get out of your education. It can also help set your expectations for attending a particular university.

 

Showcasing Opportunities

 

As you continue building your portfolio in college, you’ll want to make sure your work can gain adequate exposure. Look into the school’s outlets for showcasing – maybe they have an on-campus student gallery, monthly showcase events of student work, or a renowned journal or magazine to which you can submit your work. Look for schools that prioritize this type of engagement.

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

List of All U.S. Colleges With A Photography Major

 

School

City

State

Endicott College

Beverly

Massachusetts

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg

Massachusetts

Northern Arizona University | NAU

Flagstaff

Arizona

State University of New York at Purchase | SUNY Purchase

Purchase

New York

Sam Houston State University | SHSU

Huntsville

Texas

Savannah College of Art and Design | SCAD

Savannah

Georgia

Texas A&M University–Commerce

Commerce

Texas

University of Dayton

Dayton

Ohio

University of La Verne

La Verne

California

University of Idaho

Moscow

Idaho

University of Hartford

West Hartford

Connecticut

Coker College

Hartsville

South Carolina

Texas Christian University | TCU

Fort Worth

Texas

Bennington College

Bennington

Vermont

Brigham Young University | BYU

Provo

Utah

Barry University

Miami

Florida

University of the Arts | UArts

Philadelphia

Pennsylvania

Andrews University

Berrien Springs

Michigan

Purdue University

West Lafayette

Indiana

St. John’s University

Queens

New York

Pratt Institute

Brooklyn

New York

The State University of New York at Buffalo | SUNY Buffalo

Buffalo

New York

University of Houston

Houston

Texas

California Institute of the Arts | Cal Arts

Valencia

California

ArtCenter College of Design | ArtCenter

Pasadena

California

Lesley University

Cambridge

Massachusetts

Grand Valley State University | GVSU

Allendale

Michigan

Rochester Institute of Technology | RIT

Rochester

New York

University of Oregon

Eugene

Oregon

St. Edward’s University

Austin

Texas

Texas State University

San Marcos

Texas

California College of the Arts | CCA

San Francisco

California

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth | UMass Dartmouth

North Dartmouth

Massachusetts

Carleton College

Northfield

Minnesota

Pacific Northwest College of Art | PNCA

Portland

Oregon

Cardinal Stritch University

Milwaukee

Wisconsin

Point Park University

Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania

Maryland Institute College of Art | MICA

Baltimore

Maryland

University of Central Florida | UCF

Orlando

Florida

Oklahoma City University | OCU

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma

Spelman College

Atlanta

Georgia

Providence College

Providence

Rhode Island

Rhode Island School of Design | RISD

Providence

Rhode Island

University of Akron

Akron

Ohio

Louisiana Tech University | La. Tech

Ruston

Louisiana

Syracuse University

Syracuse

New York

Webster University

Saint Louis

Missouri

Washington University in St. Louis | WashU

Saint Louis

Missouri

University of Illinois at Chicago | UIC

Chicago

Illinois

Columbia College Chicago

Chicago

Illinois

Bradley University

Peoria

Illinois

University of Miami

Coral Gables

Florida

Oakland University

Rochester Hills

Michigan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | UIUC

Champaign

Illinois

Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU

Richmond

Virginia

Drexel University

Philadelphia

Pennsylvania

Temple University

Philadelphia

Pennsylvania

New York University | NYU

New York

New York

Marymount Manhattan College

New York

New York

New School

New York

New York

University of Washington

Seattle

Washington

Seattle University

Seattle

Washington

George Washington University | GW

Washington DC

Washington DC

 

Notice a school that’s missing? Email us and let us know!

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Regardless of what your prospective major is, the first step to admittance to your dream school is ensuring that your profile is academically comparable to the typical admitted student there. Many selective schools use a filter called the Academic Index to sift through applicants and often outright reject the ones who do not meet their standards. 

 

Once you’ve successfully passed this screening, you must ensure the other portions of your applications fit with the school. This involves making sure your more qualitative submissions, such as your extracurricular profile and essays, match the school’s expectations and culture in addition to portraying yourself accurately. 

 

For photography majors, and other prospective visual and performing art majors, this could also mean submitting a portfolio of your past work. This should be carefully curated to demonstrate your unique style and range, while also keeping in mind how it fits in with the school’s current genres and areas of strength. 

 

For more assistance with gauging your chances of admission to a particular school, we recommend using our Chancing Engine (it’s free!). Unlike other calculators, it takes into account a large portion of your individual profile, including academic stats and more qualitative factors like extracurriculars.

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Priya Desai
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Priya has been working at CollegeVine for two years in various capacities, including mentoring students, editing hundreds of essays, and creating blog content. She has also interned in healthcare consulting. She is extremely grateful for all the help she received as an applicant and wants to pay it forward by demystifying the admissions process for others.