If you are on the prowl for an elite photography program, look no further. Below you will find the top 5 photography programs in the United States. These are the cream of the crop in terms of faculty, equipment, class size, resources, average job placement and a number of other critical factors. Students who attend one of these fine academic institutions will find their own “voice” as photographers and undoubtedly catalyze their job search. Without further adieu, here are the top 5 photography programs in the country.
New York Film Academy (NYFA)
Founded in 1992, the New York Film Academy has locations in New York, Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). The New York Film Academy photography school is widely lauded for its intense but highly informative courses. Those who enroll in a course of study at NYFA experience a unique hands-on learning approach that focuses more on applying knowledge to employment challenges than book learning. Those who emerge from the program head out into the professional field armed with industry grade cameras and a breadth of photography knowledge. Although NYFA is one of the newer schools on this list, the school has produced a handful of famous photographers like Stephane Sednaoui and Melvin Sokolsky. NYFA programs range from full MFA degrees to 4 week long workshops. Everyone who enrolls is provided with a free Canon 6D or a Nikon D600 camera to use during their course of study and when employed as professional photographers.
Yale School of Fine Art
Situated in beautiful New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale School of Fine Art has been around for over 145 years. As one of 12 schools that comprise Yale University, the Yale School of Art is commonly ranked toward the top of the United States’ leading photography programs. Students earn an MA in photography so applicants must already hold an undergraduate degree before applying. It is quite difficult to earn acceptance into this program as about 20 applicants apply for each available seat. All in all, the highly selective program admits less than 100 new students each year.
School of Visual Arts (SVA)
SVA offers an array of art degrees but didn’t truly become a powerhouse photography school until 2007. This was the year when the the school’s Masters in Digital Photography (MPS) program was created. Famed photographer Katrin Eismann spearheaded the program and SVA has exploded in popularity ever since. The MPS is a demanding one-year program that centers on photography’s application to the real world. Aside from the MPS, SVA also offers an undergraduate photography degree and a MFA in photography.
Founded in 1945, Brooks Institute is located in two of California’s most stunning cities: Santa Barbara and Ventura. Its photography program is universally praised for its elite faculty. The school hires accomplished professors who have substantial real-world experience in the field. Students learn from Clio award winners, famous photo editors and photographers who have worked for high profile clients like Cover Girl. Brooks Institute offers a number of photography degrees including a BA, MA, MS and MFA.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
SAIC’s photography program is noted for its esteemed instructors and the encouragement of student creativity. SAIC students have the opportunity to earn an undergraduate BFA or a graduate MFA. Students learn from some of the world’s best photographers at SAIC along with frequent guest lecturers who have established themselves as experts within the field of photography.