The best way to gain an understanding of a bachelor degree is to examine how this course of study differs from the two-year or associate degree.
A bachelor-level program focuses on basic techniques and principles just as the associate degree does. Both paths will provide plenty of information on capturing images on film or with a digital camera. Both will provide fundamentals of lighting, composition and history of photography.
But you will find that the additional time spent achieving a bachelors degree in photography is devoted to concepts like personal vision, special effects, color, photo editing and computer enhancement. Photographers document the human journey and provide images of the society in which we live.
Benefits of bachelors degrees in photography? You are prepared to work in an evolving industry. It's essential that you keep up with new technology and processes.
Quality degree programs at leading schools around the world provide you with the skills and knowledge you need!
In a bachelor-level program you move beyond the basics to study studio and on-site lighting, capture a mood instead of just a "picture" and tell a story with your projects and portfolio. Prepare yourself for success with quality instruction in image production and image editing. Learn to use different types of cameras - film, digital, 35mm, medium-format etc.
Of course, you may find that the bachelor degree program requires that you take a number of general education classes, some of which may not seem to be directly related to photography. This varies from one type of school to another. Art institutes and private schools may not have such strenuous general-education requirements.
On the other hand, public universities are more likely to emphasize a general-studies curriculum in the first year or two of the program.
There are art schools and institutes that offer only courses in photography, painting and sculpture. The goal is high level of work that can be displayed publicly. In this category you will find the New York Institute of Photography, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Art Institute of Philadelphia and many others.
Schools in Paris, Edinburgh, London and Berlin also fit in this category. These schools may seem exclusive (expensive) and are very selective when admitting students. They tend to have higher tuition costs than other art/photography schools in smaller cities.
There are many public universities and private photography schools that offer bachelor-level programs without the high tuition costs. Some of the largest universities in the world have excellent journalism programs. Many put strong emphasis on the photography that accompanies quality journalism.
For example, the University of Missouri is well known for its journalism school. Schools such as the University of Miami, Bradley University (in Illinois) and Kent State University (in Ohio) are some of the larger schools that offer solid photography and photojournalism degrees.
Southern Illinois University is also known for its School of Communications and its photojournalism emphasis.
If you want to study in other locations on the planet try RMIT in Melbourne, Australia or Griffith University in Queensland, Australia with its undergraduate degree program in photojournalism.
You might choose UK photography courses at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Manchester School of Art for a B.A. in Photography (three-year, full-time program), or choose London, with its many degree opportunities.
Consider the school's experience and expertise in digital photography as you search for just the right bachelor degree program. Courses may be offered as part of the university program but you will also have access to workshop courses and short-term courses, so you can pursue special-interest areas on your way to the degree.
Boston University in the United States has both short-term courses in digital photography and as part of their photography degrees, for example.
To put the idea of "bachelors degrees in photography" in context, this type of program will produce much more than a skilled picture-taker. The holder of a photography degree should be an educated individual who is ready to "capture" the world.