Photography College Courses

If you live in the United States it isn't necessary to travel to a distant, "exotic" location to find photography college courses. There are dozens upon dozens of excellent programs in the U.S.

However, if you want to experience a different culture, learn a new language and study photography at the college level, you might choose to live and work in the U.K., Germany, France or another nation on the continent.

If you live in Europe, of course, and want to take advantage of the great photography opportunities there, you won't have to travel quite so far. You could travel to the United States and grow as a photographer while learning about the "melting pot" culture there.

As an alternative, you might want to look into one of the excellent online photography courses offered by photography schools and by traditional universities.

For example, the University of Massachusetts is quite well known for its distance learning in the field of photography.

With all of this on your mind you might feel you have enough to think about. But there is one more factor to consider when you plan for photography college courses.

Photography college courses

Ask yourself this question and answer honestly:
"What is your skill level now?"

If you're a beginner, you should concentrate on entry-level college courses that teach the basics of camera use along with how to look at the world through the lens.


Multiple Locations

One great place to start is the Art Institutes family of schools. This organization has locations in many U.S. states and in some countries around the world. Programs are offered for Associate and Bachelor degrees as well as for certificate in single areas.

General areas of study include:

  • digital photography
  • photography and design
  • visual arts
  • and commercial photography

A few other options in the United States are:

  • Westwood College - bachelor degree programs in visual communications (in six states)
  • The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and its online division, which offers a bachelor degree
  • Harrington, Briarcliffe and Brown - colleges that offer degree programs in digital photography

If you want to study outside the United States but don't want to travel to the other side of the world, try Vancouver Institute of Media Arts. This school offers a diploma program for digital photography. You could stay in the heart of the U.S. and pursue photography college courses in the Music City - Nashville, Tennessee - at the International Academy of Design and Technology.

Photography Courses in South Africa

South Africa, really?

Yes, that's right!

One location that many people outside the continent don't consider is South Africa. This nation offers some excellent college-level photography programs. In fact, the College of Digital Photography is recognized as a leader in the field, with a focus on part-time education that fits well with the schedule of a busy adult.

Instruction is offered on four campuses - Saxonwold, Fourways, Roodepoort and Pretoria. The program includes

courses that have been designed from the ground up, specific to users of modern digital compact and SLR cameras.


Courses are offered in morning sessions and evening sessions. The campuses also offer lecture rooms, studios, darkrooms and "a dedicated computer room for Photoshop training."

Other Ideas

If the northern climate is more to your liking, you might want to select from the many photography college courses in Scotland. The number of options might astound you, but at last count 48 colleges offered photography programs in this beautiful and fascinating country.

To give you a small sample of the choices, here's a list of certificate programs from just one location - Aberdeen College:

  • Creative Digital Photography
  • Digital Photography for Beginners
  • Digital Photography for the Creative
  • Digital Photography for the Quietly Confident
  • Digital Photography for the Terrified
  • Location Photography
  • Photography for Beginners
  • Purely Photography
  • Visual Communication and Photography

If that isn't enough to convince you of the variety under the photography college courses banner, try Nippon Photography Institute in Japan. While it is necessary to have extensive experience with the language, this school does provide a great opportunity. Admission standards are rigorous and class sizes may be limited. It would be wise to start the process early.

Of course, that's the case with photography college courses anywhere in the world. Photography is a competitive field but it can be very rewarding. Do all you can to prepare before making your choice of colleges.

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