To successfully identify the top schools you need to know what your goals are. If you are considering pursing a degree in art, with a focus on photography you need to look at more than overall rankings and reputations. A good photography college is one that teaches you the skills you will need to pursue your specific artistic and professional goals, and it also starts providing you with the networking opportunities you will need to develop your future career. 

A great first step is to identify faculty who have good reputation in the type of photography you want to pursue, and find out where they teach and whether they are effective mentors to up-and-coming photographers. You should investigate the rate at which graduates are employed in their chosen field. If this information is not publically available, don’t be afraid to ask! You can also send brief, polite enquiries to recent graduates to ask whether they would recommend the program. A top photography school should also allow you to apply your skills as you develop them with internships, gallery shows, contests and other interfaces between education and industry. This will help you graduate straight from college into a professional photography career. 

If this still leaves you with a number of desirable options you can investigate less tangible advantages in terms of lifestyle, cultural and employment opportunities at that location and scholarships. In the end a good photography college is not a case of one size fits all, it is a photography college that meets your idiosyncratic requirements and aspirations–and will provide that bridge you need between your talent and your dream job as a photographer.

Did you know:

According to US News and World Reports the following are the top 2010 National Schools offering Art majors

1.      Yale University – New Haven, CT
2.      University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
3.      Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
4.      Brown University – Providence, RI
5.      Rice University – Houston, TX

 

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