13 Best Photography Schools in the World with Scholarships

Here are the best photography schools in the world today and all you need to know about them. These schools are responsible for some of the best hands in photography in the world and have raised a great number of media business owners.

What is Photography?

Photography is the art that revolves around the creation of images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by the use of an image sensor or chemically by the use of a light-sensitive material in the like of a photographic film.

Photography started way back before the medieval age with the pinhole camera. It is a good means of capturing history, places, events, and even a means of communicating ideas of how we feel about the things we see from day to day.

Who is a Photographer?

A person who is involved in the art of photography is called a photographer. In this age and time, photographers go beyond just taking occasional photos of people, time and space. This is very evident in the way we see things happening around the globe just so easily. Photography now covers a vast course.

Earlier on, we analyzed some of the best art schools in the world and as photography is art too, you certainly should take a look at these schools too. Though not all of these schools offer photography but those of them that do are featured here too.

Is Photography a Good Career?

From a universal point of view, photography is a very good career. But, that is not to say that everyone will accept it as a career. There are so many reasons to be unsure of delving into that career path: a common reason is that a lot do not know what is in for them in the photography world.

It is quite natural in the human mind to desire big names and honor; this is a typical reason why so many people today prefer to study medicine and surgery in the university even though they might not even have any passion for it.

Another obvious reason why people might not deem Photography a career fit for them is because of the lesser buzz around photography as a good-paying career. With the case of the booming oil and gas wells and jobs around the world, many people prefer to go where they think the cut is larger but this could just be ignorance.

To cut long story short, according to Statista in 2019, the media industry was worth over 678 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 and it is expected to cross 700 billion dollars worth only in the US this 2020.

This data is only for the US alone, now, imagine how much money is there in the media industry worldwide. Are you wowed?
To say the least, photography is one of the strongest pillars of the media world and cuts a big chunk of the money therein.

The interesting thing about photography is that it is quite adventurous and gives you the opportunity to tell your story. The thing about prospering in the art of photography is that if you stick to your true dreams and follow it judiciously, the better part of it will erupt for you.

Where can I go to School for Photography?

The US is one of the best places you can find very good photography schools. In order to get professional knowledge of photography, it is best to attend a school where one can be effectively trained in a specified period of time and under certain conditions that should be beneficial to the training of such person.

There are very good photography schools in the United States, Canada, France, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Australia, Japan, India and even so many countries around the world. Your choice of which to attend depends on the conditions favorable to you.

Which Photography makes the most money?

Below are some of the highest paying fields in photography in the world today.

  • Food photography
  • Architectural photography
  • Film set photography
  • Wedding photography
  • Fashion photography
  • Corporate photography
  • Portrait photography
  • Wildlife photography
  • Macro photography and so many more.

But… Sometimes it is just best to open a personal photography business. With your own personal photography business which you can still turn into a company and build your team, you can achieve a whole lot in the photography world and can expand your tentacles to as much as you can cover in the business.

Getting to do something you love so well will have you making so much gain with lesser stress, because, the energy and passion you unconsciously put into the business while having fun doing what you love comes off with bigger gains for you. This is where passion meets business.

What is the Best University for Photography?

Out of the many Photography schools in the world today, Yale University could be said to top the list but, not just entirely. The New York Institute of Photography is also one of the best photography schools in the world that you will also find top of the list.

Of a truth, it is difficult to say which of the photography schools listed here is the best amongst others as all the schools are just good in their own distinct ways.

One thing you should insist on when choosing a photography school is to ensure that whichever school you are choosing teaches you the business part of photography where you can release your dream photography project ideas.

Photography on its own is just a skill so you have to learn how to turn this skill into business to be able to make huge money out of it.

Best Photography Schools in the World

  1. New York Institute of Photography(NYIP), New York, United States
  2. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), United States
  3. Parsons School of Design, New York, United States
  4. Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.
  5. Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom.
  6. Sir J.J Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai, India.
  7. Rhode Island School of Design
  8. Columbia College Chicago
  9. Kent State University
  10. Ryerson University School of Image Arts
  11. Ontario College of Art and Design University
  12. Vancouver Institute of media Arts.
  13. Royal College of Art England

New York Institute of Photography(NYIP), New York, United States

NYIP is one of the most popular photography schools in the world created for all photo enthusiasts who want to take a go at pursuing their dreams and harnessing them to come to reality.

The school offers only online photography courses and prides itself as the World’s largest online photography school.

One thing to note about the school is that there are no degree options but there is always an issuance of an industry-based accredited certificate.

The courses are designed in such a way as to help the student fully master the art of photography professionally and expertly too. The courses can be completed in eighteen months though they are flexible which makes it possible that you can complete them in even lesser time depending on your commitment and they are all comparably quite affordable.

Currently, the school offers a total of eleven courses which include photojournalism, portrait and travel photography.

Available Courses at NYIP

  • Professional Photography Course
  • Fundamentals of Digital Photography
  • Portrait Photography Course
  • Photoshop for Photographers
  • Wedding Photography Course
  • Photojournalism Course
  • Travel Photography Course
  • Nature & Landscape Photography Course
  • Video Making Course
  • Business for Photographers
  • Graphic Design Course

The course materials for all of the listed courses are prepared by only professional photographers according to the institute.

New York Institute of Photography School Fees

The full tuition for each of the courses at NYIP is $699. Students can get a $160 discount if they pay the full course fee at once. There is also an option for students to pay $59 monthly as they learn which can amount to up to $859.

Is NYIP a good photography school?

Yes, NYIP is a very good photography school. It wouldn’t have made it to our list here if it wasn’t worthy. The school has course provisions for both novice and pro photographers and has a system of course combinations that can help a novice become a professional photographer.

Is the New York Institute of Photography legit?

Yes, the New York Institute of Photography is legit. As a matter of evidence, the school is duly licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Is NY Institute of Photography accredited?

Yes, NYIP is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), United States

This is one of the best schools for photography and general fine arts around the world. It was originally created by Walt Disney.

The school offers degrees both in Bachelor of Fine Arts(BFA) and Master of Fine Arts(MFA).

The infrastructural facilities at CalArts is top notch which is why the excellence in professionalism in fine arts the school offers cannot be overstated.

Students are engaged in educative & interactive learning and are encouraged to let their creativity come to life. The tutors carefully hone the natural ability of their students and help them in bringing their bright ideas to life.

California Institute of the Arts Programs

  • Full-Time Undergraduate (BFA & Certificate)
  • Graduate (MFA & Advanced Certificate)
  • Doctoral (DMA) programs
  • MA Aesthetics and Politics program

California Institute of the Arts School Fees

The California Institute of the Arts school fees is $52,850 for all undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs except the MA Aesthetics and Politics program which is $42,320.

There is always a 4% – 5% increase in the school fees yearly so you can always find the current school fees here.

California Institute of the Arts Domestic Students Scholarships

  • CalArts Institutional: These scholarships are awarded to students holistically based on both need and merit in consultation with academic Deans and faculty
  • Endowed & Annually Funded Scholarships: The selection criteria for scholarships in this category changes almost every year. Despite the changes, students do not usually apply for it, the university selects those to be awarded
  • Federal Pell Grant: Federal Pell Grant is awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): This scholarship grant is awarded specifically to only students with obvious financial needs.
  • Cal Grant: This scholarship grant is awarded to only residents of the state of Califonia and it has several requirements including also a certain compulsory minimum GPA.

You can find details of all the scholarships and student aids available for domestic students at CalArts here.

California Institute of the Arts International Students Scholarships

  • CalArts Institutional
  • Endowed & Annually Funded Scholarships
  • Numerous Private Scholarships

You can check out here for all the scholarships for international students at CalArts.

Parsons School of Design, New York, United States

This is one of the schools that have stood the test of time in the field of design and arts and has kept its head high as one of the best schools for photography in the world.

It was founded in 1896 and has consistently offered a bachelor of Fine Arts(BFA) and Master of Fine Arts(MFA) to a multitude of students who have passed through the school from that time till now.

It is one of the best places to get photography skills in the United States and around the world. Every year, thousands of students send in applications to enable them to gain admittance into the school, so the competition is quite high and prospective candidates put in their best in the entrance exams in order to get a high pass.

The school teaches both analog and other forms of photography. Their key aim is to use interactive learning techniques to enhance the student’s ability.

Parsons School of Design Scholarships

  • New York State Awards at Parsons
  • External Scholarships at Parsons

You can find details of all the scholarship opportunities at Parsons School of Design here.

Yale University School of Art, New Haven Connecticut, United States

The Yale University School of arts as one of the top photography schools in the world welcomes just ten students annually in her photography class, so in order to find a seat, you have to be among the best of bests as admission is very competitive.

The photography program and degree at Yale is completed under two years and degrees awarded duly.

If you already have a Bachelor of Fine Arts(BFA) from a previous university and hope to gain a broader knowledge of the career, then Yale should just serve that purpose.

The school is located in Connecticut and is prestigious for sharpening the mind of her students with an efficient practical approach to the underlying measures to becoming expert enough.

Yale University School of Art Scholarships

The school does not have any scholarship program in place but students who demonstrate true financial needs can apply for aid to the university stating how much they need with every prove. This application is reviewed and the student is either considered for the aid or not. The maximum aid available covers only tuition fees.

Goldsmiths University of London, London United Kingdom

As one of the best photography schools in the world, Goldsmiths University of London is one of the few schools that offers two MA programs in photography; the image and electronic Arts MA program and Photography & Urban Cultures MA program.

All the courses available in the school expose the students to efficiency in the usage of their natural skills and acquired skills like creative visualization and smart handling of electronic photographic instruments, animation, web designing etc.

Amazingly, the school operates both online and traditionally. So, as a traditional student in the school, you can decide to continue your lectures online or even start your program entirely online through distance learning.

Another feature of the university very much worthy of note is the vast number of scholarships offered at the school covering both international and domestic students.

The school is located in London, United Kingdom.

Goldsmiths University of London International Students Scholarships

  • Goldsmiths International Scholarships (There several scholarship awards under this)
  • International Response Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) Shared Scholarship Scheme
  • Commonwealth Masters Scholarship
  • Humanitarian Scholarships
  • Goldsmiths Excellence Fee Waiver

Goldsmiths University of London Domestic Students Scholarships

  • Mature Students Scholarships
  • Access Programme Scholarships
  • Goldsmiths Masters Scholarships
  • Men into Primary Scholarships
  • PGCE Care Leavers Scholarships
  • Lewisham Borough Fee Waiver and New Cross Fire Bursary

There are still many other in-house and external scholarships and bursary programs for students at the institute and you can find all of the available awards, bursaries and scholarships here.

Sir J.J Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai, India

Sir J.J Institute of Applied Art is best known for excellence in Aesthetic Photography amidst its ability to excel marvelously in other fields.

It was founded in 1935 and offers a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts as well as a Master of Arts.

The courses introduced in the school are offered to give a view of the visual art of the art involved.

The courses offered in Bachelor’s degree are quite a generalist while those in the Master’s degree include: elective lines typography, illustrations, computer graphics and photography.

Sir J.J Institute of Applied Art Scholarships

The Sir J.J Institute of Applied Art may come to the aid of a student at the point of extreme financial challenges but they do not have any known scholarships program in place.

Rhode Island School of Design

The school offers a four-year course leading to the award of Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and a two-year program in Master’s leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree.

The first year of the student’s arrival deals with teaching them courses which are very basic requirements for anyone who wants to be a professional person around the world.

The basic programs include: photography, printing, video and installation work.

The intimate class size is about 30 for graduate students and just 15 students for the undergraduate program.

Rhodes is not a place where one goes to just learn commercial photography, rather the core soul of good photography in order to become an expert horse of photography with all the creativity that can be unlocked!

Rhode Island School of Design Scholarships

  • RISD scholarships
  • Special scholarships
  • Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Segal Americorps Match
  • Outside scholarships

You can get full details of all the available RISD scholarship programs here.

Columbia College Chicago

At Columbia College as one of the best photography schools in the world, students can choose to pursue the specific photography field they intend to master from a vast range of course options before they can qualify for a degree.

There are options like fashion photography, commercial photography, fine art photography, wildlife photography, etc.

The college organizes for her students to complete internships with designers and merchandisers in order to learn the real-life and business part of the skill they are acquiring.

The students are taught from the basics of photography until they can confidently work on intricate designs on their own. The college makes it easy for students to kick-start their career by giving them top industry connections.

Columbia College Chicago Scholarships

Amazingly, Columbia College Chicago offers more than 100 different internal scholarships, student aids, grants and award programs. Below are some of the available internal scholarships at the school.

  • Al Parker Excellence in Radio Scholarship
  • Albert P. Weisman Awar
  • Austin Strelau Memorial Scholarship
  • Bryan D. Sido Scholarship
  • Chicago STAR Scholarship
  • Columbia ChiArts Award
  • Columbia Rise Award
  • Columbia Scholar Award

You can find the over 100 Colum.edu scholarships and student awards here.

Kent State University

Kent State University is one of the best photography schools known today. It is located in Ohio in the United States and is ranked among the best schools for photojournalism in the USA.

Students who are interested in photography in Kent get a BFA from the prestigious school upon graduation.

The level of interdisciplinary and collaborative work among students gives them an edge in understanding the intersection between communication, information and technology and applying it in their respective career areas.

Students are allowed to build their own photography practice through experimental practice and consistency. The photography program in Kent State University is offered in such a way that liberal arts courses is balanced with hands-on digital photography.

Kent State University Scholarships

Kent State University has over 700 scholarship programs(both internal and outside scholarships) and students can browse through the scholarship search page of Kent University to know which scholarships are available for them.

Ryerson University School of Image Arts

This is the oldest film and digital photography school in Canada and it is located in downtown Toronto.

Their approach to the teaching of photography comes from both a fine arts and business perspective.

Internship opportunities in top galleries and international exchange programs are highlighted in the course of study. The school graduates excellent students every year who work in different fields varying from fine arts, to sports photography etc.

Ryerson University School of Image Arts Scholarships

  • Terence Grier Entrance Scholarship
  • President’s Entrance Scholarships
  • BMO Financial Group Diversity Scholarships

Ryerson has several other scholarship programs both for undergraduate and graduate programs and you can access all of the available scholarships at Ryerson University here.

Ontario College of Art and Design University

Otherwise known as OCAD U, Ontario College of Art and Design prides itself as one of the best photography universities in Canada and in the world entirely.

It is one of the very few colleges in Canada with both a color and black & white darkroom. The school offers a BFA degree that focuses on a fine-art approach to photography rather than commercial, which is such a good opportunity for the students to unravel their innate creativity.

In the students’ first year, they are introduced to classes in art history, color fundamentals, drawing, animation, sculpture and so many other basic requirements to gain furtherance to study the intricate photography designs which the school introduces to the students later on.

Ontario College of Art and Design University Scholarships

The Ontario College of Art and Design University has 10s of available scholarships and awards and students can learn about these scholarships here.

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

It is located in Vancouver, British Columbia and the unique thing about this school is that all the courses are taught by real, working photography professionals.

Students can easily learn everything about photography in the one-year professional photography program.

The year-long program is split into four terms starting with the basics of photography fundamentals which later advances to diversities of photography as well as rigorous business training which involves marketing strategies, social media and how to perfect your photography portfolio.

An added bonus in the tuition fee is that it comes with a fully loaded MacBook Pro. Students finish the year with portfolio critique by industry leaders and are ready to fully launch their careers.

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts Scholarships

The Vancouver Institute of Media Arts does not actually have any internal scholarship program though they occasionally award need-based scholarships. The school put more focus into making their tuition fees affordable.

Royal College of Art

Listed among the best universities for photography in the world, the Royal College of Art is known with a unique feature of assigning a personal tutor to every student right from their first year.

The first year of the program involves mainly individual studio work although students still attend a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, tutorials and group critiques.

The program is a two year course where a pass in an exam is required in order to continue to the second year.

Students are required to produce a self-directed body of work that has been directed throughout the year in their second year. The focus is on artistic development and critical thinking and at the end of the program, the students’ work will be exhibited at the school’s graduation show.

Royal College of Art Scholarships

The RCA runs a number of scholarship schemes aimed at enabling access for students with exceptional talent who may otherwise struggle to attend without financial assistance. You can find details of all the available scholarships Royal College here.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Like I wrote earlier, deciding which school is best for photography is very difficult a thing to do but at least listing a number of them that are good at what they do is pretty easier and that is just what we’ve done. All of the schools listed here are top of the game in the field of photography.

Below are some of our informative articles that I think may interest you too;

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