The 10 Best Photography Schools in the World

Applying to photography schools but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with this list of the best photography schools from all across the world.

Which are the best photography schools in the world? Photography is among the most sought-after courses in art. It is among the few courses offered as a result of passion as opposed to earning potential. 

However, despite being something that almost everyone can do, photography entails more. Scholars who want to take their photo shooting skills to the next level can do so by attending a photography school. 

These educational establishments offer potential industry professionals the opportunity to make life-long friends, have deep networking, and access to numerous work opportunities. However, the level of satisfaction with those factors is solely dependent on the type of photography school involved. 

There are many photography educational establishments spread across the world and they all offer different education quality in the field. Given the global competitiveness of the program, then it is pertinent to know the best ones. 

Nevertheless, listed below are the 10 best photography schools in the world…

  1. Rhode Island School of Design
  2. Royal College of Art
  3. The New School Parsons School of Design
  4. California College of the Arts
  5. Paris College of Art
  6. California Institute of the Arts
  7. Ringling College of Art & Design
  8. Ryerson University
  9. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  10. Spéos International Photography School.

The 10 Best Photography Schools in the World

10. Spéos International Photography School 

Location: Paris, France 

Kicking off the list of the best photography schools in the world is Spéos International Photography School. The prestigious European school is located in the capital city of France: Paris; which is a region defined by the works of art.  

This art institute is home to eighteen studios in the city as well as three in UK London. The prestigious school offers photography in five different degrees which are dependent on the time of completion. There is a basic 5-month, 3-year, 2-year, and a year program and these are done under a wide range of photography specialties. 

Even so, several of the school’s alumni have won the Grand Prix du Photo reportage Étudiant and has also featured in the prestigious list tagged: “30 under 30 women photographers.” 

Graduates also have easy access to its professional coaching and galleries which is one of the reasons alumni of the school excel on the global stage.

9. School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

Location: Chicago, Illinois

School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the best-performing photography schools in the world. The prominent United States education service provider has a huge influence on photography and many of their graduates have aired live with top news agencies including CNN. Even so, several professional photographers produced by the school have clinched the prestigious Creator Labs Photo Fund awards. 

Moreover, students have access to state-of-the-art photography facilities including workstations and studios. They are also trained by industry professionals with years of experience in the field. 

But aside from being the 9th best photography school in the world, it is the third-best in the United States.

8. Ryerson University

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Ryerson University is another good and one-of-a-kind photography school. Located in Toronto, Ontario, the popular Canadian educational establishment offers photography under the Ryerson School of Image Arts.

Here, scholars learn from industry professionals and the method used is practically oriented. A majority of Instructors, faculty members, and the entire teaching crew are well known for their contributions to the art. 

One of the renounced areas of specialization is the “integrated digital” program. This course is a bridge between film and photography and scholars learn a lot ranging from mobile app development to motion graphics.

7. Ringling College of Art & Design 

Location: Sarasota, Florida

Ringling College of Art & Design is the 7th best photography school in the United States. The prominent art school is set in the flourishing city of Sarasota, Florida, and is home to the Department of Photography and Imaging.

The school prides itself on its ability to attract and bring a variety of professional art men to lecture their scholars. These instructors are industry professionals who are renounced worldwide and some of them are Emmet Gowin, John Paul Caponigro, and Platon.

Furthermore, Ringling College of Art & Design offers a unique program that is very rare and is only done by two other photography schools: students can afford to learn at the International Center of Photography; the best photographic research establishment in the globe. 

And to add to this, the school is among the most affordable on the list.

6. California Institute of the Arts 

Location: Valencia Canada

California Institute of the Arts is one of the best photography schools in the United States. Scholars at the school are introduced to a variety of interdisciplinary programs.

Even so, the photography coursework is quite broad as well as comprehensive and students have direct access to Walt Disney.

Potential professional photographers also work hand-in-hand with a wide range of talented artists. At times, both the student and tutor can collaborate to create a work of art with complete and legal copyright ownership.

Students also get a chance to take their career pursuits to the next level via The CalArts Center for Life and Work. This center houses alumni and internship connectors and they help students by linking them with top art establishments and providing valuable career advice.

5. Paris College of Art 

Location: Paris, France

Coming in next on the list, Paris College of Art is a world-renowned photography school. This French education service provider offers the options of MFA AND BFA. For the MFA option, certifications include photography and image-making as well as fashion film & photography. Meanwhile, BFA programs are strictly for undergraduates.

The school is also home to many studies abroad programs and students can study at more than ten arts establishments spread across the world. These institutions are known for their prowess in research hence potential photographers are liable for innovation.

Furthermore, scholars have trained both in practice as well as theory and are taught the latest trends in the photography world.

4. California College of the Arts

Location: San Francisco, California

Located in the electrifying city of San Francisco, the California College of the Arts is among the top four (4) photography schools in the world. What set the school apart is its quality of faculty members and instructors. 

A majority of them are globally renounced and they are not limited to the likes of Christopher Johnson who have links with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and Tammy Rae Carland, who is a New York Times photo editor. 

In the United States, the school is ranked as the overall best when it comes to Return of Investment on Photography education and this is evident by its growing reputable alumni. 

Scholars also learn from visiting lecturers with years of experience in the field through which they participate in workshops.

3. The New School Parsons School of Design

Location: New York, New York City 

Located in booming NYC, the New School Parsons School of Design is the third (3rd) best photography school in the world. 

The school is home to a good number of prestigious faculty members including Arthur Ou and Katherine Wolkoff, who are working directly with Aperture and the New York Times. 

Even so, the school is home to many international students who have been attracted due to its quality photography program. As a result, scholars can make life-long friends and learn on a multi-national campus with a population of international scholars nearing 40%.

2. Royal College of Art

Location: London, United Kingdom

Missing the top spot, the Royal College of Art is the second-best photography school in the world. Located in the cultural city of London, the prestigious American college offers an MA in photography among a host of other certifications.

The school is a community of talented and passionate photographers and has faculty members that are well-renounced in the art. 

Scholars are taught deep courses which include formulating pictorial representations for the sensation of pain. This and several others are encouraged by its robust research, rich facility, and excellent teaching crew.

The coursework is also intensive, comprehensive, and rigorous and scholars are taught how to be creative and innovative in the art.

1. Rhode Island School of Design 

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Beating others in the list, the crown for the best photography school in the world goes to Rhode Island School of Design. Located in the beautiful city of Rhode Island, the school specializes in a wide range of art offerings including photography, design, and printmaking.

Even so, the school has produced several alumni that have links with the New York Times, Vogue Magazine as well as the list of Fulbright recipients.

This prestigious American higher educational institution is also home to a strong faculty, rigorous coursework, and renounced alumni. Certifications are either an MFA or BFA and upon graduation, scholars are well refined in the art of Photography.


That was all of the best photography schools in the world.

Now that you’ve gotten propelled thinking about all the astonishing photography schools you could join in, begin on those applications. Recollect to organize your portfolio cautiously, so potential schools just see everything of what you can manage. Fingers crossed you make it into the photography school of your fantasies!

Let’s hear from you via the comments section.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Where should I study photography?

While it is not necessary to have formal education or degree to become a photographer, colleges like the New York Institute of Photography, Speos International Photo School etc. offer photography diplomas and courses where you can learn the art of photography in a structured way. Learning photography in a formal educational environment under the guidance of expert photographers and instructors can be very beneficial to young photographers when they are just starting out.

What are the best photography schools?

New York Institute of Photography, Speos International Photo School, Goldsmith University, London etc. are some of the best photography schools where you can get certifications and diplomas in photography.

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.

Was this post helpful?

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments