Photography Schools in California

This page features Photography Schools in California that offer campus-based degree programs for aspiring photographers.

Scroll down for a list of the best accredited online arts colleges for professional certification. 

Shown above is the Claremont Graduate University School of Media Studies.  

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Most budding photographers these days get their professional education either online, in a traditional campus setting, or (if they're very lucky) on the job.

People studying photography in college degree programs typically major in Graphic Arts, Animation, Cinematography, Communications, Digital Design or Interactive Media, to name just a few possibilities. 

Here is a list of photography schools with campuses in the state of California: 


The Art Institutes

Photography students at the Art Institutes earn Associate or Bachelor Degrees in Digital Cinema, Video Production, and Digital Photography. The Art Institutes has California campus locations in Santa Ana, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Diego, North Hollywood, Santa Monica, Sacramento, and Sunnyvale.

The Art Institutes is one of the most convenient photography schools in California. 

Academy of Art University

Students at the Academy of Art University can earn Associate Degrees and Bachelor Degrees. Many courses can be taken on a non-degree level. The campus is located in San Francisco.

Brooks Institute of Photography

Brooks Institute has two convenient campus locations in Santa Barbara and Ventura.

California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts offers a wide range of programs for various fields of photography. Campus locations are in Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco

Carrington College

A convenient Bay Area photography school with campuses in Emeryville and San Jose.

Claremont Graduate University

This full fledged University in Claremont is one of the most prestigious photography schools in California. Claremont offers a full program in Media Studies, with all degrees available, including the PhD.

Expression College of Digital Arts

One of Northern California's most popular art colleges, located Emeryville, not far from Pixar Animation Studios.

Intercoast College

A liberal arts college in Burbank.

International Academy of Design and Technology

Located in Sacramento, this school is a top choice for aspiring App Developers, Graphic Designers and Photographers.

Los Angeles Film School

Located in Hollywood, photographers don't have to look very far to find employment opportunities from here.

Stanford University

Stanford University in Palo Alto offers high-level degree programs in Media Studies

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Cinematography, Digital Arts, Mass Communication, and Media Studies are among the popular majors for photographers at UCLA.

University of California Santa Cruz

All degree programs offered in Digital Media and Visual Studies.

University of Southern California (USC)

Students here can earn a Bachelor degree in Media Studies.

University of California San Diego

Photographers can earn up to PhD in the field of Fine Arts.

University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB features all degree programs in Media Studies.

top rated online photography schools

Ashworth College – Diplomas include Intro to Photography and Professional Photography 

Stratford Career Institute Diploma in Photography 

University of Phoenix – an all-purpose college/university offering almost everything you can name. Photography students typically major in Visual Communication. University of Phoenix has numerous locations, in addition to its pioneering distance learning program. California campus locations include Bakersfield, Beale Air Force Base, Chula Vista, Diamond Bar, Fairfield, Gardena, La Palma, Lancaster, Lathrop, Livermore, Modesto, Murrieta, Oakland, Ontario, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego and Woodland Hills, among others.

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