There are hundreds of good courses, schools and university programs around the world, most of which will prepare you for a successful career as a photography. It's a safe bet that at some time in your life you have seen fascinating photos produced by professionals who went through a university photography course.
You have probably experienced attention-grabbing images from the cameras of those who didn't have this formal education, or had a combination of on-the-street experience and on-campus classes. What you have to do is find the photography programs that fit your objectives as a pro.
When you start looking for courses and programs consider the many different types of photography you have to choose from.
Perhaps you are interested in fine art and alternative photography that uses all the creative power you can muster.
Whatever path you choose you will need to narrow your list down to photography programs that are sure to prepare you for success.
For example, there are academies and art universities that offer an outstanding curriculum. Not only will you learn techniques with camera in hand but when you finish the course you will know about the history of photography and the science behind it.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (also with an excellent online division) is one such established program. Experienced instructors will prepare you for a career as a professional.
You may have already read about or heard about Brooks Institute (Brooks School of Photography), one of the well-known schools that offers courses for advertising, digital imaging, studio photography and much more. This fine school is located in Santa Barbara, California.
Boston University has several complete programs for photography, while such schools as the International Academy of Design and Technology in Nashville, Tennessee offers a solid associate-degree program.
You might want to check into the American Academy of Art in Chicago. This great site has been preparing individuals for commercial art and fine art careers for nearly a century. Similar programs and university-level photography courses are offered in most major U.S. cities.
In recent years, several schools have become popular for their emphasis on digital photography and digital-image creation. Many of these newer schools offer bachelor and master degrees in photography, film and design.
While it is difficult to list all the great photography programs offered around the world, we should probably consider some of the top photography schools and courses available in Europe.
For example, the Prague Summer Program not only offers study at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels but allows you to learn in one of the continent's most beautiful and exciting cities. One plan gives you the opportunity to work with a world-class photographer for one month, as an apprentice. The course includes darkroom instruction, photo creation and composition as well as studio time and classroom instruction.
Entry into this type of photography program is quite selective, with a stringent review process narrowing the candidates and placing students at the appropriate level. This is true of the Prague school as well as schools in Berlin, Barcelona and many other European cities.
For instance, the European Academy of Fine Arts takes in just 12 students at a time with the requirement that students provide their own professional camera equipment.
The Film and TV School (part of the Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague has a "three-year bachelor degree program" and a "two-year masters program." Cost for this program is about 8,700 Euro per year.
Another fine example among photography programs is The Darkroom, based in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. This is also a three-year course that has a tuition cost of 19,000 Euro. Specific study plans include still life, theater photography and several others.
For more information please also see our Photography Courses Europe article.
Take some time to study the many opportunities among photography programs before deciding which path to take. The choices are many and can be very exciting.