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Hidden Gem Photo Programs


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Hi all, 

The process of vetting schools is so darn difficult!  I feel like I have a new first choice program every other week.  

I was recently in touch with my undergrad advisor who mentioned that I look into smaller name programs that offer strong funding packages and good overall experiences (access to faculty, assistantships, facilities).  She said that she was pleasantly surprised by UT Arlington and U Houston.  Are there any other hidden gem programs (either photo specific or general studio/interdisciplinary) that I should look into? 

To give you an idea of what programs I'm looking at, this is my list (which could use some rounding out via smaller programs): 

UCLA, ASU, U Washington, U of A, UNM, RIT, MassArt, RISD, Yale, Columbia College, Rutgers, UT Austin, and potentially U Houston


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  • 1 month later...

I think I'm roughly in the same boat as you right now. I've only just started looking at programs, but some that might fit into what you're looking into are Washington State University and Alfred College in NY. WSU is studio-oriented and only has 1 photo faculty (from what I can tell) and Alfred has a "digital integrated program" (or something to that effect) that's photo- and digital-art based. I've also heard that Linda Connor at SFAI is quite accessible.

I'm also looking at a few of the schools on your list - I'm closest geographically to U of Washington (I currently live in Seattle). It's pretty conceptual - they just hired a new Assistant Professor for the photomedia program who is extremely conceptual-art oriented. Could be looking into, especially if you're leaning towards the photo-specific side of things. There's one 'clear cut' photo faculty, the new conceptual art faculty, and an installation-based faculty member. Video/performance seems to be a core component of their curriculum.

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