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Thread: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    I have a friend whose daughter has been accepted into both the USC and UCLA photography programs. Her dad is agonizing over which one is the better school for photography. His daughter will be a freshman and is just starting out so I have no idea what areas of photography she wants to pursue.

    Does anyone have an opinion or insights on either school?



  2. #2
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Fairfax Iowa

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    As a parent of two in college, what does the student want to do? The parent can have an opinion but I believe the student should start making decisions.

    John (asbestos suit on)

  3. #3
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    Some things to think about that don't directly answer the question.

    UCLA is ranked higher as an overall art school, see:http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsa...hools/rankings and also for their Photo program see:

    My niece is in the USC acting program and finds it excellent.

    at age 70:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Richmond, VA

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    I'd much rather photograph the USC cheerleaders :-)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Pasadena, CA

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    If you are a resident, UCLA is much, much less expensive than USC.

  6. #6
    Drew Saunders drew.saunders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Palo Alto, CA

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    Private university financial aid packages can sometimes make them less expensive than public universities. With the current CA budget problems, state schools are hurting more than private ones (who are also hurting, or course). I work for Stanford, and we've done OK with the latest financial crisis, but still had lots of layoffs and other belt tightening, without having to cut financial aid (and even increased it).

    She should visit both, more than once if she's also in the SF bay area. It doesn't matter how good a school is on paper if the student is miserable there. Most schools have an admit weekend for the admitted students to visit and spend time with students (that's happening this weekend at Stanford, lots of even younger people wandering about making me feel old), hopefully USC and UCLA don't have them on the same weekend.

    Schools with good graduate programs can have poor undergraduate programs, and vice versa of course, it depends on what the emphasis is for that department. Most large US universities are organized as fiefdoms, where every department runs its own little show. One department may treat its undergrads well, another may not. It's well worth talking to the undergrads about their experiences. Grad students are often professionally miserable, but it doesn't hurt to talk to one or two of them. At a private university, you'll likely have more instruction from professors, while at a public university, grad student TA's may do more of the instruction.

    She may change her mind about her major. See if either school offers an undergraduate minor, if she wants to look at some other major while still doing photography. Private schools tend to encourage students to not declare a major until their sophomore year or later, while some public schools require that you declare a major upon admittance. Some students may want to spend time exploring other options, or they may see that attitude as being wishy-washy and want to be focused from day one.

    USC's fight song is much, much more annoying than UCLA's.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    As a Stanford employee, I would think you'd have a greater annoyance with UCLA's fight song, since it's the same song you hear across the Bay.

  8. #8

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    Originally Posted by photogeek
    Hi to all,
    I'm a high school student planning my photography education beforehand (I'm facing my final year of high school and have some time before a new semester begins in October). I'm considering NYU, UCLA and USC. My cousin studied at USC and he says it's rather good and he got a job in the studio immediately after graduation. He was an intern at the customwritingcompany working with school photography projects and photo collections.
    I highly recommend UCLA over NYU and USC. It ranks much higher that the other two. My dad received his diploma in Film production at UCLA. You can later join their Art Summer Institute (UCLA Summer Sessions).

  9. #9
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    It honestly doesn’t matter which one. Galleries don’t care about the schools, just the work. Grad schools don’t care, just the work. Both schools have competent faculty and good facilities, so she should be able to make her best work as long as she puts in the work.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    San Francisco, CA

    Re: Photography schools: USC or UCLA???

    10 year old thread boys.

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