Brooks Institute


Brooks Institute 2016 Photo Contest

At Brooks Institute, we offer more than an education. We provide a learning experience that attracts a diverse student body of aspiring professionals with one common goal: to pursue careers in the visual, new media, and communication arts. Our specialized bachelor’s and master’s degree programs combine the rigor of classroom instruction with real-life, practical application to help develop well-rounded graduates who prepare for the complex and changing demands of their chosen career.

Get To Know Us

As a student at Brooks Institute, you can join a thriving community of professionals, faculty and alumni who share your enthusiasm and excitement for visual arts. Use the links below to explore more about us, as well as the beautiful, rich surrounding Ventura community where we live.

Brooks Institute Mission

Brooks Mission

Brooks Institute educates a diverse student body of aspiring professionals to pursue careers in the visual, new media, and communication arts.

Our multi-disciplinary approach promotes collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity to develop graduates who are technologically adept and visually sophisticated with high standards of professional ethics.

Brooks Institute’s faculty of industry professionals and academics offer experiential learning to prepare students for a life of continuous learning in complex and changing environments.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

Brooks Institute’s expectation is that all graduates meet our Institutional Student Learning Outcomes to be prepared for their careers.

In support of the Institute’s mission, Brooks Institute’s goals and learning outcomes are:

Visual Literacy: Graduates are visually sophisticated.

Adept: Graduates are career-ready as demonstrated by their ability to apply their body of knowledge using relevant tools and diverse skills.

Ethics: Graduates are able to identify, articulate, and apply ethical principles in their community and professional life.

Communication: Graduates are able to communicate clearly and effectively.

Problem Solver: Graduates integrate ideas, methods, practices, and theories across broad and specialized knowledge realms using critical thinking and analytical skills.

Collaboration: Graduates work collaboratively to achieve a common goal.

Global: Graduates exhibit an understanding of the interconnectedness and diversity of cultures and environments in a global society.

History of Brooks Institute

Brooks Institute has a rich history since its inception in 1945. Learn more about this California film & photography school. Originally established as the Brooks Institute of Photography, Brooks Institute has a longstanding history that began when Ernest Brooks, Sr., founded the school in 1945 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Brooks, who served in the army air force during World War II as a procurement officer, developed a training program for bomber gunners in which he had them use cameras to “shoot” fighter planes, and the filmed results could then be evaluated.

Brooks Institute’s first group of 12 students were World War II veterans seeking to learn photography skills on the GI Bill. Brooks felt that the discipline of photography was becoming ever more specialized and technical. He established a teaching model still used today, in which students are taught by specialists with an emphasis on hands-on experience and individual initiative.

The original core curriculum was developed around economics, public speaking, and business management. Brooks passed his legacy on to son Ernest Brooks II, who added portraiture, underwater and scientific photography, and motion picture production.

Since then, Brooks Institute has evolved with the rapidly changing climate of the visual arts industry and currently operates as a private, four-year media and communication arts college. The college houses two campuses, one in Santa Barbara and one Ventura, Calif., where staff, faculty and students still reflect the vision of its founder through the college’s “learning by doing” approach.

Ernest Brooks, Sr.’s goal was always to develop photographers into successful people both in business and in life. Brooks Institute continues to pursue that goal through an expansive offering of degree programs including a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Photography, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film, Bachelor of Science in Visual Journalism and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.

Today, Brooks Institute stands firmly on its more than 70 years of foundation of innovative education, built carefully over the years by its presidents, including Ernest Brooks, Sr., and Ernie Brooks II, as well as a dedicated faculty and staff. Over the years, there also have been many industry “friends” that have joined and supported the school’s efforts, among them Samy’s Camera, Kodak, Mole-Richardson, Epson, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Hensel, Mamiya, Calumet, the National Press Photographer’s Association, the American Society of Media Photographers, The Travel Channel and many others.

Also integral to the Brooks Institute history are those who have passed through its halls – the thousands of alumni who have gone on to achieve success in their work and lives. Many have garnered high acclaim and won national and international awards for their outstanding work. Many have shaped the future of the photography industry through their use of new techniques and technologies. Many have made a difference in other ways as well, by giving back to their communities through their photography, film or video and graphic design abilities. They are, figuratively speaking, part of the emulsion that binds the image of the past with the promise of the future.

Brooks Institute thrives, and Ernest H. Brooks, Sr. would have every right to be proud of the school he created, a school that is truly a legacy to generations. If he were here today, perhaps he would offer his familiar close-lipped smile and the standard Brooks sign-off …

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Master (MFA) in Photography

Campus Full time September 2017 USA Ventura

The Master of Fine Arts in Photography degree at Brooks Institute is designed to prepare students to make an important contribution to the expanding role of the visual experience in contemporary life. The program explores image-making as a cultural force as well as a mode of personal expression. [+]

The Master of Fine Arts in Photography degree at Brooks Institute is designed to prepare students to make an important contribution to the expanding role of the visual experience in contemporary life. The program explores image-making as a cultural force as well as a mode of personal expression. Students who pursue a Master’s degree in Photography can grow intellectually and creatively through the lively exchange of ideas from diverse sources and wide-ranging perspectives, combining aesthetic exploration in all forms of lens-based and light-based media with academic inquiry through research. The Master of Fine Arts in Photography offers a rigorous program of study for students eager to explore ideas and technologies in various approaches to creating images that express their personal vision. Working with instructors who are experienced professionals, students can learn to deepen their conceptual communication, expand their artistic comprehension, and articulate a coherent and compelling statement about their work. The 61-credit program includes coursework in art history and criticism; the history, science and psychology of image-making; and communication, business, and education, enabling graduates to pursue a wide range of career options, including teaching at the college level. Core Courses Brooks Institute’s MFA in Photography consists of a two-year series of studio and seminar courses that emphasize creative growth and development of a visual vocabulary. Other courses engage the student in theoretical, psychological and aesthetic exploration of artistic expression. Core courses include: History of Art: Renaissance to 1900 History of Art: 1900 to Present Photographic Theory The Psychology of Images Methods in Imaging Education History of Photography Optics in Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Aspects of Communication Contemporary Criticism Contemporary Imaging Systems Entrepreneurial Skills for Fine Artists Elective Options In addition to core courses, the MFA in Photography curriculum at Brooks Institute includes a selection of focused, relevant elective courses. Among these elective course options are*: Teaching Internships: Students work with a teacher/mentor to gain classroom and educational experience. Grant Writing: Research and develop proposals for grants, residencies and fellowships. Self-proposed internships and special topics. Program Objectives The MFA in Photography from Brooks Institute provides a comprehensive program of study designed to develop exceptional artists who seek to deepen their understanding and awareness of visual communication. Graduating students should be equipped to: Create a cohesive body of original work integrating a mastery of materials, methods, and concepts. Articulate an informed perspective that includes defining an aesthetic approach, reviewing methods and processes, and providing a broader cultural context in which to understand a body of work. Synthesize knowledge obtained through various research activities exhibiting a standard of academic integrity and a graduate level of critical analysis. Engage in creative collaboration as an effective member of a team. [-]


Master (MSc) In Scientific and Technological Imaging

Campus Full time September 2017 USA Ventura

Graduates of the Master of Science in Scientific and Technological Imaging (MSSTI) Program are prepared to meet the challenges of communicating science, technology, and innovation through visual media. [+]

Graduates of the Master of Science in Scientific and Technological Imaging (MSSTI) Program are prepared to meet the challenges of communicating science, technology, and innovation through visual media. Graduates will leverage skills in project management to ensure the effective production, integration, archiving and distribution of media content in support of scientific research, education, museum collections and research documentation, preservation, and communication. MSSTI is a four-semester, 36- credit, low residency master’s program. The program provides an advanced course of study that requires students to explore and effectively apply scientific and technical media imaging methods to meet the challenges of communicating scientific knowledge, technological innovation, research findings, museum collections, and related content to a diverse global audience. The program stresses project and production management skills to ensure the effective production, integration, archiving and distribution of media content. The two 4-credit classes, MSS534 Production Workshop I and MSS644 Production Workshop II, have a one-week residency requirement embedded into the course delivery. In these courses, 45 contact hours will be delivered online over the 15-week term and 45 contact hours will be delivered in a face-to-face format during the one-week residency. Core Courses Core courses include: Technical Image Capture Project Management Communicating Science: Writing DAM, Libraries and Image Distribution Collection, Artifact and Documentary Photography Photographic Lighting Solutions Multimedia Methods I: Content Creation Production Workshop I (includes 1 wk. residency) Visual Storytelling and Portraiture Specialized Photo Applications I Multimedia Methods II: Presentation Production Workshop II (includes 1 wk. residency) Specialized Photo Applications II Elective Options Among the elective course options* are: History of Photography Advanced Production Workshop Internship I Internship II Program Objectives Upon completion of the MS-STI degree, students will be able to: Apply critical thinking skills to analyze and create effective visual media to educate, inform, and communicate to a global audience (Visual Literacy, Problem Solver) Create media content using diverse scientific and technical imaging methods and tools to communicate, interpret and document subject matter (Adept, Global) Effectively manage media assets to ensure efficient workflow, distribution, sharing and stable archiving (Adept) Identify, articulate and apply ethical principals in relation to visual and verbal media representations, and business/professional practices (Ethics) Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing, in a professional environment (Communication) Apply an understanding of project and business management to successfully organize and complete projects as an individual and in collaborative teams (Collaboration) [-]


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Brooks Institute

Address North Ventura Avenue 5301
Ventura 93001, United States
Phone +1 888-276-4999