Academics: Majors and Programs

Student With Camera

Photography Major

Course Sequence

The photography curriculum enables student to develop a critical understanding of how photographic practices form and reflect our world. It considers the photograph as both a commodity of contemporary culture as well as its distinctive place as an artistic medium and its vast impact on culture.

Students learn to produce photographic images with intention using various analog and digital techniques, modify images and produce quality prints. They learn to think critically about visual culture, how to see a photograph, consider the ethics of image capturing and manipulation, and explore
public/historic archives and private/personal archives to glean their contributions to photography, storytelling, and history.

Off-campus photography exhibitions in museums, galleries and site-specific venues and on-campus guest lectures by distinguished photographers contribute to students’ engagement with the field.

Visual Storytellers

Once you become comfortable with the equipment, techniques and elements of the craft, you will explore various genres of photography. You will also be challenged to use the camera to create documentary narratives, as well as fictive narratives. Beyond creating your own imagery, you will research the extensive history of photography in order to learn and articulate how images
gain their strength and power.

Through the learning of this history (artistic, advertising, cultural and vernacular imagery) and image dissemination, you will engage in conversations about the social and cultural context of imagery.

Connections and Collaborations

The medium of photography intersects with many other programs on campus because it examines  history, politics, culture and society as it documents the times in which we live. Opportunities for interdisciplinary activity both in the arts (sculpture/installation performance, video and film) as well as creative writing, social justice, psychology, philosophy, education and computer science, are rich with possibilities. Collaborations will be driven by you conceptual interests, which will be guided by faculty in these areas of study. 

Course Sequence

First Year
Freshman Arts Division Seminar
Digital Foundations  
Photographic Visions

Second Year
Sophomore Arts Division Seminar
History of Art II
Fictive Photography
Basic Lighting Techniques
History of Photography
Documentary Photography
Studio Review (pre-requisite for Portfolio Criticism I)

Third Year
Junior Arts Division Seminar
Contemporary Strategies in Photography
Creative Careers
Installation Art
Tech, Innovation Art

Fourth Year
Senior Arts Division Seminar
Portfolio Criticism I
Portfolio Criticism 2 (Pre-requisite Portfolio Criticism 1)

*Internships are a required part of the photography major.
**See the department for information on electives.