Photography and Imaging (BFA)

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Program Description

The Photography and Imaging curriculum, combined with the extraordinary academic range of a major university, provides students with considerable flexibility to design a program suited to their respective interests and career goals. First-year foundation courses include Photography and Imaging Analog and Digital in which the students explore a range of conventional and digital photo-based imaging in both black-and-white and color. Students learn by working on assignments as well as self-directed projects. Also during the first-year, students take Contemporary Imaging Practice, the studio foundation course, as well as Culture, History, Imaging, and Photography Studies (CHIPS), the introductory course in critical studies. All critical studies courses explore the manifold aspects of global visual culture in contemporary life as well as throughout history: the meanings and functions of images and their relationships to texts, media, and institutions, and the impact of technological change that fall under the rubric of this intellectual discipline.

Sophomore-level studio course offerings of Photography and Imaging Multimedia continue to further the students’ digital skills in the context of their choosing (i.e. video, new media storytelling, post-photographic imaging). Students also take critical studies courses such as the Social History of Photography and/or Aesthetic History of Photography. For juniors and seniors, the department offers a wide range of more specialized studio courses (some of which they can begin taking in the sophomore year) including Documentary Strategies, Design Projects, Portraiture, Lighting, Emerging Media Studio courses, Archive-Based Projects, as well as Directed Projects, in which students work on semester-long projects of their choosing. Mid-level and advanced critical studies courses include Contemporary Photography, Black Body and the Lens, Asian Photography and changing topic based Advanced History Seminars. For juniors and seniors, there are extensive internship opportunities that offer exposure to many situations, including artist studios, galleries or museums, web design companies, print and publication, commercial photography studios, and community settings for teaching photography and digital imaging. The program offers the flexibility to double-major or minor and to study abroad during the junior year. In the senior year, students take the Senior Directed Projects course in the fall and exhibit the resulting thesis projects in the spring. A Business of Art course explores postgraduate options.

Special projects in the department include our ISO student run magazine and the opportunity to become teaching assistants in Future Imagemakers, our free Saturday high school program for NYC teens, and our Summer High School program. Awards and Fellowships are awarded each year to students, such as the Tobias Award, the Thomas Drysdale Production Fund, the Yvonne Willis Brooks Scholarship Fund, the Gordon Parks Foundation Scholarship, and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Scholarship. The department hosts several annual gallery shows including the Faculty & Staff exhibition, one special exhibition, alumni exhibitions, and the spring senior exhibitions.

Critical Studies Minor

The Critical Studies minor is available for Photography & Imaging majors interested in building skills in imaging, research, and writing to pursue photojournalistic, editorial, curatorial, or web-based work. Students who choose to embark on this program would declare their field of interest and proposed course of study in late sophomore or early junior year. The minor adds 16 credits (four courses) of critical studies in addition to the required 24 credits.


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