2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art Photography, BFA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Catalog Search


Laura Heyman, Program Coordinator
102 Shaffer Art Building, 315-443-1033, lheyman@syr.edu


Yasser Aggour, Doug DuBois, Laura Heyman, Susannah Sayler


This B.F.A. degree program is designed for art students who wish to use the photographic image as the starting point for creative work.  The faculty recognizes that the practice of photography has undergone tremendous transformations both technically and conceptually in recent years. The programs curricula allow students to gain expertise in the full range of digital processes including image capture, lighting, post-production, and professional output. In addition, required courses and electives allow students to explore the full range of contemporary photographic practices including fashion, abstraction, documentary, and conceptual approaches.  Students are encouraged to expand their photographic practice into other fields; bookmaking, installation, video and their photographic practices into other fields: bookmaking, installation, video, and performance art are all areas of active research. Among the vast array of subjects of study offered by the university environment, photography majors who are also interested in advertising and related fields have the opportunity to take courses electives in communications, rhetorical studies and graphic design.

Our facilities include state-of the art lighting studios, digital production stations, and analog black and white darkrooms. Hi-end digital SLR’s, medium and large format film cameras, and extensive lighting equipment are also available for student use.

Undergraduate students work closely with a faculty of professional artists whose work has been exhibited and published all over the world. Students also benefit from the photography program’s close association with Light Work, a nonprofit organization on campus that sponsors an internationally renowned visiting artist program and exhibitions in the Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery.  All our majors receive membership to Light Work which entitles use of their world-class production facilities.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate full digital workflow from image capture to print. Shape light in both studio and on-location settings

2. Precisely Articulate Projects parameters A. Written B. Oral

3. Students will be able to conceptualize and develop projects with depth and lyricism

Program Requirements

Studies in Culture: 21 credits*

3 credits must be in history of art

3 credits must be in history of photography

Courses classified as Studies in Culture are, in general, classes related to art history and cultural studies but also include Foreign Languages, Anthropology and World Literature. You can find a comprehensive list of approved studies in culture electives here.

*Studies in Culture should consist of 15 credits of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and 6 credits of any other approved elective.

Academic Electives: 28 credits

3 credits must be in critical theory of art

Academic electives are most courses offered outside of Art, Design, or Film and Media Arts (for example, courses offered in CRS, Arts and Sciences, Whitman, and other colleges outside of SU:VPA). These academic courses usually have non-art-related content, such as math, natural sciences, art history, anthropology, religion, gender studies, and writing, among others. Most importantly, they meet for a total of 150 to 160 minutes each week for the duration of the semester (usually on a two- or three-day pattern, such as MW, TTH, or MWF, with classes ranging from 50 to 80 minutes each.)

Studio Electives: 18 credits

3 credits must be in video course (VID prefix)

Required APH Elective: Choose one of the following:

  • APH 563   - Art Photography: Non-Traditional Modes
  • APH 564   - Image/Sequence: Photo Book
  • APH 565   - Art Photography: Performance Art
  • APH 566   - Art Photography: Photography and Cinema

Studio electives are courses usually offered in VPA through Art, Design, or Film and Media Arts. The content of the courses directly relates to the preparation of students for professional careers in Art, Design, and Film and Media Arts. The course content includes, but is not limited to, conceptualization, process, product, and critique of creative work in studio practice. These courses meet for a much longer time, for a minimum of four hours per week for the duration of the semester. Usual meeting patterns are: the class meets once per week for four+ hours, or the class meets twice per week, usually for two or more hours each. You can find a comprehensive list of courses that count as studio electives here.

Total Credits Required: 121

Degree Awarded: BFA in Art Photography

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Catalog Search