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Photographic and Imaging Arts (options in Advertising Photography, Fine Art Photography, Photojournalism, Visual Media) BFA

Therese Mulligan, Administrative Chair
(585) 475-2762, mtmpph@rit.edu

http://photography.rit.edu

Program overview

For more than 100 years, the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences has been dedicated to creative and professional enrichment, preparing students for distinguished careers in fine and applied arts and the photographic sciences. The school offers a BFA program in photographic and imaging arts with options in advertising photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, and visual media. The major has a rigorous curriculum and was designed with individual achievement in mind. It features an immersive and hands-on perspective geared towards creativity and innovation. Enrollment in photography classes begins on day one of the first year in the major. Theoretical and experimental components lead to the development of broad-based skills required of professionals in today’s ever-changing image culture, art world, and industries. With access to more than 150 unique photography, video, multimedia, Web-based, and publication courses, students are challenged using real-world problems to produce successful real-world results.

Options

Students in the photographic and imaging arts major choose one of four options: advertising photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, or visual media.

Advertising photography option

The advertising photography option prepares students for a diverse and rewarding career in the field of visual communications. Students learn to create photographs and moving media for a wide range if commercial uses, including national and trade commercial publications, editorial photography as seen in magazines and other publications, and real-life business applications.

The option provides flexibility and specialization within the course curriculum. Advanced courses allow students to pursue a specific direction in their work, such as still life, portraiture, architecture, or fashion. The flexibility of the option also enables students to take elective courses from other majors across the college, such as graphic design, print media, or fine art photography, in order to enrich personal visual expression. Advertising students also study the inner workings of the photographic and imaging industries in both required and elective courses. All advertising photography courses emphasize visual communications and professional business practices.

The faculty consists of both full- and part-time professors—all of whom have extensive hands-on experience as professional photographers. Students work collaboratively to conceive and execute cutting-edge and strategic images and moving media that have real-world application in the advertising industry. Students build a strong professional portfolio throughout their time in the major.

Photographic and imaging arts (advertising photography option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHAR-101, 102 Photo Arts I, II 8
PHPS-106, 107 Photo Technology I, II (SMTL) 6
FDTN-111 Drawing I 3
  LAS Perspective 1 3
ARTH-135 LAS Perspective 2: Survey Western Art and Architecture I  3
ARTH-136 LAS Perspective 3: Survey Western Art and Architecture II 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
FDTN-121 2D Design I 3

FDTN-141

4D Design

3
Choose two of the following: 6

   PHAR-201

   Elements: Fine Art

 

   PHAR-202

   Elements: Advertising

 

   PHAR-203

   Elements: Photojournalism

 
   PHAR-204    Elements: Visual Media  
PHAR-211, 212 Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I, II 6
  Open Elective 6
  LAS Elective 3
Third Year
PHAP-301, 302 Advertising Photography I, II 6
  Advertising Photography Sequence Courses‡ 6
  Advertising Photography Professional Electives 6
  CIAS Elective§ 3
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  Open Elective 3
Fourth Year
Choose one of the following: 3
   PHAP-311    Photographing People  
   PHAP-312    Projects in Still Life Photography  
   PHAP-313    Light Control Manipulation  
PHAP-403 Portfolio Development (WI) 3
  Advertising Photography Capstone II 3
  Advertising Photography Sequence Course‡ 3
  CIAS Electives§ 9
  Free Electives 3
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  Advertising Photography Professional Elective 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 122

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ Students choose three of the following advertising photography sequence courses: The Collaborative Composite Image (PHAP-306), Technology and Image Making (PHAP-307), On Location Lighting Photography (PHAP-308), Photographing People (PHAP-311), Projects in Still Life Photography (PHAP-312), Lighting Control and Manipulation (PHAP-314), Editorial Photography (PHAP-313), XL: Summer AD Core (PHAP-320), Architectural Photography (PHAP-326), Fashion Photography (PHAP-327), Food Photography (PHAP-328), People Illustration Photography (PHAP-336), Production Photography (PHAP-337), Advertising and Design Photography (PHAP-401).

§ CIAS elective refers to any course in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Advertising photography internships

Our students apply for internships with some of the nation’s most respected print and online advertising venues, advertising agencies, and advertising photographers. They work behind the camera in a variety of editorial, commercial and studio environments and have the opportunity to learn from photographers, picture editors, art directors and other professionals. Students receive assistance from their professors, as well as from the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services, in identifying and applying for internships. Internships provide real-world work experience, which is an invaluable part of our students’ educational experience.

Fine art photography option

The fine art photography option prepares students for a career in the fine arts as visual artists, educators, or freelance artists. The primary goal is to nurture the artist’s personal aesthetic vision through photographic expression. Studying the theoretical and practical skills needed to create thought-provoking and meaningful images develops technical, conceptual, and aesthetic abilities, and furthers students' goals as contemporary image-makers. Graduates are employed in a number of professional fine-art related institutions such as museums, archives, studios, and commercial galleries.


The interdisciplinary curriculum enables students to explore other related fields in the fine arts, including painting, drawing, sculpture, graphic design, video, film, animation, printmaking and printing, computer graphics, and web publishing. Foundation and specialized courses include digital imaging workflow, alternative processes, new media, history and aesthetics of photography, and exhibition display.


Students have the opportunity to enroll in independent projects, educational internships, or co-ops in galleries, workshops, or other art and imaging centers. Students may choose to spend a year abroad earning credit in an applicable field of their choosing. Upon graduation, students are prepared to pursue a career in a variety of fine art fields, commercial photography industries, or print and electronic media businesses.

Photographic and imaging arts (fine art photography option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHAR-101, 102 Photo Arts I, II 8
PHPS-106, 107 Photo Technology I, II (SMTL) 6
FDTN-111 Drawing I 3
  LAS Perspective 1 3
ARTH-135 LAS Perspective 2: Survey of Western Art and Architecture I  3
ARTH-136 LAS Perspective 3: Survey of Western Art and Architecture II 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
Choose two of the following:  6
   PHAR-201    Elements: Fine Art  
   PHAR-202    Elements: Advertising  
   PHAR-203    Elements: Photojournalism  
   PHAR-204    Elements: Visual Media  
PHAR-211, 212 Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I, II 6
FDTN-121 2D Design 3
FDTN-141 4D Design 3
  LAS Perspective 4 3
   Open Electives 6
  LAS Elective 3
Third Year
PHFA-301, 302 Fine Art Core I, II  6
PHFA-401 Professional Development for Artists 3
Choose two of the following:   6
  PHFA-311   Contemporary Issues  
  PHFA-355   Color Photography Seminar  
  PHFA-359   Constructed Image  
  PHFA-361   Retouch and Restore  
  PHFA-362   The Fine Print Workflow  
  PHFA-363   Black and White I  
  PHFA-364   Black and White II  
  PHFA-365   Art and the Internet  
  PHFA-366   Advanced Retouching Composite Image  
  PHFA-375   Zone System and Fine Print  
  PHFA-518   New York City Fine Art Photography Field Trip  
  PHFA-556   Moving Media I  
  PHFA-557   Moving Media iI  
  Fine Art Photography Electives 6
  CIAS Elective†† 3
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
Fourth Year
Choose one of the following: 3
   PHFA-311    Contemporary Issues  
   PHFA-355    Color Photo Seminar  
   PHFA-359    Constructed Image  
   PHFA-361    Retouch and Restore  
   PHFA-362    The Fine Print Workflow  
   PHFA-363    Black and White I  
   PHFA-364    Black and White II  
   PHFA-365    Art and the Internet  
   PHFA-366    Advanced Retouching Composite Image  
   PHFA-375    Zone System and Fine Print  
   PHFA-518    New York City Fine Art Photography Field Trip  
   PHFA-556    Moving Image I  
   PHFA-557    Moving Image II  
PHFA-402, 403 Fine Art Portfolio I, II 6
  CIAS Electives†† 9
  Free Electives 3
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  Fine Art Photography Elective 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 122

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ Motion media sequence has two required courses, Moving Media I (PHFA-373) and Moving Media II (PHFA-374), plus one of the following courses: Art and the Internet (PHFA-345), Color Photography Seminar (PHFA-355), or Constructed Image (PHFA-159).

§ Analog sequence has two required courses, Black and White I (PHFA-363) and Black and White II (PHFA-364), plus one of the following courses: Color Photography Seminar (PHFA-355) or Zone System and Fine Print (PHFA-375).

** Digital media sequence has two required courses, Retouch and Restore (PHFA-361) and The Fine Print Workflow (PHFA-362), plus one of the following courses: Art and the Internet (PHFA-345), Color Photography Seminar (PHFA-355), or Advanced Retouching composite Image (PHFA-366).

†† CIAS elective refers to any course in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Fine art photography internships

Students apply for internships with some of the nation’s most respected print and online photo venues, museums, galleries, advertising agencies and photo archives. They work behind the camera or in creative collaboration on a variety of photo-related professional and cultural activities and have the opportunity to learn from photographers, picture editors, art directors, curators and other professionals in the always exciting world of fine art photography. Students receive assistance from their professors, as well as from the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services, in identifying and applying for internships. Internships provide real-world work experience, which is an invaluable part of our students’ educational experience.

Career opportunities in fine art photography

Graduates find careers as exhibiting artists, photo educators, picture editors, art directors, photographers’ representatives, photographic archivists or curators, museum and gallery staff, multimedia specialists, self-employed photographers, custom-image printers, and film/video artists or animators. Many students choose to pursue graduate work and earn an MFA degree in the arts.

Photojournalism option

Photojournalism documents the emotions, drama, suspense, and exhilaration of real-life events and people for diverse media outlets, including print (newspaper, magazines, and books) and electronic (television and Web-based) media. As storytellers, photojournalists create images, both still and moving, that document our culture, evoking both the momentous and the everyday circumstances of contemporary life and society.

The photojournalism option consists of required core courses and electives. Students take required courses in picture editing and multimedia, including sound, video-gathering, and editing. This combination of courses offers unique opportunities to develop a lifelong career in photojournalism and visual communciation.

Students participate in professional organizations such as the student chapter of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). In addition to attending regional and national conferences sponsored by NPPA, they may also contribute to the creation of special publications centered on community activity and awareness, and provide staff support to RIT's student-run magazine, The Reporter.

Photographic and imaging arts (photojournalism option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHAR-101, 102 Photo Arts I, II 8
PHPS-106, 107 Photo Technology I, II (SMTL) 6
FDTN-111 Drawing I 3
  LAS Perspective 1 3
ARTH-135  LAS Perspective 2: Survey Western Art and Architecture I 3
ARTH-136 LAS Perspective 3: Survey Western Art and Architecture II 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
Choose two of the following: 6
   PHAR-201    Elements: Fine Art  
   PHAR-202    Elements: Advertising  
   PHAR-203    Elements:Photojournalism  
   PHAR-204    Elements: Visual Media  
PHAR-211, 212 History and Aesthetics I, II 6
FDTN-121 2D Design I 3
FDTN-141 4D Design 3
  LAS Perspective 4 3
   Open electives 6
  LAS Elective 3
Third Year
PHPJ-301 Foundations of Photojournalism 3
PHPJ-302 Photojournalism I 3
PHPJ-307 Ethics and the Law 3
PHPJ-315 Multimedia for Photojournalism I 3
  CIAS Elective§ 3
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  Photojournalism Electives‡ 6
  Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
Choose one of the following:  3
   PHPJ-365    Documentary I  
   MAAT-106    Typography and Page Design  
   MAAT-356    Multimedia Strategies  
Choose one of the following: 3
   PHPJ-361    Working on Location  
   PHAP-308    Location Photography  
   SOFA-566    Documentary History  
   COMM-461    Multi-platform Journalism  
PHPJ-401 Senior Project 3
PHPJ-502 Photojournalism Portfolio 3
  CIAS Electives§ 9
  Free Electives 3
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  Photojournalism Elective‡ 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 122

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ Photojournalism electives include Picture Editing I (PHPJ-306), Picture Editing II (PHPJ-311), Multi Media for Photojournalism (PHPJ-315), Multi Media Editing (PHPJ-319), Multi Media for Photojournalism II  (PHPJ-355), Alternate Influences (PHPJ-356), Working On Location (PHPJ-361), Documentary I (PHPJ-365), Documentary II (PHPJ-366), NYC Photojournalism Trip (PHPJ-370), DC Photojournalism Trip (PHPJ-375), Web Publishing (PHPS-315), Cross Media Workflow (MAAT-306), Image Process Workflow (MATT-367), Reporting and Writing (COMM-162), News Editing (COMM-262), Multi-platform Journalism (COMM-461).

§ CIAS elective refers to any course in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Photojournalism internships

Students apply for internships with some of the nation’s most respected newspapers and magazines. They work behind the camera on a variety of stories and have the opportunity to learn from photographers, editors, and other professionals in the newsroom. Students receive assistance from their professors, as well as from the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services, in identifying and applying for internships. Internships provide real-world work experience, which is an invaluable part of our students’ educational experience.

Career opportunities in photojournalism

Photojournalism graduates go to work for some of today’s best newspapers, magazines, and websites. A significant number of our students also become self-employed freelance photographers. They seek freelance assignments with news organizations, picture agencies, stock photo agencies, and editorial photographers.

National Press Photographers Association

Photojournalism students are the driving force in our National Press Photographers Associate (NPPA) student chapter. Students regularly attend activities sponsored by the NPPA. The chapter hosts guest speakers and alumni who share their experiences in photojournalism and review student portfolios. Chapter members participate each year in NPPA short courses and publish their own website.

Visual media option

The visual media option integrates the graphic communication professions of photography, graphic design, and print media. This option prepares students for a career as a visual media and communication specialist, fulfilling current and future employment demands for photographically-skilled professionals who can work effectively with graphic designers, print media specialists, and multi-media professionals.

Courses emphasize photographic proficiency, both in photographic and digital imaging techniques, and has a specialized focus on graphic design or print media. The curriculum offers real-world business experience through a series of courses exploring applied management processes, including the development of business plans, project management skills, production planning, and personnel practices. Students take several college-wide electives to broaden their skills and knowledge.

Photographic and imaging arts (visual media option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHAR-101, 102 Photo Arts I, II 8
PHPS-106, 107 Photo Technology I, II (SMTL) 6
FDTN-111 Drawing 3
  LAS Perspective 1 3
ARTH-135  LAS-Perspective 2: Survey Western Art and Architecture I  3
ARTH-136 LAS-Perspective 3: Survey Western Art and Architecture II 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
Choose two of the following 6
   PHAR-201    Elements: Fine Art  
   PHAR-202    Elements: Advertising  
   PHAR-203    Elements: Photojournalism  
   PHAR-204    Elements of Visual Media  
PHAR-211, 212 Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I, II 3
FDTN-121 2D Design I 3
FDTN-141 4D Design 3
  LAS Perspective 4 3
  Open Electives 6
  LAS Elective 3
Third Year
Choose one of the following business sequences: 9
     Marketing‡  
     Manangement§  
Choose one of the following specialization sequences: 9
     Print Media**  
     Graphic Design††  
  CIAS Elective‡‡ 3
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  Visual Media Electives 6
  Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
PHVM-301 Visual Media Career Research (WI) 3
PHVM-401 Visual Media Capstone 3
  CIAS Electives‡‡ 9
  Free Electives 3
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  Visual Media Elective 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 122

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ Marketing sequence courses include Principles of Marketing (MKTG-230), Internet Marketing (MKTG-320), and Product and Services Commercialization (MKTG-340).

§ Management sequence courses include Organizational Behavior (MGMT-215), Managerial Skills (MGMT-320), and Digital Entrepreneurship (MGMT-360).

** Print media sequence courses include Foundations (MAAT-101), Type and Page Design (MATT-106), plus one of the following: Print Production and Workflow (MAAT-206) or Database Publishing (MAAT-301).

†† Graphic Design sequence courses include Graphic Design (GRDE-106), Time-based Design (GRDE-107), and Typography (GRDE-201).

‡‡ CIAS elective refers to any course in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Visual media internships

Students apply for internships with some of the nation’s most respected print and online photographic, graphic design, and printing/publishing venues. They work behind the camera or in creative collaboration in a variety of professional photo and multimedia environments, and have the opportunity to learn firsthand from photographers, picture editors, art directors, publishers, designers, and other professionals. Students receive assistance from their professors, as well as from the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services, in identifying and applying for internships. Internships provide real-world work experience, which is an invaluable part of our students’ educational experience.

Additional Information

Accreditation

All four options of the BFA program in photographic and imaging arts as well as the MFA program in imaging arts are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The programs of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences are designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers in photographic and related imaging fields. Studies in photographic practices provide both technical and creative experiences for visual problem solving. The principles of imaging are taught through courses investigating the tools and processes used to make pictorial-, data-, and information-based images. All first year students are required to have their own hand held small- or medium-format digital SLR camera and a professional light meter.

Students have the opportunity to supplement their course work with participation in cooperative education, internships, study abroad programs, field trips, presentations by invited guests/guest lecturers, departmental student organizations, and related activities.

Students are urged to take advantage of Rochester’s historic connection with photography. A comprehensive schedule of programs, including exhibitions, lectures, and seminars, is offered by the city’s array of cultural institutions.

Advertising photography option

The advertising photography option prepares students to utilize their skill and creativity in the challenging world of commercial photography. Whether creating images for advertising agencies, magazines, or designer projects, students learn the technical and artistic skills necessary to create successful photographs. Graduates receive a bachelor of fine arts degree in professional photographic illustration.

The program is flexible enough to develop each student’s particular talents, with the ultimate goal of providing art for commerce. During their junior and senior years, students can choose from courses that include editorial, food, portraiture, architectural, and still-life photography. Additional courses include advanced studio and location photography, publication design and production, and collaborative courses with graphic design students. All advertising photography courses emphasize visual communications and professional business practices.

Curriculum

Professional photographic illustration (advertising photography option), BFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
2067-201, 202, 203 Photo Arts I, II, III 15
2039-225, 226, 227 Survey of Western Art and Architecture I, II, III 9
2076-211, 212, 213 Materials and Processes of Photography 9
  Liberal Arts* 12
1720-050, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
2067-xxx Photo Arts Elements 15
2067-306, 307, 308 History and Aesthetics of Photography 9
2013-211 Drawing I 3
2013-231 2D Design I 3
2013-xxx 4D Design 3
2067-xxx Career Seminar 1
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Wellness Education† 0
Third Year
2067-411, 412 Advertising Photography 10
  Advertising Core‡ 5
  Minor or CIAS Electives§ 18-20
  Business Elective 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
Fourth Year
  Advertising Core‡ 10
2067-473 Portfolio Development 5
  Minor or CIAS Electives**§ 12-20
  Open Electives# 12-15
Total Quarter Credit Hours 184

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Advertising core, minimum of 15 credits required.

§ RIT-approved minor and/or CIAS elective, minimum 20 credits required.

** Open electives, minimum of 12 credits required