BFA Fine Art Photography
The Corcoran School's undergraduate Photography programs focus on the roles that lens-based media play in contemporary life. They also emphasize personal creativity, awareness of cultural context and critical analysis.
In the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography program, students receive an intensive grounding in the current concerns of photo-based art while refining their technical skills and developing their own individual styles and subject matter.
Taught by faculty mentors who are practicing artists, the program pairs a required core of studio courses but allows plenty of flexibility for electives so that students can tailor their studies to their interests. The curriculum encourages students to develop artistic and technical skills in cutting-edge digital photography and video, traditional darkroom work or a combination of both.
The Photography programs approach to photography recognizes the critical importance of the photographic image in contemporary society while establishing its historical context within the history of art. The Fine Art Photography and Photojournalism programs influence and strengthen each other, as issues of documentary practice and subjective interpretation play out across both curricula. Both programs are committed to risk-taking, analytical thinking and conceptual problem solving. An ongoing dialogue in joint seminar courses and critiques enhances each major's practice and energizes students and faculty in both disciplines. In addition, visiting artists, along with exhibitions in Washington, D.C.’s museums, enrich students' experiences of how photography becomes a vehicle for creative expression as well as an agent for change.
With its location in the heart of Washington, D.C., the Corcoran School exposes Fine Art Photography students to a range of internship and career options in the arts, including exhibiting as an artist, teaching, commercial and editorial photography, and curatorial practices. Students also gain an international, cross-cultural awareness through study abroad courses. As the program progresses, students can specialize the nature of their study, spending their final year in an intensive sequence of courses devoted to preparing their thesis. The thesis is an expression of each student's individual interest and ambition as an artist.
Students in the Fine Art Photography program have interned with The Washington Post, National Geographic magazine, the National Portrait Gallery, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Transformer Gallery, and the Latin American Youth Center.
Graduates of the program have secured positions at the Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Modern Art, and at nationally recognized outlets including United Press International, U.S. News & World Report, Politico, The Washington Post, and other organizations.