BFA Photojournalism

Corcoran BFA Photojournalism

 

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photojournalism program is an ideal training ground for a new generation of creative visual reporters and documentarians. Photojournalism majors learn the traditions of visual reportage and are introduced to the new media and skill sets required in this rapidly changing field.

Students begin with a thorough grounding in the history, techniques, aesthetics, practices, and critical understandings of photojournalism. From there, students can advance their photography, audio, and video skills in the context of real-life client interaction and project development. Students spend 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 a visual journalist. The thesis work is exhibited in the galleries of the former Corcoran Gallery of Art in the annual student exhibition, NEXT at the Corcoran.

The program's faculty includes working photographers from The Washington Post and other news media, White House photography staff, and picture editors from National Geographic. The curriculum includes a variety of fine art components that stress the importance of individual creativity in today's marketplace alongside classes that emphasize the legal, ethical, and economic challenges of the profession.

With its location in the heart of Washington, D.C., the Corcoran School gives photojournalism students access to a constant procession of news and documentary subjects. As the program progresses, faculty also help students identify internship and career possibilities that can advance their photography, audio, and video skills further, as well as study abroad programs that promote international, cross-cultural awareness.

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photojournalism program have interned with The Washington Post, The Washington Times, MediaStorm, National Geographic magazine, The White House, The Pentagon, and U.S. News & World Report.

Graduates of the program have secured positions at United Press International, U.S. News & World Report, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other major news outlets.


Program Head

 

Muriel Hasbun
Fine Art Photography
Photojournalism
mhasbun@gwu.edu

 

Careers

With its location in the heart of Washington, D.C., the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design gives photojournalism students access to a constant procession of news and documentary subjects. As the program progresses, faculty also help students identify internship and career possibilities.

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photojournalism program have interned with The Washington Post, The Washington Times, MediaStorm, National Geographic magazine, The White House, The Pentagon, and U.S. News & World Report.

Graduates of the program have gotten jobs at United Press International, U.S. News & World Report, Politico, The Washington Post, and other major news outlets.

Curriculum

The following curriculum is for legacy students, defined as those students who began taking classes at the Corcoran prior to the fall 2014 semester. Students enrolled after that time, should contact their academic advisor.

In the 120-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photojournalism program, students start by gaining a thorough grounding in the history, techniques, aesthetics, practices, and critical understandings of photojournalism. From there, students can advance their photography, audio, and video skills in the context of real-life client interaction and project development.

Required Courses

  • Photo Fundamentals I: Light Studies and Optical Culture
  • Photo Fundamentals II: Techniques and Practice
  • Media Lab I and II
  • Photojournalism Studios I - IV
  • Photojournalism Thesis I and II
  • Photojournalism Seminars I and II
  • Professional Practices for Photojournalism

Specialized Courses

  • Advanced Studio Lighting: Commission Project
  • Speed of Sound and Real Un-reel
  • Web Essay

Study-Away Courses

The Corcoran Photography Program promotes an international, cross-cultural awareness with courses that have on-site components in Mexico, El Salvador, and Israel.

Sample Curriculum

Required Courses – First Year

  • Art History I: Now, Contemporary Perspectives
  • Art History II: Historical Perspectives
  • Writing I
  • Writing II
  • First Year Studio I
  • First Year Studio II
  • Photo Fundamentals I: Light Studies and Optical Culture
  • Photo Fundamentals II: Techniques and Practice
  • Two Studio Electives

Required Courses – Upper Level

  • Media Lab I
  • Media Lab II
  • Photojournalism Studio I
  • Photojournalism Studio II
  • Photojournalism Studio III
  • Photojournalism Studio IV
  • Photojournalism Seminar I
  • Photojournalism Thesis I
  • Photojournalism Thesis II
  • Photojournalism Seminar II
  • Professional Practice for Photojournalism
  • 20th Century Art
  • Contemporary Culture
  • History and Aesthetics of Photography
  • Humanities I
  • Humanities II
  • One Art History Elective
  • Four Arts and Humanities Electives
  • Four Fine Art or Photojournalism Specialization Electives
  • Four Studio Electives

Sample Elective Courses

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photojournalism program can choose electives from a variety of innovative courses conducted both at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and abroad, with focuses on fine art photography or photojournalism. Here are some examples:

  • Color Photography
  • Extended Image
  • Summer Study Away in Israel
  • Place and Narrative: Study Away in Mexico
  • Studio Lighting
  • Advanced B&W Printing
  • Pre-digital Alternative Processes
  • Advanced Digital Photography
  • Advanced Studio Lighting: Commission Project
  • International Experience/Transnational Identity: El Salvador Study Away
  • Making Meaning: Narrative and the Art of the Photography Book
  • Real Un-reel
  • Picture Editing
  • Web Essay
  • Speed of Sound
  • The Photograph in Contemporary Art

Department Life

The Corcoran's Photograph Department promotes excellence in a supportive environment where students can develop their artistic and technical skills and cultivate their aspirations.

Under the guidance of the department's faculty of professional artists and photojournalists, students in the Fine Art Photography and Photojournalism programs participate together in projects and events that complement the curriculum. Students can mentor peers as a Photography Department lab tech, reach out as photography and video instructors to young people in the broader Washington, D.C. community, attend lectures, view exhibitions, and work closely with visiting artists to help realize and document projects.

FotoWeek D.C.

As a major center for collecting, displaying, and studying photography and photojournalism, the Corcoran is a regular participant in FotoWeek D.C., an annual festival dedicated to the photographic arts. Since 2008, the Corcoran has participated as a sponsor of the festival and often as a site for FotoWeek lectures and exhibitions.

Visiting Artists

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design's Visiting Artist program and other opportunities to connect with working artists and designers enhance the efforts of the faculty to provide a broad perspective on contemporary practice.

The Visiting Artist-in-Residence program facilitates opportunities to build relationships with professional artists and photographers through lectures, critiques, and workshops. And "Critics in the Classroom" plays a pivotal role in studio and classroom reviews, providing students with focused points of view and a direct connection to the world of a working photographer.

Recent visiting artists have included David Levinthal, Alex Prager, Donna DeCesare and Arnold Newman Distinguished Lecturers in Photography Carrie Mae Weems, Taryn Simon and Paul Graham.