BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS | MINOR
Push the boundaries of your creative lens at one of the nation’s best institutions for photography
At the Corcoran, we recognize the critical importance of the photographic image in contemporary society while establishing photography’s historical context within art. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography study current photo-based art while refining their technical skills and developing their individual styles and subject matter. Our curriculum examines the roles that lens-based media play in contemporary life while emphasizing personal creativity, varied photographic processes, and an awareness of cultural context and critical analysis.
Through the direction and insight of our faculty — who are practicing artists themselves — and visiting artists, our students experience first-hand how photography can be a vehicle for creative expression and an agent for change. The Corcoran provides students access to the George Washington University’s extensive research resources. With an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary photographic practices, students are encouraged to extend beyond comfort zones, redefine practices, and prepare for creative pursuits after graduation.
The Arts at GW
Our students make a commitment to their creative progress within a challenging but supportive academic community. Our class sizes are small, making it possible for in-depth discussions and access to faculty, and our students benefit from opportunities to work with curators and researchers around D.C. and across GW. With a campus that is blocks away from world-renowned cultural institutions, students regularly participate in D.C. art events in addition to exhibitions on-campus in spaces like Gallery 102 and the Flagg Building.
The 120-credit BFA degree in Fine Art Photography begins with four Foundation courses that provide intellectually and artistically rigorous studio-based courses. Focusing on key aspects of art and design, courses include:
- Drawing and Surface,
- Form and Materials,
- Time and Light, and Interaction.
In addition, you'll take two semesters of darkroom photography, one semester of digital photography, and one semester of video. There is flexibility for electives so you can tailor your studies to your interests. We encourage students to develop artistic and technical skills in both cutting-edge digital photography and video as well as mastering traditional darkroom work and you can explore other media.
You’ll start with a grounding in the history, techniques, and aesthetics of photography. Next, you will develop a critical understanding of your personal practice through a series of Studio courses. In your final year, you'll specialize your study in an intensive sequence of courses to prepare for thesis, an expression of individual interests presented at NEXT.
All first-year BFA students take Corcoran Foundations courses. For two semesters, you are an essential member of a tight-knit group of artists, designers and photographers. You will develop relationships across studio areas and foster multi-disciplinary approaches to making and problem-solving that can sustain a life-long investigative practice. Here you learn to think and communicate like an artist, take risks and challenge your assumptions, while developing the fundamental skills necessary to read and manipulate the complex language of images, forms and cultures that make up the world around you.
WHERE YOU'LL GO
Because of the Corcoran’s location in the heart of Washington D.C., photography students are exposed to a wide array of career options in the arts, including exhibiting as an artist, teaching, commercial photography, and curating. Students intern at prestigious organizations such as 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 from our program have established careers at nationally recognized outlets including United Press International, U.S. News & World Report, Politico, The Washington Post, and other organizations.
WHAT WE CREATE
Undergraduate Advisor: BA in Fine Art Photography
Undergraduate Advisor: BFA in Photojournalism