BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS
Today more than ever, we need photojournalists who work as observers, reporters and storytellers to share what is happening in our world.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photojournalism program provides a unique, multidisciplinary training ground for a new generation of visual reporters and documentarians. Based in the Studio Arts program, photojournalism majors are immersed in both the traditions of photojournalism and studio arts practices from day one. Students develop their visual and reporting voices through in-depth photojournalism and multimedia classes taken in tandem with reporting classes at the School of Media and Public Affairs.
Through a combination of a faculty that includes award-winning photographers and editors from the Washington Post, the White House, and the Associated Press, a curriculum that stresses the importance of individual creativity and in coursework relating to the legal, ethical and economic challenges of the profession, our students are uniquely prepared to succeed in today’s market.
In the heart of Washington, D.C., Corcoran students have access to a constant procession of news and documentary subjects. Our Center for Career Services also works with students to identify opportunities for internships and careers that push the bounds of their photography, audio and visual skills. If you’re looking for the chance to learn through actions, then the Corcoran is right for you.
Your studies begin with a thorough grounding in the history, techniques, aesthetics, practices and critical understandings of photography and photojournalism. An array of electives and multidisciplinary electives within the Corcoran and across the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences offers ample opportunity for you to specialize in or explore new areas of interest. Your final year includes an intensive course sequence designed to prepare you for an expression of your individual interests and ambition as a visual journalist in a thesis exhibition as part of the annual NEXT exhibition at the Corcoran.
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.
BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS IN PHOTOJOURNALISM
The BFA degree in Photojournalism is a full-time program requiring 78 credits of fine arts and art history courses and an additional 9 credits of School of Media and Public Affairs courses out of the total 120 credits to graduate. The program begins with four foundations courses and two photography foundations courses. Focusing on key aspects of art and design, these courses are required for all Corcoran BFA programs:
- Drawing and Surface (BFA foundation),
- Form and Materials (BFA foundation),
- Black and White Photography Fundamentals (Photography foundation),
- Time and Light (BFA foundation),
- Interaction (BFA foundation),
- and Introduction to Digital Color Photography (Photography foundation).
In subsequent semesters, students in Photojournalism Studio and Thesis courses are presented with content-driven assignments geared to guide them towards an increased understanding of their own photojournalistic practices in relation to professional photojournalism and contemporary photography more broadly. Aside from the photography and photojournalism courses, other courses of focused study include ceramics, painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture and performance and time-based media.
BACHELOR OF ARTS WITH A MAJOR IN FINE ARTS, PHOTOJOURNALISM CONCENTRATION
The BA degree in Fine Arts with a Photojournalism Concentration is a full-time program requiring 42 credits of fine arts and art history courses and an additional 9 credits of School of Media and Public Affairs courses out of the total 120 credits to graduate. Students balance studio-based work with other academic programs of study. Focusing on key aspects of analogue and digital processes, the program begins with two photography foundations courses.
- Black and White Photography Fundamentals,
- and Introduction to Digital Color Photography.
In subsequent semesters, students in Photojournalism Studio and Thesis courses are presented with content-driven assignments geared to guide them towards an increased understanding of their own photojournalistic practices in relation to professional photojournalism and contemporary photography more broadly.
MINOR IN PHOTOGRAPHY
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 18 credits, including a 3-credit required course and 15 credits in elective courses:
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, U.S. News & World Report, Discovery Channel, Green Peace, National Public Radio Science Desk, The Hill, Politico, Science Magazine, Congress members and the U.S. Forestry Service.
Graduates of the program have secured positions at United Press International, U.S. News & World Report, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Geographic, McClatchy News, Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Annie Leibovitz Studio, Adamson Editions, Creative Circle, Aperture Books, and other major news outlets and arts organizations.
Assistant Professor Matt Eich has 15 years of experience as an independent photographer, working on long-form personal projects and commissions for publications including The Atlantic, National Geographic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and many others. He has authored four monographs of photography, and his prints are in numerous notable institutions. Read more about Eich helps students build photographic narratives.
Our faculty are knowledgeable teachers who can provide expertise on the theory, background and practice of the photojournalism field. Just as important, they are experienced photojournalists themselves who provide real-world information to help students as they grow professionally and artistically.
Image credit: Mark Poucher
Alumni and faculty from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design won Pulitzer Prizes for their accounts of the assault on Washington on January 6, 2021. Many worked as video journalists and photographers for the Washington Post and Getty that day.
Issac Jonas, BFA, 2020
Focusing on social issues, Jonas combines his traditional fine art background with a journalistic sensibility to deliver media that is strong and impactful. See his work in NEXT.
Keren Carrion, BFA, 2019
Carrion was accepted to the New York Times Portfolio Review and is currently working at Report for America. While at Corcoran, she interned at Univision 41 in New York.
Mariah Miranda, BFA, 2017
“The Corcoran School not only fits my needs as an artist, but goes above and beyond. I’m becoming an artist I never imagined I’d be.”