Photography Option

The School of Film and Photography (SFP) prepares students to meet the challenges of a rapidly expanding media environment as creative artists and critical thinkers. Our students develop their own voices as tomorrow's leaders through intensive hands-on exploration of film, photography, and related media.

The School of Film and Photography offers a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) with concentrations (options) in Film or Photography, plus a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) in Integrated Lens-Based Media. 

The BA and BFA degree options share a common foundation dedicated to the relationships between film and photography. This integrated foundation permits students to take courses in Film or Photography while they complete the requirements of the option they have selected as their concentration. Students who pursue the BFA will be able to design their own curricular path in consultation with their advisor. 

After the completion of a successful freshman year of introductory courses in media production, analysis, and history, students will continue to develop advanced skills and knowledge of photography and/or filmmaking over the next the three years.

Both degree options provide flexibility for students who want to broaden their education with course work outside of the School of Film and Photography. All students are encouraged to study abroad, minor in another area of interest, and even double major.

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the Photography option is one of the few comprehensive four-year photography degree programs in the north central and northwest United States. Coursework covers everything from traditional silver-based darkroom techniques to alternative processes with emphasis in digital technologies across the curriculum. While we do provide classes that apply to the photography profession, we place more importance on providing a broad education to prepare students for a wide range of future opportunities not confined to an industry. In that respect, the Photography option is both artistic and applied, providing a solid foundation for those entering a professional field and those choosing to pursue postgraduate education.

Acceptance into the Photography major is based on passing grades in the required foundation courses including WRIT 101W and University Seminar (US). Upon entering sophomore year in the program, purchase of a Macintosh laptop computer that meets the specifications of the department is required. A Program Fee is assessed each semester for all majors in the School.

Freshman YearCredits
FILM 101IH - Understanding Film and Media3  
FILM 112 - Aesthetics of Film Production I3  
PHOT 113RA - The Magic of the Darkroom I3  
US 101US - First Year Seminar13  
University Core and Electives3  
PHOT 213 - The Magic of the Darkroom II  3
WRIT 101W - College Writing I1  3
University Core and Electives  9
Year Total: 15 15
Sophomore YearCredits
PHOT 258 - View Camera4  
Studies Elective3  
University Core and Electives8  
PHOT 255 - Intro to Color Photography  4
Studies Elective  3
University Core and Electives  8
Year Total: 15 15
Junior YearCredits
Choose one of the following Production Electives:4  
PHOT 331 - Prof Practices in Photography
PHOT 352 - Advanced Lighting Practices
PHOT 355 - The Experimental Color Darkroom
PHOT 373 - Image & Text
PHOT 374 - The Experimental B&W Darkroom
PHOT 494 - Seminar/Workshop
Studies Elective3  
SFP Electives34  
University Core and Electives4  
Choose one of the following Production Electives:  4
PHOT 350 - Landscape and the Book
PHOT 359 - Alternative Photographic Techniques
PHOT 371 - Portraiture
PHOT 373 - Image & Text
PHOT 494 - Seminar/Workshop
Studies Elective  3
SFP Elective3  4
University Core and Electives  4
Year Total: 15 15
Senior YearCredits
SFP Elective34  
Non-SFP Electives59  
University Core and Electives2  
PHOT 499 - Senior Production Photography4  5
University Core or Electives  10
Year Total: 15 15
Total Program Credits: 120

WRIT 101W and US 101US can be taken fall or spring semester.


Photography students are strongly encouraged to take ARTH 200IA Art of World Civilization I (4) and/or ARTH 201IA Art of World Civilization II (4) as well as other Art History classes especially if graduate school is planned.


Any additional 100–400 level PHOT or FILM studies and production courses, including independent studies, undergraduate research, internships, overseas photo and film classes, 291/491 special topics, 295/395 work study credits, or a second Senior Production. Photography students are strongly encouraged to take at least one of ARTZ 105IA Visual Language-Drawing (3), ARTZ 109IA Visual Language-Comprehensive Foundation (3), or ARTZ 110RA Visual Language: Ideation and Creativity (3) especially if graduate school is planned. Art courses can substitute for SFP Electives.


Though only one PHOT 499 is required, it can be taken twice for up to 10 credits, both fall and spring. A second PHOT 499 fufills SFP Elective credits. Entry into Senior Capstone requires an accepted proposal, completion of Freshman courses, Sophomore courses, Junior Production electives, a minimum of 3 of the 4 required Studies electives, and completion of at least 2 SFP Electives.


Photo majors are required to take at least 9 credits outside SFP that are not already fulfilling CORE requirements. Easily fulfilled by a minor.

Studies Electives

ARTH 200IAArt of World Civilization I4
ARTH 201IAArt of World Civilization II4
ARTH 391Special Topics1-4
FILM 201DFilm History I: Origins to the 1960s3
FILM 202DFilm History II: 1960s to the Present3
FILM 381Studies in Film3
FILM 481Advanced Studies in Film3
GRMN 422IHGerman Text & Cinema3
JPNS 361IHJapanese Text and Cinema3
LS 451Film, Photos, and Culture: A Global Perspective3
NASX 360IHNative Americans and Cinema3
PHL 328Philosophy and Film3
PHOT 301Photography: Global Histories and Perspectives3
PHOT 401Contemporary Issues in Photography3
PSYX 263CSThe Psychology of Film3
SPNS 352IHU.S. Latino Text & Cinema3

A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation, 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above.