Male student holding a camera to his eye

Photography, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Art and Design

Overview

The Bachelor of Fine Art (B.F.A.) in Photography at St. John's University provides you with the skills you need to succeed in a wide variety of career options. You develop mastery of the technical aspects of the photographic medium, as well as a strong philosophical and historical foundation in the visual arts and its impact on contemporary social and visual culture.

Affiliated with the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City, our B.F.A. in Photography offers you the technical and conceptual training necessary to master both analog and digital techniques while developing your individual critical and creative abilities. You have access to internships in a wide variety of professional settings in New York, as well as the opportunity to obtain ICP certification.

The strong liberal arts foundation we provide sets St. John's apart from other art schools because you graduate with the skills you need to succeed in a variety of fields. We prepare you to “think outside the box” and critically solve complex problems, making you an ideal leader in a complex global society.

St. John’s University has attained the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation, held by selective art schools nationwide.

Contact

Elizabeth DeLuna
Professor and Chair
718-990-5603
[email protected]

 

Program Mission Statement

The B.F.A. program in Photography at St. John's prepares students for careers in the fields of creative media and photography and for graduate studies by:

  1. Teaching the core competencies of research, writing, critical and thinking through the continual observation and analysis of the visual and social world.
  2. Helping students develop practical technical skills required for a variety of photographic careers that include: documentary, fine arts, and commercial applications of photography and media.
  3. Providing a strong philosophical and historical foundation for the visual arts and its impact on contemporary social and visual culture.

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Admission

In addition to applying to St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, each B.F.A. candidate must submit their portfolio of original artwork to the Department of Art and Design via SlideRoom. This online portfolio service allows you to upload, label, arrange, and submit your portfolio electronically to faculty reviewers. We request 12-15 images using JPG format, but also accept other file types as per the instructions on the SlideRoom portal. Specific instructions for your portfolio upload are available on the department page, and in the SlideRoom Portal.

After completing the St. John's Undergraduate Application, you will be able to upload your images via SlideRoom.

Portfolios and applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but you must submit your portfolio via SlideRoom on or before January 15 to be considered for one of the visual art scholarships. For early action, please submit your portfolio via SlideRoom by December 15.

Please contact the Department Chair directly at [email protected] with any questions regarding this process.

For more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John's University, please visit Undergraduate Admission

Scholarships

The Department of Art and Design awards two full-time, four-year scholarships to first-year students who demonstrate extraordinary proficiency and creative potential in their portfolio submission and have met the academic requirements of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Three additional first-year students who demonstrate excellence in the visual arts are offered a $1,000 incentive scholarship. Students are selected through the portfolio review process and must submit their portfolio in our SlideRoom portal by January 15 to be considered. For more information, contact Nerissa Palad-Palermo at 718-990-6250 or [email protected].

Courses

To earn a B.F.A. in Photography at St. John's, you complete 132 credits in core, major requirements, and elective courses as outlined below. For more information about courses, please see the St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Science section of our Undergraduate Bulletin.

Required Studio Courses*

ART 1105Introduction to Graphic Design
ART 1110Foundation Design
ART 1610Photography I
ART 1620Photography II
ART 1630Advanced Digital Photography & Imaging
ART 1650Analog Photography & Experimentation
ART 2650Photography & Social Justice

*Please note that studio art courses meet for six hours per week. 

Required Art History Courses

ART 1660History of Photography
Art History Electives (2)

Choose One of the Following: 

ART 4125Creative Thesis (9 credits)
ART 4909Internship (9 credits)

International Center for Photography

General Studies or Documentary program or applicable courses selected in consultation with your departmental advisor. 30 credits

In addition, you must select five art electives (15 credits total). 

Required Core Curriculum Courses

DNY 1000C
ENG 1000C
ENG 1100C
HIS 1000C
MFL Electives (2)
MTH 1000C
PHI 1000C
PHI 2200C
PHI 3000C
SCI 1000C
One social science elective from: ANT, ECO, GEO, GOV, LIN, PSY, or SOC
SPE 1000C
THE 1000C
THE 2000-level
THE 3000-level
 

Career Outcomes

Thanks to their strong personal and professional connections, our professors help you build your own network in New York’s art scene. As a senior, you explore internships with publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, graphic design studios, museums, galleries, and other organizations that help you launch a successful career.

A survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal includes St. John’s among its Top 100 colleges that are “most likely to help students land a job in key careers and professions — areas that are growing, pay well and offer high levels of satisfaction.” Studios, galleries, multimedia communications firms, and businesses in general rely on the creative intuition and skills of designers to reach their target audience. This competitive field is expected to grow an estimated 13 percent, especially in the interactive media sector. Our alumni find great success within their field of study and most of our interns are hired by the hosting firm before they even graduate.

Global Approach to Education

Since 1998 the Department of Art and Design has been a leader in Global Education. As a B.F.A. student, you may apply for a study abroad semester, during which you experience the cultural riches of Rome, Italy, Paris, France, and/or Limerick, Ireland first-hand. We also offer individual course opportunities in a variety of locations around the globe. We encourage you to use our global art offerings to broaden your understanding of humanity from both a global and personal perspective.

Below is a sampling of some of the courses we offer abroad:

  • The Italian Sketchbook
  • Drawing and Design in Rome
  • Photography in Paris
  • Survey of Art and Architecture in Italy
  • Art and Architecture in France
  • Monuments of World Architecture
  • The City of Rome
  • A variety of “Special Topic” short-term classes abroad

Additional Information

You gain a solid foundation in the visual arts and emerging media and their applications across various media and disciplines. You learn from experienced and internationally-known faculty whose work appears in prestigious media companies, product and publication design, galleries, museums, and publications in New York City, across the country, and around the globe.

Our studios provide an ideal environment for students to learn and create under the guidance of master educators. Our facilities include state-of-the-art classrooms with cutting-edge equipment and software.

Each B.F.A. program capstone experience is a thesis or internship during your senior year. Thesis students work closely with their chosen faculty advisor creating a body of work to present to galleries or include in an M.F.A. application portfolio. Internships are individually arranged according to the student's interests, strengths, and career objectives. With easy access to New York City, students have access to our strong network of affiliates and alumni who now hold prominent positions in the arts.