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Photography, Bachelor of Fine Arts

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

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.

The International Center of Photography is located at 79 Essex Street, New York, N.Y. 10002.  All ICP classes are offered in-person.  You are required to complete either 15 or 30 credits of your major at ICP, depending on the certificate path you select.  If you select the 15-credit path, you will complete approximately 18% of your major classes at ICP, which amounts to 11% of your entire B.F.A. degree. If you select the 30-credit path, you will complete approximately 36% of your major classes at ICP, which amounts to 22% of your entire B.F.A degree.  Enrollment at ICP does not incur any additional fees or costs.

To learn more about the Photography program, visit the Department of Art and Design website

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

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Degree Type
Area of Interest
The Arts
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours

More Information

After completing the St. John's Undergraduate Application, students who wish to study Photography are required to submit a portfolio (see below) for acceptance. Portfolios and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For early action, please submit your portfolio for the Illustration program via SlideRoom by December 15. We request 12-15 images be included in your portfolio.  

If you wish to be considered for a Department of Art and Design visual arts scholarship, you must submit your portfolio separately via SlideRoom. 

Please note: 

  • Files must be labeled as follows: First initial, last name, image number (e.g., jdoe_1). 
  • Image files should not be larger than 1200 pixels on the longest side and should be saved in JPG format. 
  • Other formats are acceptable; please check the SlideRoom instructions. 

Portfolio Requirements 

Portfolios for scholarship candidates must include 12-15 original pieces using a variety of materials in their portfolio. Judging will be based on creativity, conceptual ability, design, color sense, idea communication, draftsmanship, use of materials, and personal vision. 

Photography candidates include the following: 

  • Original photographic work 
  • Analog photography 
  • Multi-media works 
  • Original drawings or paintings  
  • Two-dimensional design compositions 
  • Design or illustration projects 
  • Photographs of ceramics or three-dimensional sculptures 

Should you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact either our Department Administrator, Nerissa Palermo, [email protected] , or our Department Chair, Paul Fabozzi, [email protected]

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 March 1, 2024 to be considered. For more information, contact Nerissa Palad-Palermo at 718-990-6250 or [email protected].

Required Studio Courses*

CourseCourse #Title
ART1105Introduction to Graphic Design
ART1110Foundation Design
ART1610Photography I
ART1620Photography II
ART1630Advanced Digital Photography & Imaging
ART1650Analog Photography & Experimentation
ART2650 or 4953The Photograph as Document or Independent Study
ART2655Analog Photography II or ICP 1005*
ART3560Studio Seminar I or ICP 1006*
ART4110Studio Seminar II or ICP 1007*
ART4112Professional Practices or ART 3110 Professional Portfolio or ICP 1008*
ART3010Special Topics in Studio Art or ICP 1009*

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

In addition to the courses listed above, students must take either 15 or 30 credits with the International Center of Photography (ICP). ICP offers intensive photographic study that, in collaboration with the courses offered at St, John's, aim to target specific areas of the medium and immerse our students in a community of photographers to further advance their knowledge and career options. Courses specializing in lighting, portraiture, documentary, studio and digital mastery are but a few of the selections offered that complement the photography and visual communication classes take during their first two years at St. John's. A more comprehensive listing of the types of courses are available on their website.

Required Art History Courses

CourseCourse #Title
ART1660History of Photography 
ART3710Contemporary Photography
ART History Elective

Art Electives (9 credits of studio or art history electives)

Required Capstone Course - Choose one:

CourseCourse #TitleCredits
ART4125Creative Thesis9

BFA Core Curriculum Courses

CourseCourse #Title
FYS1000First Year Seminar
FYW1000First Year Writing
ENG1100Literature in Global Context
HIS1000The Emergence of a Global Society
PHI1000Philosophy of Human Person
SPE1000Fundamentals of Public Speaking
THE1000Perspectives on Christianity

Also the following courses:

  • Ethics (Philosophy or Theology)
  • Foreign Language (6 credits)
  • Mathematics and/or Logical, Quantitive, and Computational Reasoning
  • Science and/or Data Analysis
  • Social Justice (select from approved list of courses)
  • Social Science Elective
  • THE – Sacred Texts and Traditions (select from approved list of courses)

Student Stories

Department Contact

Paul Fabozzi

Department Chair

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