More Information

Photography, Bachelor of Fine Arts

BFA Photography
132 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


Photograph by Kirra Kimbrell, BFA Photography 2015

You can prepare for a career in photography by earning a BFA in Photography. Offered by St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the 132 credit degree program in Photography provides students with the skills they need to explore and succeed in a wide variety of photographic careers/fields including Fine Arts, Documentary, and other commercial applications. Students who complete our program must demonstrate mastery of the technical aspects of the medium of photography, as well as develop a strong philosophical and historical foundation of the visual arts in consideration to its impact on contemporary social and visual culture.

Affiliated with the International Center of Photography, (ICP), in NYC, our BFA in Photography offers the technical and conceptual training necessary for students to master both analog and digital techniques while developing their own critical and creative solutions to their own individual ideas.

The program offers students internships in a variety of professional establishments in NYC as well as an opportunity to apply for certification from the International Center of Photography in NYC, in either their certified General Studies Program or their renown Photojournalism Certificate Program. Students in the photography program will develop field-specific critical thinking and communication skills so as to analyze, discuss and critique photographic images considering technical, aesthetic ethical and conceptual applications and values.

The Department of Art and Design at St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has attained the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation, held by selective art schools nationwide.

For more information on our program requirements and assistance with portfolios.


As part of the admission process, each candidate applying to any of the B.F.A. degrees must also submit their portfolio of original artwork to the Department of Art and Design via SlideRoom. (This online portfolio service will allow you to upload, label, arrange, and submit your portfolio electronically.) We request 12-15 images using JPG format, for the Macintosh platform. More information on the types of files accepted for upload and specific instructions for portfolio submissions and requirements is available on our portfolio requirements page.

After completing the SJU Undergraduate Application, you will be able to upload your images by linking to our SlideRoom portal:

We accept portfolios and applications on a rolling basis, but you must submit the portfolio via SlideRoom on or before January 15 if you wish to be considered for one of the visual art scholarships. If you wish to apply for early action, please submit your portfolio via SlideRoom by December 15.

If after reading the portfolio requirements page you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact the department Chairperson directly at: [email protected].

If you would like more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission online. Or contact us directly at the campus of your choice:

Admission Office - Queens Campus
[email protected]


Career Outcomes

Thanks to their strong personal and professional connections, our professors help students build their own networks in New York’s art scene. Seniors gain internships with publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, graphic design studios, museums, galleries, and other organizations that enable them to launch successful careers.

A new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal survey 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 business companies 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.

For a small selection of a few of our alumni success "stories", enjoy the links below:

Global Approach to Education

In the area of Global Education the Department of Art and Design has been in the forefront of Global Studies since 1989. All of the courses abroad offered by the Department can be taken as art electives by our BFA candidates. Our courses and programs abroad are offered in Rome, Paris, Spain, and during the summers in destinations that span the world. Students are encouraged to view the world as a tangible place and use their cameras, and visual media as tools that aim to provide a broader 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, The French Sketchbook, Painting in Italy, Drawing and Design in Rome, Culture of Southern Italy, a Visual Journey, Photography in Paris, Art in Vietnam, Survey of Art and Architecture in Italy, Art and Architecture in France, Italian Renaissance Art and Literature

Additional Information

Our BFA students at St. John's gain a solid foundation in art theory and its applications to various media. Students learn from an enormously gifted, internationally known faculty of artists whose work appears in galleries, exhibitions and publications in New York City, across the country and around the world.

The Department of Art and Design offers full and partial scholarships to freshmen with a record of exemplary skills in high school. Two full-time, four-year scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate extraordinary proficiency in drawing, painting, printmaking, illustration, graphic design and/or photography.

St. John’s also bestows a $1,000 incentive scholarship to high school seniors who demonstrate excellence in the visual arts. Students are selected through the portfolio review process. For more information, contact Nerissa Palad-Palermo: 718-990-6250; [email protected].

Our studios provide an ideal atmosphere for students to learn as they create under the guidance of master teachers. Facilities include the state-of-the-art classrooms, featuring cutting-edge equipment and software.

Each of our BFA programs avail the student the option of either a Thesis or Internship during their senior year as the culmination of their degree. Thesis students work closely with their chosen faculty advisor in order to embark upon and complete a body of work so as to present to galleries or use as part of their portfolio for future MFA program applications. Internships are individually arranged according to the student’s interests, strengths, and career objectives. Since we are located just 20 minutes from New York City, and have established a strong network of affiliates and alumni, who now hold impressive positions within the art world, the internship opportunities our students have to select from our quite extensive. Our programs benefit from 50 years of experience and educational excellence in the visual arts.

Program News

Growing up in the South Bronx, Abigail Montes ‘18B.F.A. was aware that something had happened to her neighborhood before she was born. She saw vacant lots and remnants of burned-out buildings,...