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Photography BFA

Taught to consider photography’s role in the present moment as well as the medium’s technical and aesthetic traditions, students explore visual story-telling as a means to a more insightful understanding of lived experience. Introduced to film and darkroom, as well as digital production, students are challenged to make objects which communicate with an audience beyond their immediate peers. Final critiques with practitioners outside the college ensure that many points of view are heard.


  • In the sophomore year, students learn to use medium and large format cameras with black and white film developed and printed in our darkrooms. Students achieve technical excellence in silver printing and begin to develop a personal vision.
  • During the junior year, digital capture and wide-format inkjet printing are introduced as students learn to truly see and manipulate color.Seniors work in seminar-style final portfolio preparation courses. The senior class exhibits work publicly and produces a catalog.
  • As seniors, the focus shifts to extended projects, portfolio development, and artist’s statements.
  • Each semester, electives offer opportunities to explore specific themes or skills such as Landscape, Photobooks, Alternative Processes, Studio Lighting, Documentary, and Portraiture.

Learning Outcomes 

  • Develop Visual & Aesthetic Skills
  • Composition
  • Black & White Printing Skills
  • Color Theory
  • Digital Media Skills
  • Photo History 19th and 20th
  • Contemporary Trends in Photo
  • Professional Artistic Practice
  • Critical Analysis and Articulation
  • Develop Studio Practice

unique to massart 

Our celebrated Photography Lecture Series brings several speakers – artists, historians, editors, and curators from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations – to the college every semester. These are leading practitioners in the medium who inspire fresh conversations and new ideas amongst those in our department and in the broader public.

We are located in the center of Boston’s dynamic intellectual and artistic community which offers an enormous resource replete with an almost endless array of lectures, exhibitions, films, and concerts. Visitors from all over the world can be found speaking in one venue or another every day of the week and most are open to the public. Such a vibrant community means that a plethora of internship opportunities are available in museums and galleries, at commercial studios, or with individual artists.

Our graduates exhibit and publish their work with stunning regularity and win eminent awards and grants such as the Fulbright Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

BFA/MAT: Undergraduate students interested in teaching K-12 may also explore a five year program in which they major in Photography and in the fifth year undertake an MAT degree through our esteemed Art Education Department. Learn more information on the BFA/MAT opportunity.

Courses  Requirements