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The academic year is divided into three terms, with an intersession in January. Each term, students register for four to five 10-week courses and three to four weekend workshops. Course selection is determined in consultation with the Chair. Students should expect to spend 16 to 20 hours in the classroom weekly. Workshops are scheduled from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekends.
Course requirements for the academic year include three terms of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Seminar, three terms of technical instruction in digital workflow, and one term of photographic history. Lighting and some history of analog printing are required and highly recommended to complete before entrance in the fall. Students select additional 10-week courses and weekend workshops each term. These creative and technical offerings allow students to shape a sequence of instruction that will strengthen their practice. Students are encouraged to participate in an internship with a photographer, agency, magazine, or newspaper during the year. External employment is not advised due to the student’s intense schedule.
A legacy of ICP's founding mission dedicated to collecting and preserving notable photographic images in the documentary tradition, the program attracts prestigious faculty and visiting artists such as Shelby Lee Adams, Bill Armstrong, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Nelson Bakerman, Christoph Bangert, Nina Berman, Robert Blake, Amadou Diallo, Deirdre Donohue, Stephen Ferry, Larry Fink, Giorgia Fiorio, Frank Fournier, Ed Grazda, Gabe Greenberg, Lori Grinker, Per Gylfe, Patrick Harbron, Ron Haviv, Todd Heisler, Jeff Jacobson, Ed Kashi, Yong Hee Kim, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, Gillian Laub, Judith Levitt, Serge J.-F. Levy, Robert Lewis, Joan Liftin, Santiago Lyon, Jay Manis, Karen Marshall, Nadja Masri, Sabine Meyer, Greg Miller, Suzanne Opton, Sylvia Plachy, Barron Rachman, Joseph Rodriguez, Marcel Saba, Bob Sacha, Ken Schles, Shaul Schwarz, Steve Simon, Maggie Steber, Robert Stevens, Scott Thode, Jonathan Torgovnik, Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Tom White, Julie Winokur, Yukiko Yamagata, Brian Young, Quito Ziegler.
Alison Morley has been Chair of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program since 2000. As a photo editor, she has been the photography director of the New York Times Sophisticated Traveler, Audubon, Civilization, Esquire, Mirabella, Elle, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She has received awards for photo editing from American Photography, the Society of Publication Design, and Communication Arts. She is the editor of several major photography publications, including The Ninth Floor by Jessica Dimmock; Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal and Afghanistan: The Road to Kabul by Ron Haviv; I Am Rich Potosí: The Mountain That Eats Men by Stephen Ferry; and Soviets: Pictures from the End of the USSR by Shepard Sherbell. She serves on numerous committees, including the nominating committee for World Press Photos in the Netherlands, the Fulbright Fellowship Committee, and the advisory board for Daylight magazine, Fovea editions, and the Look 3 Photo Festival.