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General Studies

The General Studies in Photography Program embraces the study of fine art photographic practices and experimental image production. We support the development of each individual’s photographic work in an atmosphere of cooperative learning. Students are encouraged to explore and define their own goals, and challenged to situate their work in the broader context of the cultural, political, and psychological use of images.

The GS curriculum is an accelerated investigation of the history of photography, contemporary theory, and craft; it boasts a large selection of electives, in which students can let their curiosity and passions lead them in many new directions, including video. In solidifying each student's technical skills and broadening his/her vision, we build a foundation for ongoing, meaningful, and content-driven individual and collective practice.

Currently Accepting Applications

All applicants should apply online at

For more information on the alumni, faculty, and current students, please visit the GS blog.

Information Sessions

Want to learn about ICP's Full-Time Programs but can't attend an open house? Then join us for information sessions at the School on Fridays at 3 pm.

The Curriculum

The General Studies in Photography Program provides intermediate to advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study that strengthens personal vision, teaches professional practices, and explores the many disciplines that inform media and art today. During the first term, many assignments are given to help students move out of their comfort zones and quickly acquire new skills and perspectives; in the winter term, our approach shifts to encouraging more self-directed, independent work; and in the spring term, as students' main projects are solidified and completed, internships and assistance with presentation lead up to the year-end exhibition, a day of portfolio reviews with leading professionals, and graduation.

The academic year is divided into three terms with an optional intersession in January. Each term, students register for four to five 10-week courses and three to four weekend workshops. Students should expect to spend 18–20 hours in the classroom weekly and to allow ample extra time for shooting, production, and the completion of assignments.

Course requirements for the academic year include three terms of the General Studies Seminar, two terms of photographic history, at least two terms of black-and-white or color printing, and at least two terms of digital imaging techniques, as well as instruction in lighting and large-format photography. Students select additional five- and 10-week courses and weekend workshops each term: these offerings allow students to shape an individualized sequence of instruction. Technical classes are assigned according to ability levels whenever possible. The General Studies Program also offers students the opportunity to participate in an internship with a photographer, agency, or magazine.

The Faculty

The General Studies Program's faculty includes distinguished artists, photographers, filmmakers, writers, and curators who are recognized both nationally and internationally. In addition, many visiting artists join ICP each term to participate in The Photographers Lecture Series, as well as panel discussions, symposia, and site visits.

Recent GS faculty include Bill Armstrong, Robert Blake, Corinne May Botz, Jean-Christian Bourcart, Clinton Cargill, Elinor Carucci, Jean Marie Casbarian, Pradeep Dalal, Deirdre Donohue, Mark Alice Durant, Allen Frame, Frank Franca, Susan kae Grant, Per Gylfe, Susan Jahoda, Sean Justice, Joshua Lutz, Jay Manis, Robert Marshall, Abraham McNally, Darin Mickey, Carlos Motta, Suzanne Opton, Barron Rachman, Andreas Rentsch, Tricia Rosenkilde, Claudia Sohrens, Bradley Dever Treadaway, Bernard Yenelouis, and Brian Young.

Marina Berio, Chair of ICP's General Studies in Photography Program, is a photographer/artist. Her drawings and photographs have been exhibited at art spaces internationally, including Michael Steinberg Fine Art, LaViola Bank Gallery, Smack Mellon, Von Lintel Gallery, and Artists Space in New York; Judy Ann Goldman Fine Art in Boston; Les Rencontres d'Arles and the Centre Photographique de Pontault-Combault in France; and Otto Zoo in Milan. Berio has received an Aaron Siskind Foundation Award, a Pollock/Krasner Grant, and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and has been invited to various residencies, including the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Schloss Plüschow in Germany. Berio has been teaching at ICP since 2001, and she has been Chair of the General Studies Program since 2008.