General Studies in Photography
About the Program
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.
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,
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.