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Photo of a student walking through the Kirkhof Center.

Photography, B.A., B.S.

The program encompasses the history, critical and aesthetic theory, and varied practice of photography as a medium of visual communication and expression in culture and society.

Visit the program website for more information.

Students are admitted directly into this program.

Alums Employed in Their Field

72% of GVSU photography alumni work in their field post-graduation.

Strong Community Ties

GVSU's photography program maintains strong community ties with business and cultural organizations, providing students with resources and internship opportunities.

Diverse Curriculum

The photography program's diverse curriculum allows students to develop their expertise and interests.

Source: EMSI, 2021
Available as a minor.

Program Overview

The photography program offers high-quality, student-centered, production and theory courses aimed at developing liberally educated professionals able to thoughtfully adapt and thrive in a variety of professional and creative environments.

A Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree is offered. A minor is also available.

Why Study Photography at Grand Valley?

  • A dedication to the education of intelligent image-makers that is neither constrained in a vocational training program, nor a narrow studio art emphasis alone, is what makes the photography program at Grand Valley distinct and valued in the state and region.
  • The school has many ties with business, community, and cultural organizations, and has contacts with experts in a variety of areas in communications, which serve as outstanding resources both within the classroom and for internships.
  • The diversity of courses offered allows students the opportunity to explore a variety of photographic methods and applications as they develop their personal expertise and interests.
  • The program prepares students to engage graduate studies in fine art programs.
  • Faculty members in photography have a broad range of professional experience and a dedication to teaching.
  • The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


Coursework includes the following:

  • Black and white photography
  • Color photography
  • Digital photography
  • Studio photography
  • Documentary photography
  • Photojournalism
  • History, theory, and criticism
  • Digital media production

Career Options

The B.A. and B.S. degrees prepare students to:

  • Apply their expertise in museums and galleries.
  • Work creatively in commercial advertising and portrait studios.
  • Produce compelling work as photojournalists and editorial photographers.
  • Begin careers as professional artists.
  • Combine a knowledge of digital media with another field for a variety of interests and functions.

Combined Degree Programs

Many GVSU undergraduate programs can be combined with an existing master’s degree program to save on tuition and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, you can save $8,500 by pursuing a combined degree and take up to four fewer courses than if earning the degrees separately.

Talk with an advisor about how you can build your combined degree from existing programs to further personalize your education and create your own niche area of expertise.

Admission Requirements

Visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements.

For More Information

Department of Visual and Media Arts
1105 Alexander Calder Art Center
(616) 331-3668

Admissions and Recruitment Office


“I really liked the photography program because it was so personal. I liked that the professors worked closely with students and knew them by name.”