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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Photography Minor

Studies in photography at Grand Valley State University encompass the history, critical and aesthetic theory, and varied practice of photography as a medium of visual communication and expression in culture and society.

The photography program, in supporting the mission of the Department of Visual and Media Arts and the university, develops liberally educated professional image-makers and media scholars through student-centered inquiry and practice in visual communication and the history, theory, criticism, and production of photographic images using state-of-the-art methods, tools, and facilities.

Working closely with a faculty advisor, students planning to major in photography take at least 37 semester credits directly relating to photography, plus the communications/VMA core (nine credits), and the Capstone (three credits) for a total of 49 credits. Students connect photography to related fields in the visual arts, performing arts, business, media and publications, and the humanities. The emphasis of the photography program is on the students' growth as educated picture makers who not only know photography, but also know something about themselves, about the world around them, and about the culture that has shaped them. Students are expected to develop working knowledge in many areas of visual communication and are encouraged to pursue elective studies in areas that provide a broad understanding of social and cultural issues and the role of the visual communicator in contemporary society.

The photography minor consists of a minimum of 21 credits built around a core of introductory foundational classes and any four other classes in the photography program.

Students beginning the photography curriculum with no prior credits toward the major or minor are encouraged to take PHO 170 - Introduction to Photography (3 credits) and PHO 266 - History of Photography I (3 credits) in the fall semester, and PHO 272 - Intermediate Photography (3 credits) and ART 150 - Foundations: 2-D Design and Color (3 credits) in the winter semester of their first year. All others are encouraged to meet with their advisor before scheduling courses in the photography sequence. A digital SLR and a laptop are recommended for the program.

Required Courses

Elective Courses

Choose four of the following courses:

Photography Program Description

Click here for the program description.

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