bfa program

Photograph by Matthew Monteith


Taught to consider photography’s role in the present moment as well as the medium’s technical and aesthetic traditions, students explore visual story-telling as a means to a more insightful understanding of lived experience. Introduced to film and darkroom, as well as digital production, students are challenged to make objects which communicate with an audience beyond their immediate peers. Final critiques with practitioners outside the college ensure that many points of view are heard.

In the sophomore year, students learn to use medium and large format cameras with black and white film developed and printed in our darkrooms. Students achieve technical excellence in silver printing and begin to develop a personal vision. During the junior year, digital capture and wide-format inkjet printing are introduced as students learn to truly see and manipulate color. As seniors, the focus shifts to extended projects, portfolio development, and artist’s statements. Each semester, electives offer opportunities to explore specific themes or skills such as Landscape, Photobooks, Alternative Processes, Studio Lighting, Documentary, and Portraiture.

A highly respected group of practicing artists form the core professors. Their efforts are augmented by a remarkable group of visiting faculty. We are proud of our diverse and visionary faculty and staff, many of whom have received prestigious fellowships and who publish and exhibit extensively in the United States and worldwide.

Our graduates exhibit and publish their work with stunning regularity and win eminent awards and grants such as the Fulbright Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

BFA/MAT: Undergraduate students interested in teaching K-12 may also explore a five year program in which they major in Photography and in the fifth year undertake an MAT degree through our esteemed Art Education Department. Click here for more information on the BFA/MAT opportunity.



major requirements


Photography is a 36-credit BFA major. Students are required to enroll in 6 credits of required courses each semester. Major requirements have to be taken in sequence and students cannot enroll in more than 6 credits of required courses in a single semester. In addition to these requirements, the department offers numerous electives students can take to compliment the required curriculum.

Fall Semester MPPH280 Sophomore Studio Medium Format  6
Spring Semester MPPH281 Sophomore Studio Large Format  6
Fall Semester MPPH360 Major Studio: Digital Photography  6
Spring Semester MPPH361 Junior Projects  3
  MPPH350 Visiting Artist Seminar  3
Fall Semester MPPH460 Senior Projects  3
  MPPH450 Visiting Artist Seminar  3
Spring Semester MPPH461 Senior Thesis  3
  MPPH450 Visiting Artist Seminar  3
  TOTAL:      36 



gertrude kasebier awards


The Photography Department at MassArt is fortunate to confer the Gertrude Kasebier Awards each year.  The five prizes go to all three levels of undergraduate majors and include a travel award for a graduating senior.   An anonymous donor established the Gertrude Kasebier Photography Fund in 2018 to foster creativity, motivation, healthy competition, and attention to the qualities of the fine print within the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Photography Department. An awards ceremony takes place each May designed to build and strengthen a sense of community within the Photography Department and throughout the entire College community. The awards are juried both by MassArt Photography faculty and an outside juror who makes the final selection.  





Each year, seniors in the photography department reach out to generous and talented photographers who donate signed copies of their artist's books. This celebration includes a night of silent auctions, socializing, food, and a chance to view beautiful, rare photobooks. Proceeds from the auction support the senior photography catalogue of student work, published every spring semester to signify and archive the work of our graduating class. 

Again this year, we have been extremely fortunate to have received generous donations from artists and publishers worldwide, and all will be available for purchase at this unique event. Please join us!