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Photography Degree Program Overview

Photography degree students have the options to focus their studies in any area of photography that interests them

Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.
— Edward Steichen

Earn a fine arts degree in photography
All images shown above were produced by Burlington College students

The photography program combines rigorous instruction in craft and technique coupled with a personalized approach to taking pictures that recognizes the complex social, temporal, and spiritual relationships between the photographer and the subject—whether that subject is a lake, a building, an animal, another human being, or something that may not be quite recognizable. Great attention is paid to each student's way of seeing; the ultimate goal of mastering the technical processes of the medium is viewed here as a means to a more intense and immediate kind of looking that yields distinctive photographs.

Because the technology of photography is changing so rapidly, the program offers courses that give students the tools to work in both digital and film and that often explore the ways those two formats can be combined.

This program prepares graduates to go on to further study and/or careers in commercial or fine arts photography, photojournalism, or teaching.

Photography Degree Requirements

All students are required to complete an upper-level internship in the major including participation in the Action Learning Seminar; typical placements include settings such as newspapers, museums, galleries, schools, local arts organizations, and may include apprenticeships with photographers. Each student also undertakes a 6-credit capstone Degree Project in the last two semesters that includes both a creative component (usually a portfolio of work and a public show displayed in our gallery) and a process paper.

Every Bachelor of Arts degree candidate must complete Burlington College's General Education requirements and must earn a minimum of 120 credits to achieve a degree. The following course requirements are specific to the Photography major. All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted. Other coursework may be substituted with permission of academic advisor.

Many Photographers go on into careers in Photojournalism, Portrait Studios, Landscape Photography and architectural photography


Intermediate level: Required Courses: 9 credits
FIN240 - Black and White Camera and Darkroom I
FIN241 - Photographic Communication
CIN/FIN263 - Photoshop I
Electives: 3
FIN242 - Documentary Photography
FIN243 - Digital Photography

Upper level: Required Courses: 15 credits
WAL331 - Search and Research
COR337- Ways of Seeing: Art, Literature, and Film Criticism
FIN340 - Black and White Camera and Darkroom II
FIN348 - History of Photography
FIN363 - Photoshop for Photographers
Electives: 6 credits
FIN341 - Black and White Printing: The Fine Print
FIN342 - Portfolio and Exhibition
FIN343 - The Digital Fine Print
FIN344 - Street Photography
FIN345 - Portraiture
FIN/WAL346 - Words and Images
FIN350-Lighting for Photography
FIN351-Personal Vision and the Photo Essay

Internship 3 credits
Degree Project I & II 6 credits

General Education Requirements

  • Demonstration of proficiency in academic computing
  • Vision and Revision (or assessment of writing sample)
  • Research and Reflection

Evidence of proficiency in the four fundamental learning skills 

  • Writing
  • Oral Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Researching

3 credits in each of the following areas of the liberal arts 
  • Creative Expression
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Historical Consciousness
  • Media Literacy
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Responsible Action
  • Scientific Thought
  • Social Awareness


This program combines rigorous instruction in craft and technique coupled with a personalized approach