Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography
Total credit hours: 120

click on any course title for a description

Visual Arts Core Requirements 12
ART 161 2-D Design/Color Fundamentals 3
ART 162 Drawing I 3
ART 163 3-D Design 3
ART 164 4-D Design 3
Visual Arts Elective Explorations 12
Various Studio Art Electives 3
General Education Elective Explorations 18
ART 221 Modern Art History 3
ART 321 Contemporary Art 3
Various General Education Electives 12

BFA in Photography
First Year
ART 101 Art History Survey I ART 102 Art History Survey II
ART 161 2-D Design / Color Fundamentals ART 162 Drawing I
ENG 101 English Composition I ENG 102 English Composition II
PHO 121 Photography I PHO 231 Photography II
General Education Core or Elective PHO 300 Portfolio Review
(15 Credit Hours) (15 Credit Hours)
Second Year
ART 163 3-D Design ART 164 4-D Design
PHO 101 Photography: A Cultural Lens PHO 102 A Critical Introduction to Photo
PHO 233 Photography III-A PHO 241 Introduction to Lighting
PHO 251 Digital Imaging PHO 234 Photography III-B
General Education Core or Elective General Education Core or Elective
(15 Credit Hours) (15 Credit Hours)
Third Year
ART 221 Modern Art History ART 321 Contemporary Art History
PHO 342 Applied Lighting PHO 361 Alternative Processes
PHO 352 Experimental Video PHO 395 Junior Projects
General Education Core or Elective PHO 482 Critical Writing
Studio Elective #1 General Education Core or Elective
(15 Credit Hours) (15 Credit Hours)
Fourth Year
PHO 481Seminar PHO 492 Senior Thesis & Prof Practices
PHO 3XX Advanced Special Topic General Education Core or Elective
General Education Core or Elective General Education Core or Elective
General Education Core or Elective Studio Elective #3
Studio Elective #2 Studio Elective #4
(15 Credit Hours) (15 Credit Hours)

Although this Plan of Study describes a 4-year completion schedule, full-time students who work while attending the institution, or who for various reasons cannot manage a 15-credit-hours-per-semester workload may alternatively plan to complete the degree program in 4-1/2 or 5 years. A majority of Watkins students have historically made the decision to complete their Plan of Study in 5 years. Since Watkins charges tuition by the credit hour rather than by the semester, the total cost of tuition remains the same regardless of whether the student completes the BFA in 4, 4-1/2, or 5 years.

Visual Arts Core or General Education courses and some Film elective courses may be taken over the summer.


The Watkins Photography department is among the best equipped and outfitted of any program, with superior quality and an expansive inventory of resources as well as generous policies for student use.

Students are required to purchase a DSLR camera that shoots in RAW format.

photo-facilitiesAvailable for check-out:

  • Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax and Bronica medium format cameras and lenses, and Pentax Polaroid backs
  • 4×5 view & field cameras, lenses, tripods, and changing bags
  • Canon and Nikon Pro-digital cameras
  • Tungsten, speedites, and strobe lighting kits and accessories for studio and location work
  • sx-70 camera for alternative work
  • Canon GL1 and GL2 digital video cameras
  • Zoom digital audio recorder
  • Flip HD video recorders


  • Darkroom  with 15 enlargers and two island sinks
  • Three individual film loading & processing rooms
  • Lighting Studio

    Lighting Studio

    Wet area for archival washing and drying prints

  • Dry area for viewing negatives and prints, complete with light boxes, dry mount presses, matte cutter, and densitometer
  • A large lighting studio, complete with strobe & tungsten equipment, soft boxes, booms, camera stands, backdrop material and other accessories for studio work (room is available for reservation in four-hour blocks of time for students)
  • Digital imaging lab with state-of-the art Mac computers (OS-X operating system)
  • Four large format Epson archival ink jet printers
  • Four Epson Stylus Pro archival inkjet printers
  • Hasselblad Flextight XI film scanner
  • Epson flatbed scanners
  • UV exposure units for alternative printmaking
  • Jobo processors
  • H25 Hasselblad digital back and Toyo 4×5 adaptor for high-resolution digital capture

The Photography program does not require internships but strongly encourages them. Many opportunities are available and students are encouraged to take advantage of them. The following is a partial list of companies that support the photography program. program. New internship opportunities are made available to students every semester.