The four-year BFA in Photography program offers students the opportunity to create and develop multiple bodies of photographic work, as well as working with the rich intersections between photography, film, video, design, visual art, and sound. This program provides its students with the technical training and critical framework to begin a creative life with photography at its center. Contemporary photography is an entity that is now best understood as a broad range of practices and the dynamic ecosystem of image-making possibilities is meaningfully explored and extrapolated during the course of this BFA program. The program supports the individualized development of each student’s photographic practice and does so within a learning environment and class structure that contextualizes students’ photographic work within the broad scheme of contemporary photography.
BFA Photography Year-by-Year Curriculum
Parsons First Year
Your first year at Parsons is a time of exploration and discovery that prepares you for your major, the rest of your education, and even life after Parsons. The two semesters bring together making and reflecting on your studio work, immersing you in a range of art and design concepts, skills, and critical practices. You learn to apply systems thinking and problem solving methods to all of the creative challenges before you. All bachelor’s students at Parsons follow a first-year curriculum, which provides a rigorous and dynamic launchpad for the rest of your creative life at the school.
Your Sophomore year is your first year fully immersed in the Photography Program in the school of Art, Media, and technology. This year, you are building skills across the board, from black and white darkroom to studio lighting to large scale digital printing. This is also an opportunity to explore a range of electives across both Technical Processes and Conceptual Practices, and to sharpen your critical thinking skills through explorations into History of Photography and theory, in Photo Topics.
The first semester of your Junior year focuses on time-based media, alongside a continued exploration of targeted electives. In the second semester’s core curriculum, students undertake a pre-thesis semester of intensive work on a singular project, which culminates in Junior Reviews with faculty across the program. In this year, a screening is held of students’ time-based work.
In the senior year of the program, students’ main focus is their thesis project, across an intensive two semesters which culminates in a 2,000-word thesis essay and the thesis exhibition.
BFA Photo Thesis Site: A website hosting the BFA Photography Thesis
BFA Photo Student Handbook: A guide for the BFA photography students including information about facilities, equipment, department policies and New School resources.
Director BFA Program
Ka-Man Tse, Assistant Professor of Photography
Interim Associate Director
Sarah Palmer, Assistant Professor of Photography
Campus Security (24 hours) phone: 212.229.7001