As a Photography and Media Arts major, you’ll go beyond creating images to understanding the messages they encode in our highly visual culture.
Learn traditional analog film-based photography darkroom printing as you build on the basics with digital imaging. You’ll become well-versed in both black-and-white and color still photography as well as and video/film narratives. You’ll learn how to work in a professional studio setting and take elective courses like documentary photography, creative exploration, and alternative processes. And you’ll understand, well, the big picture: how the technology and uses of photography have changed over time, and how you can help shape photography’s future.
What do our graduates do? Here’s just a sample:
- Fashion designer and Project Runway judge
- Owner and founder of New York City–based retouching studio
- Associate producer at VICE Media
- Publicity director of Brooklyn-based powerHouse Books, which specializes in fine art, documentary, pop culture, fashion and celebrity books
- Art gallery manager at Texas Christian University
- Fulbright Scholars
- Masters of Fine Arts graduates
- Freelance wildlife photography
For more information on the Photography and Media Arts major, please contact Hollis Hammond, chair of the Visual Studies Department.
Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Use the Photography and Media Arts Major Guide to find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future.
Meet Our Alumni
A group of Photography alumni stayed in touch as they chased their dreams in New York City. Throughout this journey, they were roommates, co-workers and friends. Together, they coordinated an exhibit at St. Edward’s called “Now or Never,” which showcased their artistic growth since graduating. Read their advice.
The Classroom and Beyond
The Photography and Media Arts department is located in the state-of-the-art photo lab facility. Small, medium and large format cameras, plus flashes, tripods and other equipment are available for students to check-out throughout the semester. Digital work is completed in the Visu Printing Lab where there are scanners and large format printers dedicated to the Visual Studies department.
There is also an art gallery in the facility where photography and art exhibits are held throughout the academic year. Senior Photography and Media Arts majors hang the annual Senior Exhibit in this space, and faculty exhibit their work in the biennial Faculty Exhibition.
Major Requirements: The BA in Photography and Media Arts requires 51 hours of major courses, which include a combination of visual studies and photography coursework.
Electives: Students complete 6 hours of elective courses in photography, focusing on a variety of different topics. Past topics include: Installation Strategies, Documentary Photography, Digital Darkroom, Alternative Processes, and Photographic Book Design.
General Education Requirements: The degree requires 42-57 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives. There is ample opportunity to minor in other areas in addition to the major and general education courses.
See the full degree plan for the Photography and Media Arts major.
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- Large Camera – This course in black-and-white photography focuses on the use of the view camera, view camera optics, metering techniques and basic Zone System techniques.
- Studio and Location Projects – This course will introduce students to the professional use of the studio, studio lighting and studio production techniques.
- Video – An introduction to theory and technical aspects of video production with emphasis on the aesthetic and communicative potential of the medium.
Meet the Faculty
Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel: Learn more about these services.
Professor Miller brings to her photographic work and her teaching a broad background in research-driven creative work and a love of interdisciplinary practice. She is also committed to animal welfare issues, especially those affecting thoroughbred ex-racehorses, of which she owns two.
– Sybil Miller, Professor of Photography and Media Arts
Joe Vitone is a documentary fine art photographer and educator living in Austin, Texas.
– Joseph Vitone, Professor of Photography and Media Arts
Photography and Media Arts Minor
Courses can support any other academic program, and students majoring in other fields are welcome to minor in Photography and Media Arts. In addition, several courses may be taken as electives by non-majors.
Requirements for a Minor in Photography and Media Arts Required Courses:
- Visual Studies I
- Analog Photography I
- Analog Photography II
- Intermediate Digital Imaging
- History of Photography
In addition, students select three elective courses in the major.
Elective courses students can choose from include:
- Styles and Themes (repeatable when topics vary)
- Studio and Location Projects
- Topics in Photography and Media Arts