May 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Bulletin 
2023-2024 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Photography BFA

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The  Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at Andrews University was designed for those students wishing to pursue a degree focusing on the highest level of conceptual engagement with the medium of photography. Photography is a rapidly evolving medium that encompasses a wide range of storytelling opportunities. Because of this complexity, the BFA was created to provide a broad foundation of exploration. Beginning with a core in traditional lens based courses and then building knowledge through exposure to art history and design, the BFA candidate will be challenged to find their visual voice through a variety of individual and collaborative projects.

As students move through the curriculum, mediums like documentary film and further study in digital process and historic methods of image making ensure that each student has a skillset that is both broad and deep. Seniors are guided through a year-long capstone project that culminates in a public exhibition of work. The skills obtained throughout the BFA provide a substantial toolbox from which to draw when creative challenges are encountered in graduate school or with clients post graduation.

Total Credits - 120

Major - 59


Students select major electives from any ART, ARCH, ARTH, DSGN, FILM or PHTO courses in consultation with their advisor to fulfill the remaining credits.

Additional Requirements

Academic Standards

Students accepted as a BFA major in any program are expected to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all BFA major coursework. Students whose GPA falls below this minimum requirement are not allowed to graduate with the BFA.


Students enrolled in graphic design, photography, and documentary film degree tracks are expected to complete an internship (ART487) that includes supervised work experience in the student’s intended major/emphasis area. Students are encouraged to apply to any company to secure an internship, based on their interests and specific skill set. This is a unique opportunity for students to observe and acquire inside knowledge of a specific company, and gain more working experience in their chosen fields. Multiple internships are encouraged.

General Education (Andrews Core Experience)

Students must fulfill all Bachelor’s Degree requirements listed in the Andrews Core Experience .

Admissions Requirements

Current students seeking a BFA degree with a major in Design, Documentary Film, Fine Art, or Photography must pass the BFA Review for official acceptance into the program as a BFA candidate. The BFA Portfolio Review is a formal interview of the student and their portfolio of selected undergraduate work after the completion of 15-21 credits (all art and design projects created during foundation-level courses should be available for the review).

Students are given two opportunities to pass the BFA Review and have the option of reapplying the semester after their first attempt. After a second attempt without passing, students must opt to choose another degree track such as a BA or BS degree with the guidance of their advisor.

In conjunction with the BFA Review, students must also submit the BFA application for their respective BFA Program which includes a brief self-assessment, resume, and grades list (minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in all coursework). The application packet may be obtained from the main office for the Department of Visual Art, Communication, and Design in Nethery 224. A full list of deadlines and requirements is included in the packet.

Transfer Students

Transfer students seeking advanced placement in a chosen BFA program must have a BFA Review. Students who have no previous coursework in art are not eligible to apply for advanced standing.  Transfer coursework must be evaluated for content equivalency and students may be asked to provide course descriptions and syllabi.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Specialized Knowledge: Skills and Competencies

Students learn specialized skills and competencies necessary to develop a visual vocabulary across core curriculum in preparation for the student’s area of emphasis.

  • Develop a strong foundation in communication that spans across disciplines.
  • Define a personal language that allows for how those views fit in relation to others and the world around them.
  • Convey ideas with clarity and confidence in their speech and writing.
  • Convey ideas with clarity and confidence in their work.

2. Critical Thinking and Creative Process

Students gain a vocabulary of creative strategies including research, conceptualization, and problem solving strategies which can be applied to any visual or communicative problem.

  • Evaluate and synthesize different points of view and determine solutions to serve specific outcomes.
  • Apply a flexible and analytical approach to finding creative, practical, and actionable solutions to a variety of visual communication problems.
  • Incorporate an adaptable approach to a rapidly changing media landscape.

3. Cultural Literacy and Contextual Adaptability

Students take advantage of the unique learning environment of Andrews University by developing a curiosity, respect, and recognition of diversity in cultural, economic and social entities.

  • Gain an understanding of current social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues and how these issues can inform and shape their creative production and its reception.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of historical, current, and innovative events across disciplines.
  • Develop familiarity of discipline ideologies across a range of media and various applications.

4. Intentional Exploration with Interdisciplinary Connections

Students pursue the various creative processes with intentionality to explore interdisciplinary connections and their potential.

  • Gain knowledge and appreciation for the potential in interdisciplinary pursuits and collaborations.
  • Students use specialized knowledge to navigate between academic disciplines to create cross-disciplinary content.
  • Network across disciplines to pursue opportunities for collaborative projects and community-based initiatives.

5. Quality of Execution + Professional Practices

Students develop a highly resolved and excellent portfolio in conjunction with professional development.

  • Students develop insight into business practices and principles that are specific to their chosen field.
  • Reflect on process to understand its usefulness in establishing individual perspective, intentionality of craft, and personal methodologies.
  • Students learn effective research and conceptualization approaches to assignments and presentations.
  • Students pursue information in support of their research, progressing to a level of evaluating, sourcing, and conducting self-directed research and assuming autonomy of their direction.

6. Development and Integration of Faith and Ethics

The integration of faith and ethics within the context of professional creative careers is explored in terms of affecting personal, community, and environmental self-awareness and integrity. Placed within the diverse setting of Andrews University, students explore ways in which their faith informs their creative practices.

  • Students contemplate the role of a scholar-citizen, who navigates potential ethical challenges in creative practice and cultural production with self and social awareness.
  • Students learn the ethical, legal and socio-economic considerations surrounding the production and applications of content.

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