The photography and related media program is designed to encourage critical thinking and to expose students to the theoretical as well as technical practices of photography, in both the historical and contemporary spheres. The faculty is strongly committed to helping students find a working balance between the aesthetic, theoretical, and political aspects of photography, along with the rigorous (at times) technical expertise required to realize these goals. By providing a multidisciplinary base, informed by a strong foundation in theory and criticism, students work closely with faculty and peers to develop their unique direction and focus as working artists.
A portfolio is not required to begin this major as a freshman. However, students are required to pass a comprehensive portfolio review in the spring of their sophomore year. The review is based on the student's work in Purdue photography courses. Students not selected to continue in upper-level photography work with their academic advisor to change to their second-choice major.
Points of Pride
- Photography is housed in the new Visual and Performing Arts Building, a state-of-the-art facility built specifically for the visual and performing arts at Purdue. This building includes chemical and darkroom facilities for black-and-white film development, digital color equipment, photo studios, and integrated computer systems to facilitate photography work and file manipulation.
- This academic program yields a Bachelor of Arts rather than a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. This helps students develop a well-rounded perspective, critical thinking, creative problem-solving abilities, and communication skills applicable to work in many environments - within and outside a photography studio or business.