Degrees Offered

BFA in Photography

Photographic images are central in our culture. Photographers are artists, reporters, scientists, historians, provocateurs, storytellers, spies, detectives, teachers, explorers. At Tyler, photography majors learn both the art and science of the discipline, as well as the history and contemporary critical trends and theories of the medium. This thorough education prepares students to take on any one of these roles or to create their own path.

The BFA program emphasizes photographic processes as a fine art medium. The Photography Program at Tyler was one of the first art schools in the country to offer a BFA and MFA in Photography, and the first place to offer coursework in color photography. Martha Madigan, area head in photography comments, “Our program has always been a comprehensive blend of the historic processes of photography and an exploration of the most current techniques, including a new media time arts approach.”

The program’s historical emphasis gives students the opportunity to perfect alternative techniques, such as hand-applied emulsions that are light sensitive, platinum printing, gum printing, and other historical practices, while at the same time exploring contemporary photo processes in one of the finest digital labs in America.

Students graduating from the BFA program pursue a wide range of career options. Some join photo labs or apprentice with commercial photographers to hone their professional skills. Some earn teaching certification and turn their talents to the classroom. Still others work in galleries and museums, enter MFA programs, or open their own studios. Whatever path they choose, the Tyler emphasis on developing both personal artistic vision and technical skill makes them flexible, adaptable artists for the course of their careers.

BFA in Photography with Entrepreneurial Studies

In partnership with the Fox School of Business at Temple, Tyler School of Art and Architecture offers BFA with Entrepreneurial Studies for all BFA major disciplines. The BFA with Entrepreneurial Studies is a 126 credit degree program integrating the disciplines of art and entrepreneurship. Program coursework includes 68 credit hours of art and art/related courses (which includes a 3-credit Tyler business, entrepreneurship or internship course); 14 credits of art history; 32 credits of Gen Ed; 3 credits of open electives and nine credits of Fox entreprenuership coursework. The BFA with Entrepreneurial Studies prepares students with the requisite skills for entrepreneurship in their respective studio discipline and necessary preparation to pursue graduate studies in their studio discipline, in entrepreneurship, or in similar professions upon graduation.

MFA in Photography

Tyler’s MFA in Photography is an exceptionally diverse program, enlivened by students who come to it from all over the United States and abroad and work in a variety of approaches to the photographic medium. An interdisciplinary approach to the arts supports versatility in our program.

Tyler’s MFA in photography was the first program of its kind in the United States, as well as the first program to offer classes in color photography. The program stresses a balance between knowledge of historical processes and exploration of the newest technologies and a solid critical understanding of photography in an intimate working environment.

MFA students expand the technical and conceptual approaches to their work through studio and seminar classes, and become actively involved in the broader art community by curating an ongoing series of exhibitions by established and emerging artists. Close associations with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Print Center, with other arts institutions and with faculty at other schools keep graduate students connected to their peers and current approaches to their craft. Many opportunities are available to extend learning through internships, exhibitions and intensive professional career options. The proximity to New York and Washington have enhanced the educational experience and MFA students have gone on to careers as curators, teachers, photo editors, commercial photographers, gallery owners, fine arts administrators and studio artists.

Whatever path students choose, the Tyler MFA in Photography gives graduates the blend of technical, conceptual, and critical skills necessary to enter the field of their choice at the highest professional level.