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School of Photography

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

The Graduate School of Photography provides intensive study and practice in Photography. The program imparts a high level of digital and traditional photography skill and graduate-level aesthetic theory. Graduates will demonstrate mastery of specific skills according to their specializations and will enter the field with a portfolio or body of work that shows their unique, independent approach and personal vision.

MFA graduates of the School of Photography will meet the following student performance criteria:

  • MFA Thesis Project

    • Produce an advanced-level thesis project within a digital or traditional specialization, demonstrating mastery and synthesis of the skills taught in the program.
  • Thesis Project Development

    • Propose a solid concept suitable for refinement and development.
    • Select an appropriately challenging and feasible project.
    • Present a cohesive body of work
    • Successfully articulate the end result of the project.
    • Demonstrate sufficient preparation for their project (research, problem solving)
  • Conceptual and Design Skills

    • Make creative decisions that optimize conceptual impact, cohesiveness and personal style
    • Integrate conceptual and technical elements of photography to convey a story, idea, or emotion
    • Effectively deploy design elements within the composition and presentation of the imagery.
  • Technical Skills

    • Utilize effective lighting styles, techniques and equipment appropriate to art for commerce, photojournalism/documentary, or fine art applications, as determined by projects and professional focus
    • Master exposure, lighting ratios, and post’production skills as appropriate to the project.
  • Communication and Analysis

    • Communicate ideas and proposals clearly, verbally and in writing, including defending work and choices made during capture, output and presentation
    • Demonstrate professional behavior throughout the review process
    • Critique their photographs with an understanding of technical, aesthetic, and historical context
    • Build on feedback to improve their body of work
  • Professional Readiness

    • Assemble a cohesive portfolio, which shows a unique personal view and style.
    • Produce and present professional quality materials
    • Clearly articulate future plans and goals in the area of photographic specialty
    • Effectively library and archive complete body of work

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
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