The minor in photography at GW’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design will support students interested in photography or photojournalism. This minor is structured to enable students to experiment in photography through upper-level core and elective classes currently accessible only to photojournalism and fine arts majors who are pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts. This minor will also further open photography and photojournalism courses to School of Media and Public Affairs students interested in visual arts classes. Students have the option to select one course from a wide range of studio arts, including ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, book arts, drawing, painting and new media. With a foundation in the liberal arts, this program emphasizes a critical and creative relationship between content and form as well as an awareness of photography’s historical connections.


The minor in photography at the Corcoran is a rigorous, studio-based program of study. The Studio Arts program regularly offers multiple sections of both introductory-level photography courses (darkroom and digital) every semester; either of these courses fulfills the GPAC (General Education Curriculum–Perspective, Analysis, Communication) requirement in Creative Thinking. History of Photography is offered once a year by the art history program. Beyond these three courses, there are a number of other photography courses required for photojournalism majors that are offered on a rotating basis, as well as a rotating series of photography electives that these students need in order to complete their required electives.

Related Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

Related areas of study include fine art, where students are able to focus coursework in photography, and photojournalism.

What can I expect to learn in the Photography program at GW?

The Studio Arts program offers a minor in photography for undergraduate students. In this program, students will develop visual sensitivity and familiarity with principles, concepts, media and formats in the various forms and uses of photography. They will become familiar with the works and intentions of major photographers and movements of the past and present across global contexts. Students have the option to take one course in one of a wide range of studio arts, including ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, book arts, drawing, painting and new media. After completing this minor, students will be able to demonstrate technical skills, perceptual development and understanding of principles of visual organization to achieve basic visual communication in lens-based media.

What is the Photography community like at GW?

Taught by faculty mentors who are practicing artists and professional photojournalists, the program requires a core of photography courses but allows plenty of flexibility for electives so that students can tailor their studies to their interests. Students who focus on photojournalism will be in courses that stress the importance of legal, ethical and economic challenges of the profession. Students have an academic home in the Corcoran community, where they learn interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving through exposure to design, interior architecture, theater, dance, music, museum studies and art history.

What is the Photography learning community like at GW?

Studying photography at a research university further prepares students to respond to the complexity of possibilities facing the contemporary artist and/or photojournalist. With its location in the heart of Washington, D.C., the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design gives photography students access to a constant procession of news and documentary subjects. As the program progresses, faculty also help students identify internship and career possibilities that can further advance their photography, audio and video skills, as well as study abroad programs that promote international cross-cultural awareness. Finally, the Studio Arts program where the minor is situated emphasizes a critical and creative relationship between content and form, an awareness of historical connections and an engagement with the contexts of creative production.

What can I do in the Photography field?

Students will be prepared to continue practicing as independent artists and/or photojournalists. Like those with a B.F.A. in photojournalism, some graduates may elect to work as freelance photographers, photographer’s assistants or may choose to start independent businesses in the photography field. Some may go on to earn Master of Fine Arts degrees in order to open up teaching opportunities, while others may secure positions at major news outlets and publishers such as U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Associated Press Latin America, Aperture Books, The Wall Street Journal, and Politico.