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The study of photography at Buffalo State emphasizes creativity, craft, and making memorable pictures. We teach film and digital camera craft, traditional film developing and print enlarging, the use of electronic flash, the use of computers and ink jet printers, color management, and Photoshop as used by photographers. Some of our students go on to do graduate degrees and to teach. Our graduates include self-employed artists, freelance photographers, and teachers. The art world, advertising, photojournalism, education, and industry are some fields in which our graduates have found employment.

The discipline emphasized in our B.F.A. program is art photography – specifically the creation of art to be displayed in museums, sold in galleries, or published in books. Graduates of our program may also find receptive employers in advertising, and editorial illustration.

Students are expected to assume the costs of certain materials and equipment needed to make photographs. Cameras and other photography equipment are not provided by the college. However, we do provide a well-equipped computer/digital-printing lab, a black-and-white film developing lab, and a print-enlarging lab to make traditional black-and-white silver prints. All photography courses have a materials fee.  This fee covers chemistry, ink jet inks, certain ink jet papers, and some other materials. The fee does not cover film, cameras, flash equipment, and other equipment and supplies needed by all majors.

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Admission Requirements

High school students applying for admission to the B.F.A. photography major need only state his/her intent to major in photography to be accepted to the major. A portfolio is not required. 

A transfer student who has studied photography elsewhere seeking advanced placement may be accepted directly into the major, but must show a portfolio of photographs to be evaluated by the Area Coordinator for appropriate placement in this program.  The portfolio must contain: 10, silver black-and-white, 8”x10” prints enlarged from film, and 10, 8.5”x11” color ink jet prints.  These prints should represent the applicant’s strongest pictures.

Portfolio should be mailed to:

Fine Arts Department.
SUNY Buffalo State, Attn: Photography Coordinator


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Art and Design Department

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Upton Hall 402 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6032 •  Fax: (716) 878-4231