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Distinctive Program Features

Buffalo State’s Photography B.F.A. program starts with a solid foundation in the darkroom, as students work with a 35mm film camera and black-and-white film. Students learn film exposure, development, and print production, and the language of photography criticism. They go on to take a course in the history of photography, and continue to intermediate-level courses that build skills in color photography, film scanning, inkjet printing, DSLR photography, and digital workflow. Here, they also develop long-form projects and personal strategies for their work, which engage with the critical and technical history of the expanded discipline of photography, imaging, publishing and exhibitions. Through study of research methods, technical strategies, and rigorous work, students train and tune their individual voices. In a series of advanced courses, they become exposed to specific opportunities for deep engagement with technical strategies in photography and other media, such as video, animation, and book production, as well as topics, ranging from the social issues of our day and place, to conceptual engagement with representation, cultural criticism and participation. 

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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:

Art & Design Department
SUNY Buffalo State, Attn: Photography Coordinator


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Art & Design Department

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