2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 21, 2021  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Photography & Digital Art, B.F.A.

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The Photography & Digital Art B.F.A. seeks to prepare students for professions within the broad fields of photography, videography, and installation art/design as well as secondary areas in photographic visual styling, digital image postproduction, and social visual media management.  An ideal graduate of this program will be a new generation of artist – a critically thinking creative with career options in the rapidly growing fields of visual media production and management.  The program is also ideal for students with passions for fine art, an independent spirit, and aspirations of professionally exhibiting in galleries, or acceptance into a reputable M.F.A. program.

Photography and Digital Art places balanced emphasis on concept development, artistic expression, and mastering market ready skill sets.  The program includes a strong foundation in formalism, traditional media, design, theory and art history; advanced study in digital media; access to cutting edge technology and equipment; expert instruction and mentoring; and professional experience.  This combination of the traditional and the new maintains a firm footing in the values of studio art while embracing the new spectrum of contemporary art and the professional market.

The B.F.A. is an intensely focused professional degree structured to facilitate the development of a mature, diverse and competitive portfolio.  It is an undergraduate course of study that consists of  128-132 credit hours, 90 of which are in art and design foundations, graphic design, fine arts, photography, and art history. This curriculum is sequential in nature. (See curriculum guide for recommended sequencing.)

This program prepares students for full participation in the professional creative community. Like all of Maryville Design & Visual Art programs, it is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

Programmatic Goals

The goals of this program are to:

  • Prepare students for professions in the digital arts
  • Prepare a digital visual artist fluent in the art making process/methodology, including the ability to define, research and generate multiple solutions to problems
  • Encourage creative problem solving, critical thinking and self-evaluation
  • Encourage oral communications skills through presentation, critique, and creative ideation
  • Provide a strong foundation in history of visual art
  • Provide a strong foundation in and broad exposure to the technology, and encourage self-reliance and perpetual learning
  • Encourage and promote ethical practices
  • Promote community in the studio


Design & Visual Art Programs - Core Requirements

(Student must earn a minimum 24 credit hours)

Art History and Studio Art Requirements

(24 credit hours)

Design & Visual Art Programs - General Education Requirements

(Student must earn a minimum of 42 credit hours)


  • ENGL or Foreign Language
  • Philosophy
  • Humanities Elective: COMM, ENGL, HUM, PHIL, REL, Fine Arts or Foreign Language

Social Science

  • Psychology
  • History or Government Elective
  • Social Science Elective: ECON, GEOG, HIST, PSCI, PSYC, SOC, or WGS

Natural Science & Quantitative Reasoning

  • Science - BIOL, CHEM, ENV, FRSC, PHYS, SCI or SUST
  • Science or Math

Liberal Arts Electives from College of Arts and Sciences

  • Liberal Arts Elective 
  • Liberal Arts Elective


Policies concerning all Design & Visual Art programs can be found here: Design & Visual Art  

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