Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2019-2020

Photography and Film

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Filmmaking, photography
Program description

The Department of Photography and Film offers a variety of basic, intermediate and advanced photography and filmmaking classes leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Film.

The program provides students with the ability to intelligently express, investigate or document using photography and/or film and to interpret meaning in still and moving images. Emphasis is placed on photography and film as contemporary fine arts. The department promotes a fundamental and effective philosophy that students maintain creative freedom, have access to resources and are enrolled in courses in which they can refine their voices and skills through traditional and contemporary media, tools and professional working methods.

Career opportunities

Graduates are well prepared to enter the industry as commercial, freelance, industrial and staff photographers and videographers, independent filmmakers, exhibiting artists, media content providers, gallery managers, advertising associates, art educators, film editors, producers and studio, location and production technicians. In addition, they enjoy careers as social media content providers and managers, film festival and museum curators/programmers; film commission and television station personnel.

Change of major requirements

Completion of the Art Foundation Program is a prerequisite for entry into all fine art and design departments.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Cinematographers
  • Photo Editors
  • Photo Retouchers
  • Photographers
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Art Director
  • Editor
  • Gallery Director
  • Producer
Highest level of math required
    Science required
      Foreign language requirements
      • No
      Additional tuition/fees
      • Yes
      GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
      Department name:
      Department of Photography and Film
      Building/room location:
      Pollak Building, Room 206
      Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
      MCV
      Phone:
      (804) 828-1695
      Email:
      photofilm@vcu.edu
      Website:

      Major map compass icon [View Image]
      Major map

      Explore
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
      • Build a LinkedIn profile, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
      • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
      • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
      • Make a digital archive of AFO studio and personal work.
      • Research VCUArts alumni for networking and mentorship opportunities.

      Experience
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
      • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
      • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
      • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
      • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
      • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
      • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
      • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
      • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

      Experience
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
      • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
      • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
      • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
      • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
      • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

      Excel
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
      • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
      • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
      • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
      • Apply to student film or photography festivals, exhibition opportunities and grants
      • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, and externships.
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
      • Consider training to become an educator through programs like RTR, which prepares graduates from a variety of majors to become effective teachers in high-need schools.
      • Stay up to date on industry trends including the skills most sought after.
      • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
      • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview with your Career Services office. 
      • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
      Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
      Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
      Major map compass icon [View Image]
      2019-2020

      Photography and Film

      School of the Arts

      Concentration(s):
      Filmmaking, photography
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      ExploreYear 1
      • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
      • Build a LinkedIn profile, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
      • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
      • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
      • Make a digital archive of AFO studio and personal work.
      • Research VCUArts alumni for networking and mentorship opportunities.
      ExperienceYear 2
      • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
      • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
      • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
      • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
      • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
      • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
      • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
      • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
      • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
      • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
      • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
      Year 3
      • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
      • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
      • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
      • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
      • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
      • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
      • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
      ExcelYear 4
      • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
      • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
      • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
      • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
      • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
      • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
      • Apply to student film or photography festivals, exhibition opportunities and grants
      • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, and externships.
      • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
      • Consider training to become an educator through programs like RTR, which prepares graduates from a variety of majors to become effective teachers in high-need schools.
      • Stay up to date on industry trends including the skills most sought after.
      • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
      • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview with your Career Services office. 
      • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
      View graphic version