Last Updated on May 17, 2022
Montana State University Photography is a continuing education program for professional photographers. We offer online photography classes in state-of-the-art classrooms on the campus of Montana State University, in Bozeman, Montana. Founded in 1976, our classes are offered entirely online or by television studio.
Montana State University Photography has an extensive collection of photographs from the early decades of Montana State University. Special collections include photographs of students, faculty and staff, campus buildings and scenes dating from the 1890s to 1999 for over twenty-five years. The Archives also houses the papers of Robert O. Fay, a former Professor of History at Montana State University. The collection contains manuscript materials and published writings by him as well as printed materials relating to his career as an educator and historian.
This site is dedicated to the learning and teaching of photography, film and imaging. We provide resources to help students learn digital imaging skills as well as faculty at MSU develop new ideas for courses in art, design, architecture and visual communication. Please join us!
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Montana State University Double Major
Learn photography by exploring the techniques, equipment and knowledge that have shaped the world of images. In this course, you’ll learn about cameras, lenses, and exposure; explore techniques for taking photographs in both bright and low-light conditions; create stunning black-and-white photographs; gain tips for processing your film in a darkroom; learn new skills with photo editing software; get advice from an experienced photographer on what makes a good photograph; and finally, prepare yourself for a career in photography.
The primary goal of Information Learners is to help students develop the skills and knowledge required to successfully earn your degree. We also hope that this site provides helpful information on: -Academic Policies and Procedures -Bookstore/Mailing List Information -Career Services/Employment Options
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
The discipline of Art Education includes art production, art history, art criticism and analysis, and aesthetics. Art Educators teach all levels of student who wish to learn about art, from pre-kindergarten to higher education. The field is always growing and developing with the growth of education and society, as well as with the needs of the community and the students who reside there. Today, Art Educators teach students who go on to become artists, Virtual Reality designers, engineers, and more!
Art education courses are specific to those working to gain teaching licensure in the single content area of Art. Students also take required courses in the College of Education as set forth by Montana State’s Office of Public Instruction. Collaboratively, all Art Education courses are designed to prepare students to meet rigorous demands placed on twenty-first century teachers and students. When a student graduates, s/he will be eligible to apply for the appropriate license to teach at all K-12 grade levels in Montana or may reciprocate licensure with participating states.
Students following the Bachelor of Arts in Art Education: K-12 degree program will enjoy courses in all relevant methods of art making, art history, and have the opportunity to specialize in upper division studio courses of professional and personal interest. Once admitted into the College of Education licensure program, students will spend time teaching art through working with classroom teachers and their students, and/or in out-of-school programs as they complete required coursework.
The School of Film and Photography
The School of Film and Photography (SFP) prepares students to meet the challenges of a rapidly expanding media environment as professionally trained creative artists and informed critical thinkers. Our students develop their own voices as tomorrow’s leaders through intensive hands-on exploration of motion picture, photography, theatre and new-media production.
The School of Film and Photography offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with concentrations (options) in Film or Photography, plus a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Integrated Lens-Based Media.
The BA and BFA degree options share a common foundation dedicated to the relationships between film and photography. This integrated foundation permits students to take courses in Film or Photography while they complete the requirements of the option they have selected as their concentration. Students who pursue the BFA will be able to design their own curricular path in consultation with their advisors.
Both degree options provide flexibility for students to broaden their education with course work outside of the School of Film and Photography. All of our students are encouraged to consider the benefits of study abroad and/or minoring in another area of interest. While we aim to provide professional film and photography training, we place equal importance on providing our students with a broad education to prepare them for a wide range of future opportunities not confined to these industries.
After the completion of a successful freshman year of introductory courses in media production, analysis, and history, students will continue to develop advanced skills and knowledge of photography and/or filmmaking over the next the three years.
Students who intend to transfer to The School of Film and Photography should seek prior approval of credit taken elsewhere in order to be certain that these credits will fulfill requirements in the Film or Photography options. In no case may a class completed with a grade below “C-” elsewhere be applied toward the program requirements for the degree. Any class that is not an equivalent class within the Montana university system must be approved by the SFP Director and Advisor on the basis of a review of the syllabus of the course taken elsewhere. A challenge exam or portfolio review may be required for any transfer credit at the discretion of the SFP Director or Advisor.
The mission of University Communications is to enhance Montana State University’s public image, increase the awareness of the university’s accomplishments and develop consistent communications that build the university’s reputation with its many constituents. Engaging photography is an opportunity to tell the Montana State University story.
The award-winning photographers in MSU Visual Media travel the campus and beyond to tell the MSU story through still photography, video and multi-media production. Our staff are critical team-members of any strategic project and can offer recommendations and support in partnership with the MSU Marketing department.
Our photography style reflects and reinforces MSU’s mission by celebrating through pictures our people, facilities and stunning surrounding natural world.
We are happy to assist with photography for your department’s next marketing initiative. We request that you begin any project involving marketing by speaking with the MSU Marketing department who can assist you with concept, branding, design and coordinate the photography and video needs.
PHOT – Photography
PHOT 113RA. Understanding Photography. 3 Credits. (2 Lec, 1 Lab) F,S,Su
An introduction to traditional black and white photographic practice, theory and visual principles, including camera operation, use of B&W darkroom technique. Photography majors must take this class fall semester to fit into the sequential nature of the Photography program. A 35mm film camera is required for this class. School of Film and Photography.
PHOT 154IA. Exploring Digital Photography. 3 Credits. (1 Lec) F,S,Su
(non-majors only) Introduces technical and aesthetic ways of creating digital photographic images. Emphasis is on the production of photographic images, from acquiring them with digital cameras to manipulating them using computer software for manipulating digital images. Instructor and peer critique of student work is an integral part of the course.
PHOT 213. Intermediate Photography. 3 Credits. (2 Lec, 1 Lab) S
PREREQUISITE: B or better in PHOT 113RA and registration as a Photography major. Theory and continued application of image control in B&W photography, through the use of a variety of 35mm and medium format films and the introduction of basic zone system principles. Advanced traditional B&W printing techniques in preparation for portfolio review. A 35 mm film camera is required for this class. School of Film and Photography.
PHOT 255. Intro to Color Photography. 4 Credits. (2 Lec, 2 Lab) S
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 213 and Photography portfolio review. Introduction and analysis of color theory, color imagery and color materials. Exploration of image capture via film, scanning and digital cameras. Technical skills are developed in digital systems, applications and printing along with critical exploration of color visual language and aesthetic issues. School of Film and Photography.
PHOT 258. View Camera. 4 Credits. (2 Lec, 2 Lab) F
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 213 and Photography portfolio review. Introduction to view camera theory and practice. Basic studio and lighting techniques will be addressed as well as advanced contrast control through application of the zone system, large format black and white photography, digital view camera, and large format digital and analog printing techniques. School of Film and Photography.
PHOT 290R. Undergraduate Research. 1-6 Credits. (1-6 Ind; 12 cr max) F,S
Directed undergraduate research which may culminate in a written work or other creative project. course will address responsible conduct of research. School of Film and Photography.
PHOT 291. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits. (1 Lec; 12 cr max) On Demand
1 – 4 cr. Maximum 12 cr. PREREQUISITE: None required but some may be determined necessary by each offering department. Courses not required in curriculum for which there is a particular one-time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.
PHOT 295. Practicum. 1-3 Credits. (1-3 Lec) F,S,Su
Practical experience associated with research projects in Photography.
PHOT 303. Early History of Photography. 3 Credits. (3 Lec) S
alternate even years PREREQUISITE: WRIT 101W. The visual and technical evolution of photography within the cultural context. Personalities, ideas, and style of individual photographers are explored. Prehistory to 1913.
PHOT 304. Recent History of Photography. 3 Credits. (3 Lec) S
alternate odd years PREREQUISITE: WRIT 101W. Continued exploration of the visual and technical evolution of photography from 1913 to the present, including study of criticism and the relationship to contemporary culture and art.
PHOT 331. Prof Practices in Photography. 4 Credits. (2 Lec) On Demand
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. Introduction to professional practices in photography. Emphasis on the fundamentals of business and marketing. Class is strongly recommended for those who plan on entering the photographic profession. School of Film and Photography.
PHOT 350. Advanced Color Photography. 4 Credits. (2 Lec, 2 Lab) On Demand
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. Further applied study of color visual theory and the control of materials for color photographic expression. Emphasis on individual aesthetic practices through handmade photography books.
PHOT 352. Advanced Lighting Practices. 4 Credits. (2 Lec, 2 Lab) On Demand
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. Advanced photographic theory and practice in studio and on location. Emphasis given to creative aspects of artificial lighting and staged subject matter in all camera formats.
PHOT 359. Alternative Photographic Techniques. 4 Credits. (2 Lec, 2 Lab) On Demand
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. Image creation through the use of historical contact printing processes. A variety of alternative processes will be addressed such as gum printing, cyanotype, and platinum/palladium. Extensive aesthetic exploration will be supported through a blend of the old processes and current digital negative making techniques.
PHOT 371. Portraiture. 4 Credits. (2 Lec, 2 Lab) On Demand
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. Advanced portrait techniques, theory, and practice in studio and on location. Emphasis on creative exploration and application of a variety of styles in portraiture, such as informal, editorial, environmental, etc.
PHOT 373. Image & Text. 4 Credits. (1 Lec, 3 Lab) F
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. The applied study of image, text and design to effectively communicate an intended message. The topic of truth in photography will be explored. School of Film & Photography.
PHOT 374. Experimental Photography. 4 Credits. (2 Lec, 2 Lab) On Demand
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. The applied study of experimental photographic techniques. These techniques will be explored in analog and digital image capture and output in the traditional darkroom.
PHOT 395. Practicum. 1-3 Credits. (1-3 Ind; 12 cr max) F,S,Su
Max 12 cr. total for both PHOT 395 & FILM 395 combined. PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258. Practical experience associated with research projects in photography.
PHOT 401. Contemp Issues in Photography. 3 Credits. (3 Lec) F
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 303 or PHOT 304. The critical exploration of photography as cultural phenomenon, personal expression and art form. Emphasis on aesthetic, ethical, and political issues raised through application of the medium and consumption of its products.
PHOT 490R. Undergrad Research. 1-6 Credits. (1-6 Ind; 12 cr max) On Demand
Max 12 cr. PREREQUISITE: Senior standing in photography. Directed undergraduate research which may culminate in a research paper, journal article, or undergraduate thesis. Course will address responsible conduct of research. May be repeated.
PHOT 491. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits. (1 Lec; 12 cr max) On Demand
1 – 4 cr. Maximum 12 cr. PREREQUISITE: Consent of Instructor. Courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular one-time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.
PHOT 492. Independent Study. 1-3 Credits. (1 Ind; 6 cr max) On Demand
1 – 3 cr. IND, May be repeated, Maximum 6 cr. total for FILM, PHOT & THTR 492 combined. PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258, consent of instructor and approval of school director. Directed research and study on an individual basis.
PHOT 494. Seminar/Workshop. 1-4 Credits. (1-4 Sem; 12 cr max)
PREREQUISITE: PHOT 255 and PHOT 258 or consent of instructor. Topics offered at the upper division level that are not covered in regular courses. Students participate in preparing and presenting discussion material.
PHOT 498. Career Internship. 2-12 Credits. (2-12 Ind; 12 cr max)
PREREQUISITE: Consent of School Director. An individualized assignment arranged with an agency, business, or other organization to provide guided experience in the field.
PHOT 499. Sr Production Photography. 5 Credits. (5 Sem; 10 cr max) F,S
PREREQUISITE: Senior standing in the Photography option and consent of the instructor. Senior capstone course. Independent production of a significant body of work in photography; extensive production combined with group critique and faculty consultation.
Montana State University Application Deadline
Application deadline: June 1 for fall start. October 1 for spring start. April 1 for summer start.