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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography Major

Emily Carr University of Art + Design
4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Inquire for more information

Program description

Bachelor in Photography Major

All our majors commence upon completion of our Foundation Year requirements.

Here you will gain practical expertise while building a diverse knowledge base to thrive and adapt in the rapidly changing world of photography. Through conceptual, technical, and historical emphasis, you will become an innovative photographer of contemporary culture.

The Photography Major is multidisciplinary, supportive of your broader understanding of the art form. The curriculum is structured to offer mastery of traditional photographic art practices with subsequent exploration in a wide range of digital and analogue processes. Through art history, research, and critical studies, you will examine the work of historical and contemporary photographers and other artists. Theory, writing, drawing, and electives in other media enhance your studies, with options that include image and text, video practices, and directorial work. Your knowledge, skills and conceptual learning are strengthened through classes, seminars, self-directed projects, research presentations, readings, exhibitions, and professional practice studies. Upon graduating, you will have produced a substantial body of work with a contextual understanding of its place within contemporary art and photographic practices.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to Emily Carr University undergraduate programs is graduation from grade 12 secondary school, with five grade 12 subjects, including English 12 with a minimum grade of 'C', two other grade 12 academic courses and two grade 12 elective courses. The minimum overall grade point average required for admission is 2.5 or C+ or 67%. All elective courses must be grade 12 and can be Ministry Approved, Board Approved or Locally Developed. Requirement vary depending on your location. Visit our website to ensure your application satisfies the minimum requirements, and look for “First Year Academic Requirements”.

If English is not your first language you will need to submit an English Proficiency test. We are also pleased to offer a Creative Art Pathway (CAP) program for potential Emily Carr Students who do not meet the English Language proficiency requirements. Learn more on the English Proficiency page on our website.

Whether you are applying for first year Foundation or as a transfer student, all applicants to Emily Carr University must submit a portfolio online through SlideRoom as part of the admission process. Your portfolio requirements may include examples of your work, responses to prompts using a variety of media/materials, and written responses. Find detailed portfolio requirements on our website.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

As a graduate applicant you must apply online using the EducationPlannerBC Application Service. You will only be able to select Emily Carr from the list of BC institutions when applications open. A non-refundable application fee is required for all graduate applications.

If your first language is not English you must submit an official English language proficiency test score.

Lastly, you must prepare and submit your portfolio and supporting documents.

Applicants must submit a portfolio and supporting documents online. Supporting documents include:

• Statement of Intent

• Recommendation Letters

• Curriculum Vitae/Resume

• Video Question

We will contact you with a decision about your application via email. We will also mail you the selection process results. For detailed admissions requirements and application information, please visit our website.

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Program content



  • FNDT 108 Creative Processes
  • FNDT 165 Core Interdisc & Studio
  • Foundation Studio Elective

Choose ONE of:

  • FNDT 160 Core Media Studio I
  • FNDT 161 Core Design Studio I
  • FNDT 164 Core Visual Arts Studio I
  • HUMN 100 Academic Core I
  • HUMN 101 Academic Core II



  • PHOT 200 Photo Immersion
  • PHOT 220 Photo Immersion II
  • Studio Elective 200/300 level
  • Elective, any subject/level

Choose 6 credits from:

  • AHIS/DHIS/MHIS 200level
  • HUMN 205 Perp. in the Crit. Humn.
  • SOCS 201 Intro to Cultural Theory
  • SOCS 202 Ecological Persp. In Design
  • SOCS 217 Ergonomics I



  • PHOT 316 Photo
  • Studio Elective 300/400 level
  • Studio Elective 200/300/400 level
  • Elective any subject/level
  • SOCS 330 Photo/Society/Culture
  • HUMAN 311 Visual Art Seminar
  • AHIS/HUMAN/MHIS/SOCS/SCIE 300/400 level 



  • PHOT 400 Sr Photo Practice
  • PHOT 410 Sr Photo Practice
  • Studio Elective 300/400 level
  • Elective, any subject/level
  • MHIS 405  Topics in Contemp. Photo
  • AHIS/HUMN/MHIS/SOCS/SCIE 300/400 level

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the institute website for more information.


Your studies will focus steadily in this field over the last three years of your four year degree. Upon completion you will achieve the undergraduate degree and designation, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Majoring in Photography (BFA, Photography). See the Admissions section about application information for undergraduate, international, transfer, and aboriginal students.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography Major aims to:

  • equip you with critical, theoretical, research, and studio practices to become an engaged citizen of fine art photography;
  • impart advanced knowledge of photographic practice, application and exhibition within visual arts culture;
  • foster conceptual and technical knowledge through a studio-based education reflecting the diversity and complexity of the photography medium;
  • prepare you with a contextual understanding of photography as an art and a skill within the creative and commercial sectors, so you may enter these knowledge-based economies;
  • foster a dynamic visual arts culture and community both locally and internationally.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography program develops you to become a creative citizen of the design community through conceptual, critical, cultural, practice-oriented, and career-focused education.

Continuing studies

We offer flexible continuing studies programs for anyone that wants to learn new creative skills, build their portfolio, and advance their career path. Choose from dozens of individual courses and workshops, or sign up for one of our full or part-time certificate programs. 

Undergraduate students are also welcomed to expand their breadth of learning by taking Continuing Studies courses outside their degree program. To get started, browse our available programs online today. 

Career opportunities

Inspiring job titles of our graduates

Resident Photographer, Visual Designer, Photo Editor, Image Curator, Art Market Analyst, Website Creative Content Coordinator, Studio Manager, Product Image Manager, Layout Artist

Dynamic employers that have recruited our graduates

The Artona Group Inc., Donnelly Group, Airbnb, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Homes & Living Magazine, Vancouver Fashion Week, Warner Brothers Television, Vancouver Courier Newspaper


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About this institute

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU)

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) is a world-class university dedicated to art, design and media education. ECU was ranked the top art and design university in Canada, and among the top 50 universities world-wide by QS Rankings...

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Why study at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Emily Carr University of Art + Design is a school of students, teachers, thinkers and makers unlike any other – at once laser-focused and infinite by practice and nature. Established in 1925, we are the only specialized, accredited, public, post-secondary university in British Columbia solely devoted to education and research in the creative sector and its associated knowledge economy. We merge research, critical theory and studio practice in an interdisciplinary environment, strengthening our work by the integration of our personal and professional practices. Our strategy, facilities, partnerships and resources are intentionally student-centred to foster dialogue, expression and open connections in support of the next generation of creative and cultural leaders.

Our home base in Vancouver – a young, vibrant city, known for its verve, beauty and unparalleled livability – reflects our core belief: Creativity will always be our greatest natural resource, individually and collectively. Inspired by this belief, our programs offer undergraduate, graduate degrees, and applied research in the fields of visual arts, media arts, and design, as well as professional certificates, pre-university, and lifelong learning in these areas.

Contact info

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

520 East 1st Ave
V5T 0H2 Vancover, BH British Columbia

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