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University of Colorado Denver

College of Arts & Media
Conor Culver, photographer

Photography Emphasis

Visual Arts Department

The Photography emphasis encourages students to explore the historical and contemporary practice of photography, both in technique and concept.  In this program, students use photography as a form of creative expression while expanding their knowledge of the medium as a critical dialog in contemporary culture.  From the darkroom to the digital lab, students build the technical and conceptual skills that are necessary to produce meaningful and provocative photographs.  Discussions of the theoretical implications of the medium strengthen students’ ability to communicate their ideas both visually and verbally.   Students graduate from this program with a strong conceptual framework, an ability to place their images in the context of contemporary fine art photography, and a portfolio that demonstrates a mastery of the medium. 

The exceptional photography facilities at CU Denver include: four large wet labs, individual color darkrooms, an RA4 color processor, an alternative process darkroom, and a fully-outfitted digital lab with large-format Epson printers.  Throughout the curriculum students are introduced to the full spectrum of photographic techniques that range from traditional darkroom photography to the latest technological advances in digital imaging.

For more information and program details, contact:

Carol Golemboski, Associate Professor, Area Head, Photography

​Admissions and Portfolio Requirements

Admission into the BFA Photography emphasis is by portfolio review.  In November of the sophomore year, students are required to submit a digital portfolio, a written statement, and unofficial transcripts from CU Denver and any previous post-secondary educational institutions. 

While the Visual Arts Department accepts applications for the Spring or Summer semester, Photography students are strongly encouraged to apply for a Fall semester start. The majority of Photography courses are offered in a “fall only” or “spring only” sequence and pre-requisites are strictly enforced.  Students who begin in the Spring and Summer semesters may find that their required courses are not offered until the Fall semester.

Photography Admissions and Portfolio Requirements.pdfPhotography Admissions and Portfolio Requirements.pdf

Photography Curriculum Advising Sheet​

​The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree…

The BFA in Fine Arts is the professional degree in art. With a BFA, students can choose to further their education by pursuing the terminal degree in fine arts, the MFA, or Master of Fine Arts degree. In addition to the 12 required classes for a BFA in the Fine Art Photography emphasis, students take a standard range of core academic and foundation art classes such as Drawing I, Two Dimensional Design, Three Dimensional Design, ​​​​​​​Intermedia Foundations, Art History Survey I and Art History Survey II.  Additional required Visual Arts courses include Art History Survey III: Non-Western Art, Contemporary Art, Interdisciplinary Practices and Studio: BFA Thesis.  Photography emphasis students complete a total of 36 credits in the emphasis area.

To learn more about the opportunities awaiting students in the Photography program, please contact a College of Arts & Media advisor.

Educating and Encouraging...

The Visual Arts faculty is comprised of artists and historians who understand the importance of artistic endeavors both inside and outside the classroom.  For this reason, instructors strive to create a bridge between students and the professional world.  The encouragement and efforts of the faculty enable students to be involved with the Denver Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA Denver), the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC), the Emmanuel Gallery, the Society for Photographic Education and various visiting artists, galleries and arts organizations across the Front Range.

The faculty’s active participation in their field ensures that students receive both a traditional and a cutting-edge education.  To learn more about the Photography program faculty, please select their name and you will be directed to their personal web pages, or visit the faculty home page.

Carol Golemboski

Joann Brennan​

Bill Adams  

Patti Hallock

Going Places...

Alumni from the Photography program explore career opportunities that are as limitless as their motivation and imagination.  Here are just a few of the options available to this program’s graduates.

  • Exhibiting in galleries and museums
  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Arts administration
  • Gallery direction
  • Freelance/commercial photography
  • Editorial photography
  • Public art projects/commissions
  • Art cooperatives and collectives
  • Framing and art handling
  • Arts consulting
  • Arts residencies/fellowships
  • Exhibition design/installation
  • Grant writing
  • Artistic direction and curating
  • Collections management

Transfer Students…

Students who wish to transfer to the College of Arts & Media from another college or school at the University of Colorado Denver must formally apply to the College of Arts & Media.  Students will be considered for admission on either their overall GPA in applicable coursework from CU and all previous institutions, or on their last 15 credit hours.  Applicants with less than a 2.0 GPA in related courses (from CU or other institutions) and an overall CU GPA of less than 2.0 will be denied admission even though they may meet other requirements for consideration.

Please contact a College of Arts & Media advisor for more information about the Photography program, portfolio requirements and deadlines.

Banner image at top of page: Michelle Rees