The Photography Option specializes in hands-on learning.  

For more than 50 years, the School of Film and Photography has prepared students to become professionally-trained creative artists. Our curriculum encourages students to develop their own voices in film and photography and to explore their individual interests with close faculty guidance and mentoring.

Students learn from our world renowned photography professors Christina Z. Anderson, Alexis Pike, and Ian Van Coller.  

Chris Anderson is the leading expert on alternative processes in photography, and has published Gum Printing: A Step-by-Step Manual, Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice,  Experimental Photography Workbook : A Manual of Analog Black & White Darkroom Practice, and Alternative Processes Condensed - A Manual of Gum Dichromate and Other Contact Printing Processes

Alexis Pike has been featured in Harper’s magazine, Surface, Travel and Leisure, LensCulture,, and has a monograph published by Blue Sky Books.  Alexis Pike's latest work is Ain't Bad, a book exploring the daredevilEvel Knievel, and compassing desire, sexuality, masculinity, image, and risk. She has been a Top 50 finalist for Critical Mass and has exhibited widely, at venues including Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Missoula Art Museum, Photoville, Guate Photo Festival, and Aperture Foundation. Her work has been featured in Photo District News, Travel & Leisure, Harper’s, LensCulture, and and has two monographs—Color Me Lucky published by Aint-Bad in 2019 and Claimed:Landscape published by Blue Sky Books in 2014. 

Ian Van Coller is a Guggenheim Fellow whose work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in many significant museum collections, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Getty Research Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, and The South African National Gallery. Van Coller's first monograph, Interior Relations, was published by Charles Lane Press (New York) in 2011.

Our other faculty members include Steven B. Jackson, Lauren Jablonski, Heather McKenney, and David Shannon-Lier.

In addition to our world class faculty, our program also has the best photography equipment and facilities in the Rockies region!  Our facilities include a double cyc wall photography studio, professional quality Profoto lighting, a finishing lab, two gang lab/darkrooms, an alternative processes dimroom, and digital editting labs. The equipment available to our students include a full range of cameras ranging from 35 mm, view cameras, to professional quality digital cameras, and several large format color Epson printers. To visit our facilities in the Department of Film and Photography or to visit the campus, please contact the Admissions Office and request a tour.  

The Photography Option features both fine art and commercial approaches to the medium. We provide a solid foundation for students to enter the professional field and to pursue post-graduate education. MSU remains one of the only photography programs to fully teach both analog (wet darkroom) and digital processes. In addition, we offer classes in alternative, non-silver based photography. Graduates of the program occupy all niches of the photography industry including photojournalism, commercial portraits, fine-arts, and action sports. Our graduates have published work in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Powder magazine and more.  Samples of our former students Diana Davis, Megan Hansen, and Nicole Wild's works can be found online. 

The Curriculum

The four-year Curriculum of the Photography Option Bachelor of Arts program is listed in the Catalog.