Photography has played a major role in the production of images in visual culture since its invention in the first half of the 19th century. The program at Loyola University is focused on photography as an artistic discipline that has developed a rich history over the last century and a half, and which continues to evolve with recent innovations in technology. The curriculum guides students in learning the technical foundations, aesthetic strategies and conceptual approaches, and the cultural/historical perspectives of the medium. Through the program, students build their ability to pursue photography as a means of creative exploration and intellectual investigation.
The curriculum builds a foundation that enables students to pursue a broad range of career paths. It provides an experience that prepares students to apply to graduate programs and pursue a career in contemporary art as an artist or a curator. It develops techniques for students who are interested the commercial applications of the medium (editorial fashion/architecture/product photography). Finally, as a program that emphasizes the ability to create and analyze images, the curriculum offers skills that are relevant to numerous fields beyond photography that rely on conceptual thinking and communication through visual means (architecture, design, advertising, illustration, photo journalism, media studies, and visual anthropology).