Interested in photography, LGBTQ studies or urban planning? Lucky for you, Queens College has introduced a new major and two new minors for the 2019-2020 academic year. A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Imaging, a minor in LGBTQ Studies, and a minor in Urban Planning have been added to the QC roster.
The major in photography and imaging at QC is the only photography major currently being offered at a CUNY school. The coursework of the degree couples the dexterity of advanced imaging techniques with the classical disciplines of art and photography. This program gives students access to a quality photography education one would find at a private university, but at a fraction of the cost. Professor Antonio Gonzalez, Deputy Chair of the Photography and Imaging program, hopes that this program will give the diverse population of students at QC an opportunity to enter a historically white-male dominated field. Gonzalez expressed, “I felt it needed to be at Queens College because of our diverse population.”
Through the photography and imaging major, students will develop the skills required to pursue a career in photography with abilities that could also apply to other career paths, such as social media management or marketing. “Photography today in 2019 is so ubiquitous, it is something that we come across on a daily basis,” Professor Gonzalez added, “So much of the information that we receive, the content, is image based and much of it is photo based.” Photography is an evolving field and through this program, students will learn the traditional instruction of the art of photography and it’s commercial aspects, along with how to apply these skills to a variety of career paths.
The minor in LGBTQ studies is part of the Women and Gender Studies department here at QC. This addition will focus on the history, research, theories and issues that are the foundation of LGBTQ studies. LGBTQ studies is a growing discipline and the addition of this minor reflects the significance QC places on evolving with the ongoing changes in academia and culture. This minor would particularly benefit students seeking to work for advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations or to work in politics. It would also interest students who are looking to pursue a graduate education in women and gender studies. The 21-credit minor may also appeal to students who are majoring in an unrelated field, but may simply appreciate the value of learning about LGBTQ studies and want to improve their understanding of the history and issues.
The minor in urban planning was widely requested by current students in the Urban Studies program. Urban planning is concerned with keeping cities healthy and vibrant and looks to the economy, environment, public transportation, politics as factors that maintain the quality of life in a city. According to Dwayne M. Baker, the Urban Planning Minor Advisor, the urban planning minor is more concentrated than the urban studies minor. Baker explains, “It is really focusing on the professional aspects for urban studies, so it’s a little bit more focused than the general urban studies minor and it really just looks at one component that can be built into this whole urban studies program.” In an ever-changing metropolitan area such as New York City, where construction, the cost of rent and public transportation are integral to the identity of the city as a whole, this minor addresses the issues and ideas that urban planning attends to. The new minor would be most beneficial to students who are interested in public health, sociology, economics, political science and urban studies.
The addition of this new major and the two new minors reflects sweeping changes in the modern job market and the world of academia, as well as QC’s commitment to providing students the opportunities needed to succeed in the modern world.