Sessions Launches New BFA Programs in Illustration and Digital Photography

by Gordon Drummond | August 16, 2021
In this article, Sessions College President Gordon Drummond chats about the launch of two new BFA programs, a BFA in Illustration and a BFA in Digital Photography. Founded in 1997, Sessions College is a fully online college of visual arts offering degree and certificate programs in a range of subjects. The school offers three BFA programs to date.

On behalf of us all at Sessions College, I am delighted to announce a ground-breaking event: the launch of two new fully online Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs, in Illustration and Digital Photography. Following on the success of our BFA in Graphic Design program, Sessions invites both new and returning students to apply to these highly innovative BFA programs. New students can begin as soon as Monday Sept 27th, and Sessions College AOS grads who wish to return and earn a BFA in just four semesters can begin their programs as soon as September 6th.

We at Sessions are incredibly jazzed about the creative potential of these programs based on the model established and honed by the release of our BFA program last year and the fantastic courses developed by a cadre of new talented course developers and faculty that are joining Sessions College to deliver these programs. The release of these programs offers a true finishing school for Sessions College students who wish to take their portfolio to the max, with the input and mentoring of our most experienced faculty.

As we emerge (we’re almost there) from the nationwide COVID crisis, these programs were pioneered by our Education team led by Dr. Meryl Epstein and Illustration Dept Head Jordon Schranz and Digital Photography Dept Head Felicia Kieselhorst, who have been working tirelessly with many new faculty members to develop, design, iterate, and approve our next level programs.

What’s innovative about these programs? Read on, Macduff… 🙂

Fundamentally, the Sessions College BFA program is one of the few online Bachelor’s programs actually designed for adult learners. Here are some of the attributes that we are excited to offer our students:

An Online BFA. Students who enroll will earn a BFA, 100% online. Most creative professionals know that the BFA degree is the gold standard, because 75% of course credits are focused on art/design studies. Just like your work, your degree shows that you worked intensively on your craft.

Earn your degree in under four years. Students will experience an intensive program that enables them to graduate in under four years. We challenged the four-year degree model, by designing a program that is 3 years and 4 months long. Our goal is to help you graduate efficiently and effectively, so you can blaze a trail in your next career.

A program designed for online. Students will take advantage of a program that is specifically designed for online, not adapted from a live classroom format. In our COVID era, where there has been a mass exodus in higher education to delivering classes over Zoom, it’s really important to study at an institution that knows how to teach and assess student learning online. Online education has been our sole focus since 1997.

Join a program for working adults everywhere. Students can study anytime, anywhere. With weekly deadlines and no set login times, the program is accessible to students in different time zones across the U.S. and overseas, regardless of location. We’re proud to deliver education to students from the dense environs of New York to (and from) remote Alaska, and more than 90 countries abroad.

Experience a fresh perspective. Students will enjoy individualized feedback and mentoring from our most qualified veteran faculty—and they will also learn from some very exciting, industry-leading professionals who are new to Sessions College. The BFA program combines the insights of our faculty who have taught online for many years, with the fresh perspectives of new faculty with new ideas. (We’ll be introducing these faculty members in the weeks that follow.)

Customize your educational plan. Working with faculty, students can design their coursework in their upper-level courses in alignment with their creative or career aspirations. If there is a specific area or genre in art/design that you wish to develop or explore, we are committed to helping you develop relevant skills and a deep portfolio of work.

Focus on research, presentation, and critical thinking. Design employers are looking for graduates with a well-rounded skillset: the ability to conduct client research, to deliver effective presentations, to write and fulfill creative briefs, and to provide solutions to business problems. Our BFA students will be challenged to conceptualize, create, and present individual, multi-faceted project work.

A focused, professional portfolio of work. At the end of the program, our goal is that students graduate with a portfolio that showcases specific strengths in the student’s chosen area(s) of study or creative expression. That is the goal that we will work towards, together.

Education you can afford. At Sessions College, students have always attended an institution that is recognized for its affordable tuition, so that they can graduate without a mountain of debt. Did you know that most BFA programs have $100K+ or even $200K tuition? At Sessions College, we believe our low per-credit program tuition makes sense when combined with available aid sources and starting salaries in the art/design field. There are no hidden fees, no textbooks to purchase, and full-time and part-time students are charged at the same tuition rate.

As an online school administrator, I feel blessed to work with such talented folks who are dedicated to giving creative students opportunities to excel. So I’d offer my thanks to all staff, faculty, advisors, and students who helped contribute to or inspire these programs at the most challenging time in recent memory.

If you are interested in the BFA programs, please visit the BFA in Illustration and BFA in Digital Photography information pages and contact our friendly Admissions team at And look out for more information on program features, how the program was created, featured faculty, and more, this fall.

Gordon Drummond is the President of a Sessions College, where he is Director of Instructional Design, among many roles. He's passionate about education, technology, and the arts, and likes to surround himself with more talented people.