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The University of the Arts is devoted exclusively to education and training in the arts. Within this community of artists the process of learning engages, refines, and articulates all of our creative capabilities. Our institution was among the first to contribute to the formation of an American tradition in arts education. We continue to develop interpreters and innovators who influence our dynamic culture.
The University’s Mission:
To educate and professionally train artists in the visual and performing arts, in design, in media, and in writing;
To grant graduate and undergraduate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in the arts;
To provide educational programs centered in the arts to multiple populations;
To encourage relationships among the arts;
To promote high standards in creativity and scholarship;
To prepare artists who will contribute responsibly to our culture;
To challenge students to think critically, joining knowledge and skill to their individual creative vision;
To anticipate and to cultivate new art forms as they emerge.
The University’s goal is to direct each student’s quest for creative self-expression toward a productive role in society. Our programs develop the student’s talent, aesthetic sensibility, conceptual and perceptual acumen, cultural awareness, and professional expertise. The curricula integrate specific knowledge and skills needed for technical mastery of the various arts disciplines with a significant examination of conceptual and humanistic studies.
To this end, the University must gather and retain a distinguished teaching faculty offering a breadth of professional expertise. Their scholarly work and artistic exploration have national and international consequences for the institution. Our educational programs seek to stimulate and influence not only our students but the very disciplines that we teach.
History of the University of the Arts
The University of the Arts is the largest comprehensive educational institution of its kind in the nation, preparing students for professional careers in design, visual, media, and performing arts, and emerging creative fields.
The University of the Arts has evolved from two century-old institutions: the Philadelphia College of Art and the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts.
The Philadelphia College of Art was formed in 1876 along with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Initially known as the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, the institution was established in response to the interest in art and the Centennial Art Exposition. In 1949, the school became known as the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, reflecting the expanded programs that trained artists in many other areas, including the fine arts. The school received accreditation in 1959, and in 1964 separated from the Museum to become the Philadelphia College of Art. Today, the College of Art and Design of The University of the Arts offers curricula in crafts, design, fine arts, media arts, museum communication, museum education, and art education.
The performing arts programs of The University of the Arts date from 1870, when three graduates of the Conservatory of Leipzig opened one of the first European-style conservatories of music in America: the Philadelphia Musical Academy. The Philadelphia Musical Academy became an independent college of music in 1950, granting a Bachelor of Music degree after a four-year course of study, one of only eight such music colleges in the nation at the time. While still offering only a music program, the school changed its name to the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts in 1976, the first such college in Pennsylvania. One year later the former Philadelphia Dance Academy became part of the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, and in 1983 the School of Theater Arts was created, thus achieving the college’s ideal program of studies: dance, music, and theater arts.
In 1985, the Philadelphia College of Art and the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts joined to become the Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts, and in 1987, The University of the Arts was inaugurated. In the fall of 1996, the University created a new academic unit, the College of Media and Communication, which emphasizes the integration of art, technology, and communication. The first two BFA degree programs offered by this new college were Writing for Film and Television, and Multimedia; the third, a BS degree program in Communication, began in September 1999.
The University of the Arts is authorized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant degrees in the visual, performing, and related arts, and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; telephone: 215-662-5606). The College of Art and Design is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of the Schools of Art and Design, and the Industrial Designers’ Society of America. The School of Music is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
College of Art and Design
The College of Art and Design offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation, Crafts, Film/Animation, Film/Digital Video, Graphic Design, Illustration, Painting and Drawing, Photography, Printmaking/Book Arts, and Sculpture. A major in Industrial Design leads to the Bachelor of Science degree. Crafts offers a post-baccalaureate certificate program. Art Education offers a post-baccalaureate pre-certification program.
At the graduate level are programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in Art Education, Master of Arts in Museum Communication, Master of Arts in Museum Education, Master of Industrial Design, Master of Arts in Teaching in Visual Arts, Master of Fine Arts in Book Arts/Printmaking, Master of Fine Arts in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design, and a low-residency summer Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics, Sculpture, or Painting. Teaching certification is offered on a non-degree basis, either independently or in conjunction with an undergraduate degree in the College of Art and Design. Concentrations in Art Therapy and Digital Fine Arts are offered, as well as seven minors.
College of Media and Communication
The College of Media and Communication offers three degree programs. The department of Communication offers a Bachelor of Science in Communication with concentrations in Advertising, Digital Journalism, and Documentary Production. The department of Multimedia offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Multimedia and a minor in Information Architecture. The department of Writing for Film and Television offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing for Film and Television.
College of Performing Arts
The School of Dance offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Ballet, Modern, Jazz/Theater Dance, and Dance Education, as well as a two-year Certificate in Dance.
The School of Music offers the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Vocal Performance, Instrumental Performance with a jazz/contemporary focus, and Composition. In addition, a four-year Undergraduate Diploma and two-year Certificate in Dance or Music are offered. The School of Music offers minors in E-Music and Music Education.
At the graduate level, the School of Music offers the Master of Arts in Teaching in Music Education and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies.
The School of Theater Arts offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Arts, with majors in Acting, Applied Theater Arts, Musical Theater and Theater Design and Technology.
The complete list of Degree Programs can be found here.
Director of University Libraries
Greenfield Library, 1st floor Anderson Hall
The University libraries are central to the educational mission of the University, enabling and enriching every student’s professional preparation and general education. Through the services the library staff provides, and through the materials it collects or to which it provides access, the University libraries seek to enhance teaching and improve learning, and to educate students in the arts to be successful and productive users of information.
The libraries of The University of the Arts include the following three campus locations:
The Albert M. Greenfield Library, on the first floor and lower level of Anderson Hall (333 South Broad Street), serves as the main library for the campus, containing materials in many formats on art and design, communication, dance, theater, film and television, multimedia, liberal arts, and other general subjects. The Greenfield Library also houses the libraries’ administrative offices and technical services operation, as well as the library’s Picture File, University Archives, and the library’s Special Collections, with particular strengths in book arts and textiles.
The Music Library, on the third floor of the Merriam Theater Building (250 South Broad Street), is a specialized library serving academic programs and interests in music. Its holdings and services are also important for students and faculty studying or needing information about dance, musical theater, and other areas related to music. The Music Library contains listening facilities for recorded sound in addition to general reading areas and a music education resource area.
The Visual Resources Collection, on the mezzanine of Anderson Hall, houses a large collection of 35mm slides relating to subjects of interest to all University visual and performing arts programs and Liberal Arts courses. Light tables and slide carousels may be used for viewing the library’s and one’s own slides.
The total holdings of the libraries are more than 110,000 books and bound periodicals, 16,000 music scores, 133,000 mounted and encapsulated pictures, 177,000 slides, and 20,000 items of recorded music in LP and CD formats. Electronic reference tools are also available, including online periodical indexes, databases, and encyclopedias. To access the electronic indexes and databases, see http://library.uarts.edu under “Research Tools and Resources.” The library also has a growing collection of audiovisual materials in videocassette, DVD, and multimedia formats. Listening and viewing facilities, Internet/World Wide Web access, and photocopiers are available in addition to general reading facilities.
Information about the libraries’ collections is available through an online catalog that is accessible from computers in the Greenfield and Music Libraries, the Visual Resources Collection or via the World Wide Web. Records for library materials can be searched by author, title, keyword, subject, and call number. Once a record is found, information including its shelf location and whether or not it is available for circulation is displayed. Traditional card catalogs are also maintained for some specialized collections, which have not yet been added to the automated system.
Reference assistance and course reserves are available at each University library location. The libraries provide other information services such as interlibrary loan, class instruction in research techniques and library use, and advanced electronic research capabilities including discounted online database searching for students. The library maintains reciprocal use arrangements with other nearby academic libraries.
Albert M. Greenfield Library
Visual Resources Collection
University Libraries’ Web site