Fine Arts

Master of Arts
Master of Fine Arts
Master of Music
Doctor of Musical Arts
Doctor of Philosophy

The College of Fine Arts, founded in 1937, educates artists, scholars, and future arts educators in a context that emphasizes artistic excellence, advanced technology, cultural diversity, and best professional practices. The college places a high priority on research and the creation of new work through its many divisions and departments and is home to approximately 254 Doctoral and 264 Masters students, with a significant composition of 1270 undergraduate arts majors. The College produces graduate program alumni working at the highest artistic and scholarly levels in their field. 

Facilities for Graduate Work

In addition to specialized facilities of the Butler School of Music, the Department of Art and Art History, the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies, the College of Fine Arts includes the Fine Arts Library, Texas Performing Arts, the university’s arts presenting organization, as well as Landmarks, the university’s massive public art program.

The Fine Arts Library (FAL), located in the Doty Fine Arts building (DFA), is a unit of The University of Texas Libraries that serves research and instruction in the College of Fine Arts. With the inclusion of materials from the former Audio Visual Library, the FAL collections include approximately 350,000 books and scores, 400 current serial subscriptions, 48,000 compact discs, 12,000 DVDs, 12,000 video cassettes and videodiscs, 6,200 reels of microfilm, 24,000 microfiche, and over 135,000 LPs. Opened in 2016, The Foundry now adds a makerspace to the FAL, offering 3D printing, gaming equipment, a textile lab, and a music studio.

The theatre and dance collection supports the Department of Theatre and Dance, which concentrates on performance, especially play production, theatrical design, playwriting, theatre education, and dance. Materials on other types of theatrical presentations, such as magic, circuses, and pantomime, are included. The Fine Arts Library holds texts of major plays written in English or translated into English, with contemporary plays collected most heavily. The Perry-Castañeda Library also holds texts of plays in English and other languages, with emphasis on plays as a literary form and on literary criticism.

The music collection supports instruction and research in the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, which includes music performance, composition, ethnomusicology, music and human learning, music theory, and musicology. Most historical periods and geographical areas are covered in both classical and popular idioms, though the emphasis is on the Western classical tradition. Music is represented in a wide variety of printed and recorded formats.

The special collections of the Fine Arts Library include the Historical Music Recordings Collection, the papers of the Paramount and State Theatres, and papers of Sam Shepard. The Historical Music Recordings Collection is an archive of audio recordings in all formats. Holding more than two hundred thousand items, it is one of the largest collections of audio recordings in the United States. The Paramount and State Theatre archive is an archival collection of about three thousand items, including posters, fliers, documents, and ephemera from Austin’s historic Paramount and State Theatres. The Sam Shepard Collection is an archival collection of materials by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright, actor, and author Sam Shepard. The archive contains materials from the latter part of Shepard’s career, roughly from the late 1970s to the present, and includes manuscripts, film scripts, correspondence, volumes from his personal library, and awards.

Texas Performing Arts presents a full season of music, theater, dance, and Broadway shows every year, with special student discounts for many productions. Located in the heart of the arts quadrant on campus,  the TPA also serves as a learning laboratory for university students, providing them with opportunities to work alongside professionals in arts management and administration. 

As the university’s public art program, Landmarks enriches the lives of students and visitors by presenting art that is broadly accessible and free to all. More than thirty-five works of modern and contemporary art are on view throughout the 433-acre campus. The collection not only enhances the beauty of the landscape, but also supports scholarship and learning by demonstrating significant art historical trends from the past six decades.

Areas of Study

Graduate study is available in the following areas: in the Department of Art and Art History: art history, studio art, design, and art education; in the Butler School of Music: performance (including conducting and opera), music and human learning, musicology (including ethnomusicology), composition, conducting, and theory (a jazz emphasis is available in approved areas); and in the Department of Theatre and Dance: directing, drama and theatre for youth, performance as public practice, playwriting, stage technology and integrated media, teacher training, and theatrical design. See Art Education Art HistoryDesignMusicStudio Art, and Theatre and Dance for more information. Further information is available from the graduate adviser of each program.