Degrees and Programs

Degrees Offered

The College of Fine Arts offers a wide variety of degree programs. For undergraduate students who seek professional training in the arts or who feel the need for intensive training in their chosen art, the college offers the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Science. These degrees require that approximately two-thirds of the coursework be completed in the major area.

The student who wants a broad education with an emphasis in the arts may pursue the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Art, Bachelor of Arts in Music or Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance. These degrees require that approximately a third of the coursework be completed in the major area.

Department of Art and Art History

The Department of Art and Art History offers academic programs in art education/visual art studies, art history, design, and studio art.

Visual Art Studies: Art educators believe that art is an essential component of a comprehensive education. The art education/visual art studies program prepares students to serve as teaching artists in schools and community settings. Comprehensive coursework examines the grounding of the field (philosophical, historical and social contexts), current art education trends (visual/material culture art education, social justice art education, multicultural art education, discipline-based art education), content knowledge (age appropriate art making skills, art criticism, aesthetics, educational philosophy, educational technology, ethical decision making) and pedagogical strategies (curriculum writing, teaching strategies, standards and evaluation). Field observations and practical classroom teaching in community and school environments are required of all students in our program. Coursework meets the state requirements for all level (P-12) Texas art teacher certification.

Art History: The study of art history embraces a wide range of objects: paintings, drawings and prints of all kinds, photographs and film; sculpture; buildings and their grouping into towns and cities; graves and tombs; gardens; books and manuscripts; objects made of precious stones and metals; performance; in short, all visual and material culture. There is a wide range of art history instruction in ancient, medieval, Renaissance, baroque, modern, and contemporary art, as well as in the art from various regions of the world, and cultures that can broadly be described as African, Asian, Islamic, Central and Latin American, Mesoamerican, Native American, and Oceanic.

Design: The design program's broadly conceived notion of design affords students the opportunity to create graphics, objects, interactions, systems and services. Design studio courses cultivate students' research, problem-solving and making skills, while the degree program's supportive courses and the University's core curriculum foster breadth of vision. Students in the BFA program develop not only the visual discernment and technical skills necessary to gain entry-level employment in the field, but also the capacity for critical thinking, writing and speaking that enables them to rise to positions of creative leadership as designers, art directors, project managers, executives and entrepreneurs. 

Studio Art: The purpose of the studio art program is to transmit a solid foundation in a wide range of studio practices by providing students with experiences in historical and theoretical models and by providing a vocabulary to understand and engage in art’s critical discourse. Studio art instruction is given in drawing and painting (contemporary and historical practices), photography (black/white and digital), print (intaglio, lithography, serigraphy), sculpture and extended media (casting, hot and cold fabrication, digital fabrication, installation), and transmedia (digital-time art, video art, performance art). Through an exploration of the ideas and forms at the leading edge of knowledge, our students develop the capacity for experimentation and invention to create new forms of studio art.

The University’s extensive resources for art and design research include the Fine Arts Library, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Perry-Castañeda Library, and specialized collections such as the Harry Ransom Center, the Classics Library, the Architecture and Planning Library, the Benson Latin American Collection, the University Co-op Materials Lab, and the Rob Roy Kelly Wood Type Collection housed within the Design Division at the Art building.

Programs of study leading to the following undergraduate degrees are offered in the Department of Art and Art History:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Art
    Art history
    Design
    Studio art
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
    Design
    Studio art
    Visual art studies

Students who plan to pursue certification to teach art in Texas public schools should follow the visual art studies (VAS) program.

Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music

Through professional education of the highest caliber, the Butler School of Music prepares students for productive careers as performers, teachers, composers, and scholars, and for satisfying lives as informed and responsible members of a democratic society. In accordance with the University's mission, the School also seeks to extend the boundaries of knowledge and human experience through research and the creation of new music.

Housed in two connected buildings, the physical facilities of the Butler School include performance spaces in the 700-seat Bates Recital Hall with its world-renowned Visser-Rowland pipe organ, Jessen Auditorium, Recital Studio, and McCullough Theatre. For special events, the school collaborates with Texas Performing Arts for performances in Bass Concert Hall. Other facilities include well-equipped classrooms and faculty studios/offices, multiple large and small rehearsal halls, electronic music studios, recording studios, 130 practice rooms and modules (including dedicated rooms for organ, harp, and percussion), a technology lab, chamber music rooms, two digital keyboard labs, and 250 well-maintained pianos. Also available to music students are libraries including manuscripts, rare editions, and performance collections; a Medieval and Renaissance instrument collection; a Javanese gamelan, and a Music Learning Laboratory.

Programs of study leading to the following undergraduate degrees are offered in the Butler School of Music:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
    Emphasis in Music
    Emphasis in Music Business
    Emphasis in Recording Technology
  • Bachelor of Music
    Composition
    Jazz

         Concentration in Performance: double bass, drum set, guitar, piano, saxophone, trombone, and trumpet
         Concentration in Composition: double bass, drum set, guitar, piano, saxophone, trombone, and trumpet

    Performance: voice, piano, organ, harp, harpsichord, and orchestral instruments
    Music Studies

Students who plan to pursue certification to teach music in Texas public schools should follow the Music Studies program.

Department of Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre and Dance affords students opportunities for scholarship and practice in all the principal areas of theater and dance.  Students may choose programs of study leading to a variety of academic and professional goals, including teacher certification in both theater and dance.

The facilities of the department are among the best available to university programs in the United States. In addition to the performance areas, studios, and shops of Texas Performing Arts, the department has the B. Iden Payne Theatre, the Oscar Brockett Theatre (a flexible space black box theater), a 100-seat laboratory theater, two workshop performance spaces, an extensive costume collection, five dance studios, a drafting studio, a design studio, as well as numerous classrooms and rehearsal studios in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building. Of special interest to students pursuing theater research is the Performing Arts Collection, housed in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, which contains one of the world’s most important collections of theatre material.

Programs of study leading to the following undergraduate degrees are offered in the Department of Theatre and Dance:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
    Acting
    Dance

Students who plan to pursue certification to teach dance in Texas public schools should follow the dance studies option under the dance program.

      Theatre Studies

Students who plan to pursue certification to teach theater arts in Texas public schools should follow the theater studies program.

Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies

The Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies enables students to explore digital arts and media production in multiple emphases. Faculty noted for their professional excellence and experience teach a diverse set of courses that engage game and mobile application development, music and sound technologies, and contemporary live-performance technologies. Students work with faculty and each other to produce state-of-the-art content in an interdisciplinary academic setting firmly aligned with the missions of both the College of Fine Arts and The University of Texas.

Instruction is given in coding, game development, 2-D/3-D rendering, game scripting, sound synthesis, sampling, music programming, film and game scoring, live interactive staging, motion tracking and intelligent lighting. Through this curriculum, students are prepared to create digital content, lead production teams and develop new applications of technology in the evolving entertainment industry.

Programs of study lead to the Bachelor of Science in Arts and Entertainment Technologies degree offered in the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies:

  • Bachelor of Science in Arts and Entertainment Technologies

Applicability of Certain Courses

Physical Activity Courses

Physical activity courses (PED) are offered by the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. A limited number of these courses may be counted as electives toward degrees in the College of Fine Arts, but only at the discretion of the dean. All physical activity courses are counted among courses for which the student is enrolled, and the grades are included in the grade point average. For further information, contact the Office of the Dean, Student Affairs.

Bible Courses

Bible courses may be counted as lower-division electives in College of Fine Arts degree programs that have room for such electives. No more than 12 semester hours of such work may be counted toward any degree offered by the University.

Courses Taken on the Pass/Fail Basis

Regulations concerning courses taken on the pass/fail basis are given in General Information. For most degree programs in the College of Fine Arts, a very limited and restricted amount of coursework may be taken on the pass/fail basis. To be assured that a course taken on this basis will apply to the degree, the student must consult the Office of the Dean, Student Affairs before enrolling in the course.

Credit by Examination, Correspondence, and Transfer

Credit that a student in residence earns by examination, correspondence, or extension will not be counted toward a degree in the College of Fine Arts unless specifically approved in advance by the dean.

Credit that the student earns at another institution while enrolled in residence at the University also will not be counted toward a degree in the college unless approved in advance by the dean.

A student planning to take coursework at another institution while not enrolled in residence at the University should also seek a ruling from the Office of the Dean, Student Affairs as to whether the credit may be applied toward a degree and for information about procedures and deadlines. This ruling should be obtained before registering for the coursework.

No more than 10 percent of the semester hours required for any degree offered in the College of Fine Arts may be completed by correspondence.