Degrees and Programs
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 and Bachelor of Music. 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 history, design, studio art, and visual art studies.
The study of art history embraces a wide range of objects: paintings, drawings and prints of all kinds, including 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 full range of art history instruction in ancient, medieval, Renaissance, baroque, modern, and contemporary art, as well as in the art from non-Western areas (African, Asian, Islamic, Central and Latin American, Mesoamerican, Native American, and Oceanic).
Design as a complex cultural activity expresses the ideas and values of society while it contributes to the formulation of those ideas and values. Students in design focus on the connection between design and related disciplines, emphasizing the relationships the designer shares with others. Through in-depth investigation of social, cultural, technological, and aesthetic dimensions of design, students have the opportunity to increase their cognitive skills; develop critical analytical, research, and organizational skills; and gain facility with the technologies of design. The goal of the nontraditional design program is to encourage students to use the design process as a method of understanding their culture and to effectively articulate this understanding to others.
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), printmaking (intaglio, lithography, serigraphy), sculpture (casting, hot and cold 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.
Art educators believe that art is an essential component of all societies and that an education is not complete without knowledge of art’s history, purpose, function, and techniques. Visual art studies prepares students to strengthen art education in schools and communities through instruction in art criticism, philosophy, and current trends in art education, with art education history, philosophy, student development, teaching strategies, standards, objectives, and evaluation procedures. Field observations and practical classroom teaching are required of all students in our programs and leads to art teacher certification for early childhood through grade twelve.
The University’s extensive resources for art 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, and the Benson Latin American Collection. While at the University, students also have access to the large permanent collection and traveling exhibitions.
Programs of study leading to the following undergraduate degrees are offered in the Department of Art and Art History:
- Bachelor of Arts in Art
- Bachelor of Fine Arts
Visual art studies
Students who plan to pursue certification to teach art in Texas public schools should follow the visual art studies 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 MuCullough 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 music computer 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
Jazz (Emphasis in Composition or Performance): Double bass, drum set, guitar, piano, saxophone, trombone, and trumpet
Music 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 theatre and dance. Students may choose programs of study leading to a variety of academic and professional goals, including teacher certification in both theatre 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 theatre), a 130-seat laboratory theatre, an extensive costume collection, four dance studios, a drafting studio, a design studio as well as numerous classrooms and rehearsal studios in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building. The Department also has a vital connection to the film and TV studios of the College of Communications, including collaborative courses with the Department of Radio-Television-Film. Of special interest to students pursuing theatre 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
Students who plan to pursue certification to teach dance in Texas public schools should follow the dance studies option under the dance program.
Students who plan to pursue certification to teach theatre arts in Texas public schools should follow the theatre studies program.
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 may be counted as lower-division electives in College of Fine Arts degree programs that have room for such electives. No more than twelve 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.