ACADEMICS

  • Visual and Performing Arts

    The boundaries between art, music, and theatre are blurring. More artists are using the arts in combined ways to create modern and profound works. Worcester State University’s Interdisciplinary Visual and Performing Arts major aligns itself with this evolving trend, offering one of the few interdisciplinary arts majors in the country. Students enrolled in this major go beyond the regular art, music and theatre coursework to gain a larger and well-rounded view of the world of visual and performing arts. The major allows students to obtain an interdisciplinary view of the arts while also acquiring an in-depth knowledge of their preferred art form. This interdisciplinary approach teaches students how to use one art form to inform the other.
     
    Students who select a visual and performing arts major also select a concentration in art, music, or theatre. Core courses promote critical thinking and prepare students intellectually and creatively to complete their capstone/senior thesis projects and launch careers in the arts. Students apply their coursework to the production, performance, and critical study of artistic work through a multitude of exhibit and performance opportunities. With WSU’s location in Central Massachusetts, students also have access to an abundance of arts resources in Worcester, Boston, and Providence, Rhode Island.

    Learn more about the Visual and Performing Arts Department.
     
    Requirements for a Major in Visual and Performing Arts

    Minimum requirement for the major is completion of a 3-course (9 credit) Foundation curriculum, a 3-course (9 credit) Interdisciplinary Core, and 27 credits in 1 of 3 concentrations. Students will declare a concentration in art, music, or theatre.

  • Visual and Performing Arts Major – Foundation and Core Courses

    Interdisciplinary Foundation Courses
     
    Foundation in Art (3 credits)

    • AR 113 World Art Survey I or AR 100 Cross Media Studio

    Foundation in Music (3 credits) – choose 1 of these options

    • MU 100 Music Fundamentals
    • MU 101 Fundamentals of Music and Aural Skills for music concentrators
    • MU 102 Applied Music
    • MU 115 Music Appreciation

    Foundation in Theatre (3 credits)

    • TH191 Introduction to Theatre

    Interdisciplinary Core Courses

    • VP 200 Critical Thinking in the Arts (3 credits)
    • VP 300 Interdisciplinary Arts Seminar (3 credits)
    • VP 400 Arts Capstone/ Senior Thesis (3 credits)

    Foundation and Core Total: 18 credits

    Visual and Performing Arts Major – Concentration in Art

    Based on an interdisciplinary arts foundation with music and theatre, the art concentration offers a program in the creation of visual art augmented by studies in art history. Courses in design, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital arts, and integrated media provide the technical skills and concepts that form the basis for expression in visual art. Existing within the interdisciplinary major, the art concentration presents extensive involvement in studio art while encouraging creative thinking and artistic production that are informed by and sometimes created with the performing arts of music and theatre.
     
    In addition to the 3 Foundation courses and 3 Interdisciplinary Core courses students will complete 9 courses (27 credits) including:

    • AR 100 Cross Media Studio (3 credits) or AR 112 World Art Survey I (3 credits)
    • AR 140 Drawing I (3 credits)
    • AR 117 Visual Design: 2-Dimensions (3 credits)
    • AR 122 Visual Design: 3-Dimensions (3 credits)
    • AR 113 World Art Survey II (3 credits)
    • AR 225 Art Since Mid-Century (3 credits)
    • Additional AR courses* (9 credits)

    Concentration Total: 27 credits
    Major Total: 45 credits

     
    *With advisement, electives within a concentration may be selected from the other disciplines. For a description of required and elective courses, see requirements for a concentration in art, music, and theatre.

    Visual and Performing Arts Major – Concentration in Music

    Based on an interdisciplinary arts foundation with art and theatre, the music program offers courses in performance, history and theory of music. It also offers applied music lessons in voice, saxophone, violin, piano, guitar, trombone, and more. Students are provided with opportunities to perform in ensembles plus take a wide variety of classroom courses to enhance musical understanding and literacy, and how they apply to the larger world of the visual and performing arts.
     
    In addition to the 3 Foundation courses and 3 Interdisciplinary Core courses students will complete 18 credits of courses, lessons, and ensemble (or 17 credits if Class Piano is taken) including:

    • MU 101 Fundamentals of Music and Aural Skills (3 credits)
    • MU 205 Harmony I (3 credits)
    • MU 281 Music History I (3 credits)
    • MU 282 Music History II (3 credits)
    • MU 102-202-302-402 4 - private lessons (4 credits)
      • 4 semesters at 1-credit each
    • Ensemble (2 credits)
      • credits earned after completion of 4 semesters of ensemble participation
    • MU 190 Class Piano, unless proficient (1 credit)
    • Additional MU courses* (8 or 9 credits)

    Or, if MU101 Fundamentals of Music and Aural Skills is taken as an Interdisciplinary Foundation course:

    • MU 205 Harmony I (3 credits)
    • MU 210 Harmony II (3 credits)
    • MU 281 Music History I (3 credits)
    • MU 282 Music History II (3 credits)
    • MU 102-202-302-402 4 - private lessons (4 credits)
      • 4 semesters at 1-credit each
    • Ensemble (2 credits)
      • credits earned after completion of 4 semesters of ensemble participation
    • MU 190 Class Piano, unless proficient (1 credit)
    • Additional MU courses* (8 or 9 credits)

    Concentration Total: 27 credits
    Major Total: 45 credits


    *With advisement, electives within a concentration may be selected from the other disciplines. For a description of required and elective courses, see requirements for a concentration in art, music, and theatre.

    Visual and Performing Arts Major – Concentration in Theatre

    Based on an interdisciplinary arts foundation with art and music, the theatre program offers courses in theatre history, theatre for young audiences, stage combat, design, and performance. Mainstage productions are produced on a regular basis, with at least 3 productions per academic year. Each is realized in the fully equipped Fuller Theater with state-of-the- art lighting and sound equipment. Advanced students are encouraged to stage their own laboratory shows and also to intern with local theatre companies. The theatre faculty teaches interdisciplinary courses with faculty from art and music.
     
    In addition to the 3 Foundation courses and 3 Interdisciplinary Core courses, students will complete 9 courses (27 credits) including:

    • TH 275 Introduction to Stagecraft (3 credits)
    • TH 245 Acting I (3 credits)
    • TH 355 Theatre Practicum (3 credits)
      • 3 at 1-credit each

     and 1 of the following:

    •  TH 360 Scene Design for Theatre (3 credits)
    • TH 370 Costume Design for Theatre (3 credits)
    • TH 390 Lighting Design for Theatre (3 credits)
    • Additional TH courses* (15 credits)


    Concentration Total: 27 credits
    Major Total: 45 credits


    *With advisement, electives within a concentration may be selected from the other disciplines. For a description of required and elective courses, see requirements for a concentration in art, music, and theatre.

    Visual and Performing Arts and Elementary Education – Double Major

    Students who double major in visual and performing arts and elementary education may concentrate in art, music, theatre, or visual and performing arts. They will fulfill the Interdisciplinary Foundation and Core requirements, plus requirements in their concentration, for a total of 36 credits.
     
    Emphasis in Art for Students who Double Major in Elementary Education
     
    Interdisciplinary Foundation and Core requirements (18 credits plus):

    • AR 112 or 113 or 225 World Art Survey I (3 credits) or
    • World Art Survey II (3 credits) or
    • Art Since Mid-Century (3 credits)
    • AR 140 Drawing I (3 credits)
    • AR 117 Visual Design: 2-D (3 credits)
    • AR 122 Visual Design: 3-D (3 credits)
    • AR 260 Visual Arts in the Schools (3 credits)
    • Electives in Art (3 credits)

    Concentration Total Credits: 18
    Major Total Credits: 36


    Emphasis in Music for Students who Double Major in Elementary Education

     
    Interdisciplinary Foundation and Core requirements (18 credits plus)

    • MU 101 Fundamentals of Music (3 credits)
    • Aural Skills (unless taken for foundation) or
    • MU 205 Harmony I (3 credits)
    • MU 115 Music Appreciation (unless taken for Foundation) (3 credits) or
    • MU 281 Music History I (3 credits) or
    • MU 282 Music History II (3 credits)
    • MU 190 Class Piano and MU 195 Class Guitar and 3 credits participation in 2 Ensembles at 5 credits each
    • MU 237 Music in Elementary School (3 credits)
    • MU 102/103 - private lessons, unless MU 190 is taken (3 credits)
    • MU 195 and participation in 2 ensembles electives in music (3 credits)

    Concentration Total: 18 Credits
    Major Total: 36 Credits


    Emphasis in Theatre for Students who Double Major in Elementary Education

    • TH 245 Acting I (3 credits)
    • TH 275 Introduction to Stagecraft (3 credits)
    • TH 290 Theatre for Young Audiences (3 credits)
    • TH 292 Creative Dramatics (3 credits)
    • TH 321 Rehearsal and Performance (3 credits)
    • Electives in Theatre (6 credits)

    Concentration Total: 18 Credits
    Major Total: 36 Credits

     
    Emphasis in Visual and Performing Arts for Students who Double Major in Elementary Education

    • AR 260 Visual Arts in the Schools (3 credits)
    • MU 237 Music in Elementary School (3 credits)
    • TH 290 Theatre for Young Audiences (3 credits)
    • TH 292 Creative Dramatics (3 credits)
    • Electives in Art, Music, Theatre, and Visual and Performing Arts (6 credits)

    Concentration Total: 18 Credits
    Major Total: 36 Credits

  • Minors in Visual and Performing Arts

    Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of the arts and how the arts often integrate into and enhance students’ study in other disciplines such as criminal justice, communication, business, and psychology, the Visual and Performing Arts Department offers minors in its 3 disciplines of art, music, and theatre. A minor in the arts allows students to further explore and develop their affinity for the arts and their artistic talents, while majoring in another discipline.
      

  • Minor in Art
    As an art minor, students sharpen visual perception, deepen their understanding of art history, and learn technical skills and concepts to further student appreciation and creation in the visual arts. Courses in design, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital arts, and integrated media provide the technical skills and concepts that form the basis for expression in visual art. Interdisciplinary courses relate the visual arts to the arts of music and theatre, in both contemporary and historic periods.
     
    18 credits in art-related courses, including a minimum of 3 credits in art history and at least 1 art course at the 300-level.
    Minor in Music

    As a music minor, students complete courses in the performance, history, and theory of music, and also in applied music with a choice of lessons in voice, saxophone, violin, piano, guitar, trombone, and more. Students must audition for applied music spots. Students are provided with opportunities to perform in ensembles as well as take a wide variety of classroom courses to enhance musical understanding and literacy.

    18 credits in music are required in each of the following:

    • Music Theory (MU 100 Music Fundamentals or MU 101 Fundamental of Music and Aural Skills or MU 205 Harmony I – each 3 credits)
    • Music History (MU 115 Music Appreciation or historical period courses – each 3 credits)
    • Applied Studies (private lessons or ensembles) – to total 3 credits
    Minor in Theatre

    As a theatre minor, students complete coursework in theatre history, theatre for young audiences, costume and set design, and performance. Mainstage productions are produced on a regular basis with at least 3 productions per academic year. Each is realized in the fully equipped Fuller Theater with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. Advanced students are encouraged to stage their own laboratory shows and also to intern with local theatre companies. The theatre faculty teaches interdisciplinary courses with faculty from art and music.

    • TH 191 Introduction to the Theatre (3 credits)
    • TH 245 Acting I (3 credits)
    • TH 275 Introduction to Stagecraft and Design (3 credits)
    • TH 321 Rehearsal and Performance (3 credits)
    • 2 other 3-credit theatre courses
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    Visual and Performing Arts
    Learning Resource Center
    Suite LRC-325
    508-929-8145