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Home / College Catalog / 2016-18 / Academic Programs / School of the Arts

Draft in progress

School of the Arts

The School of the Arts provides the highest level of education in order to forge the next generation of visual and performing artists, arts managers and entrepreneurs, and citizens devoted to the arts. Students are prepared for careers in their fields and are inspired to be engaged and innovative contributors to society. The prestigious faculties in the Conservatories of Dance, Music, and Theatre Arts, and the School of Art+Design cultivate, nurture, and prepare students through rigorous and comprehensive studio practice informed by theoretical, conceptual, and historical study. The professional degree programs (BFA, MusB, MA, MFA, MM) challenge students to be reflective and articulate, productive and entrepreneurial, and creative and innovative practitioners of their respective fields. The BA and BS programs provide an overview of contemporary research methods and cultural theory, history, and studio practice in a broad liberal arts context designed to introduce students to creative, analytic, and critical thinking. In addition, the School of the Arts offers students in other disciplines exposure to the practice of the arts through specialized courses in studio practice.

Academic Organization and Degrees
The School of the Arts includes the programs in arts management and entrepreneurship; the Conservatories of Dance, Music, and Theatre Arts; and the School of Art+Design. Its majors, which are described in detail in the respective school/conservatory sections of this catalog, lead to the following degrees:

In addition to these degree programs, the Conservatory of Music offers a postbaccalaureate Performers Certificate and a post-master’s Artist Diploma.

The School of the Arts offers four minors that are open to students in all disciplines, with specific entrance requirements:

Academic Advising
All students in the School of the Arts have faculty advisors and plan their semester’s work in consultation with these advisors. Students are also encouraged to use the services of the Advising Center.

Arts Open Access: Courses Open to Students in Other Disciplines
Most courses offered by the BA programs in the School of the Arts—like those in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences—are open to students in other disciplines at Purchase College. These are offered under the regular course prefix for the discipline (e.g., AMG for arts management and THP for theatre and performance).

Many courses offered by the BFA and MusB programs in the School of the Arts are also open to students in other disciplines at Purchase College, in most cases without audition or permission of instructor. These are noted as Arts Open Access in the myHeliotrope course search each semester. Examples of courses that may be offered as Arts Open Access are listed in the respective program section of this catalog:

Conservatory of Dance: Arts Open Access
Conservatory of Music: Arts Open Access
Conservatory of Theatre Arts: Arts Open Access
School of Art+Design: Arts Open Access

Ravi S. Rajan, MM, Dean, School of the Arts
To be announced, Chair, Arts Management and Entrepreneurship
Nelly van Bommel, MFA, Interim Director, Conservatory of Dance
James Undercofler, MM, Interim Director, Conservatory of Music
Rebecca Rugg, DFA, Director, Conservatory of Theatre Arts
Steven Lam, MFA, Director, School of Art+Design
Jennifer Shingelo, MFA, Assistant Dean, School of the Arts

For updates during 2016–2018, please visit

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School of the Arts:

Conservatory of Dance
Conservatory of Music
Conservatory of Theatre Arts
School of Art+Design

The Arts Management & Entrepreneurship Program

Related Information:

International & Study Abroad Programs

Undergraduate Core Curriculum/General Education

Neuberger Museum of Art

The Performing Arts Center

Professional Standards: BFA, MusB, MFA & MM Programs
(Academic Policies)