2015-2016 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Image of Ann Clarke

Ann Clarke, Dean
200 Crouse College

About the College

The College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University is committed to the education of cultural leaders who will engage and inspire audiences through performance, visual art, design, scholarship, and commentary. The college provides the tools for self-discovery and risk-taking in an environment that thrives on critical thought and action

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is dedicated to nurturing the creative and scholarly abilities of its students. The college, which is at the center of the University’s cultural life, is organized into four areas: the School of Art and Design, which includes the Department of Art, the Department of Design, and the Department of Transmedia, the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, the Department of Drama, and the Setnor School of Music. Recognizing the link between education, understanding, and cultural knowledge, the College of Visual and Performing Arts is also committed to providing sites for learning about diversity throughout its curricula.


The college’s programs in art, design, and transmedia are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). In addition to NASAD accreditation, our environmental and interior design program is also accredited with the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The Setnor School of Music and its programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Programs in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies and the Department of Drama engage in regularly scheduled Self-Studies involving programmatic review and site visits by a panel of external reviewers from their respective disciplines.

General Regulations

For academic rules and regulations that apply to all University students, see the Academic Rules section of this catalog, which also contains special regulations that apply to all undergraduate students matriculated in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.


All students matriculated in a VPA major or minor are charged a program fee that covers certain expenses such as applied music instruction, specialized studio art supplies, dramatic productions, visiting artists, and equipment and technology. Non-VPA students are charged an applied music fee for private instruction and a per credit fee for other VPA courses. See the SU Tuition, Fees and Related Policies bulletin for specific charges.

Graduate Studies Information

Graduate students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts benefit from an effective combination of studio, performance, and research activities. Faculty advisors carefully establish the parameters of each graduate student’s course of study and advance and facilitate interdisciplinary study. The aesthetic climate of the college supports and encourages the development of individual potential. In addition, the college recognizes the link between education, critical thinking, and cultural knowledge. Diversity and community are emphasized as important elements of every student’s program design.

The college’s graduate programs attract students of superior intellectual and creative ability from many distinguished institutions throughout the world. The faculty is composed of professional artists, designers, musicians, composers, actors, and scholars who are active and recognized in their fields. In addition, the college is committed to maintaining a regular influx of prominent visiting professionals.

Graduate Awards

Fellowships and Scholarships

Syracuse University provides University Graduate Fellowships on a competitive basis. These provide a competitive stipend for nine months of full-time study in addition to a tuition scholarship. See application materials for specific deadlines.


The College of Visual and Performing Arts may offer a teaching, technical, and/or administrative assistantship to qualified recipients, including first-year students. Assistantships offer valuable opportunities for students to enhance their professional credentials. Renewal of assistantships is based on superior performance in coursework and in assistantship assignments.

Tuition Scholarships

In addition to fellowships and assistantships, tuition scholarships in varying amounts are offered to outstanding students as evidenced by academic record and merit.


The college has a limited number of small scholarships to support graduate students. All scholarships are available to first-year students, and are based on merit.

Graduate Good Standing Status

To be a graduate student in good standing, students must comply with the Graduate Grading Standards, which consider passing grades as A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and C-. The D grade is not an option for graduate students. The minimum GPA for graduate work is 2.8 in the first 30 credits. Certification for an advanced degree requires a minimum average of 3.0 for work comprising the program for the degree and a 2.8 average for all credits earned. This information can be found in the Academic Rules and Regulations section of this catalog.

Specific programs in the College of Visual and Performing Arts can require the passing of additional reviews, examinations, and assessments of graduate work for a graduate student to be considered in good standing. Such reviews and assessments can result in continuation without reservations, continuation during a probationary period, or termination of student status. Students should consult their advisor for policies specific to their program or area.


The College of Visual and Performing Arts provides an extensive array of facilities that support our academic programs, including:

ART - extensive studio facilities in the Comstock Art Building on south campus and the Shaffer Art Building and Smith Hall on main campus. These facilities are supported by wood and metal shops. At the Comstock location, we have five studio areas. The Art Education facility includes studio and classroom space. Our recently renovated Ceramics facility includes a state-of-the-art materials room, critique gallery, clay making room, mold/plaster room, dry and wet glaze labs, a resource room, throwing studio/classroom, sculpture studio/classroom, as well as indoor and outdoor kiln facilities (Blaauw, Geil, Anagama, and others). The Jewelry and Metalsmithing facility includes a well-equipped main studio with individual work stations, small machine and plating/anodizing rooms, plus casting, soldering, and finishing equipment. The Printmaking facility includes a 6,400 square foot studio space, housing a wide range of relief, intaglio, lithography, and letter presses, seriography/silkscreening capabilities, and hand papermaking equipment. Our Sculpture facility offers ample workspaces for assembly, project spaces dedicated to installation and performance, gallery spaces for student exhibitions, outdoor casting and large-scale fabrication capabilities, and semi-private studio spaces for undergraduate students. Shaffer Art Building houses two studio programs. The Illustration facility includes studio and classroom spaces, while the Painting facility includes well-lighted studios with special skylights receiving north light, and a complete workshop. Finally, Smith Hall serves as the College’s graduate and multidisciplinary hub as well and home to various functions of the Schools of Art and Design and Communication and Rhetorical Studies Department.

DESIGN - Our Design programs are housed in The Nancy Cantor Warehouse, Syracuse University’s seven-floor building in downtown Syracuse. The Warehouse’s open, industrial space was recently renovated to contain professional studio facilities for each design program; two shared computer labs; a printing lab; and Design Works, a fabrication lab. A student lounge, café, and gallery are conveniently located on the first floor.

TRANSMEDIA - Facilities supporting the Department of Transmedia are located in the lower level of Shaffer Art Building. Art Photography students have access to digital and analog facilities, including professional scanning and digital printing equipment, and can also utilize production facilities at Light Work as well as our own studios and classrooms. The range of facilities ensures easy access to professional digital, analog, and lighting equipment, including large format ink-jet printers and a 44-inch color processor. Computer art facilities include a graduate studio, an advanced audio production and scanning studio, and a main computer lab. Art Video sports a multi-use, multi-format facility, in which production is executed with mini-DV camcorders, digital audio recorders, and necessary peripherals. Post-production suites are equipped with Macintosh-based non-linear editing systems. Video projectors are available for presentations and exhibition. There are digital, multi-track audio studios, plus access to other Syracuse University facilities to complement production, post-production and exhibition activities. The Film Art production facilities include sync-sound camera/recorder packages: Aaton Super 16, Arriflex Super 16 and regular 16, CP16, non-sync Bolex cameras, SONY and PANASONIC DV and HDV video cameras; a broad array of location lighting and grip gear; Final Cut Pro non-linear editing stations equipped for HD editing; Steenback flatbed editors; a sound mix studio; an Oxberry animation studio; and a lighting studio.

DRAMA - The Regent Theatre Complex, which houses the Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage, contains three theaters and a cabaret space. These four performance spaces provide the broadest range of design and staging possibilities, from conventional proscenium to theater-in-the-round. Included in the complex are The John D. Archbold Theatre, a 499-seat proscenium theater; The Arthur Storch Theatre, seating up to 250 people, can be configured as a proscenium, thrust, or avenue stage; The Loft Theatre is an intimate and flexible space that seats 65 audience members in a variety of configurations, but is most often used for short plays, readings, workshops and experimental efforts; The Sutton Pavilion provides a versatile cabaret space, often for late-night entertainment for Syracuse University and the greater Syracuse communities. The complex also includes dance studios, performance/rehearsal studios, lecture rooms, seminar rooms, musical practice rooms, locker rooms, and showers - as well as the professionally staffed technical shops that build the Syracuse Stage and Department of Drama productions. Facilities adjacent to the complex provide theater design and technology studios, classrooms, and CAD lab.

MUSIC - The Setnor School of Music, located in Crouse College, is home to the acoustically rich, 700-seat Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium, with its 3,823-pipe Holtkamp Organ. Approximately 200 recitals occur in this space each academic year. The school has classrooms and rehearsal spaces in Crouse College and Shaffer Art Building, as well as a recording studio in the Belfer Audio Archives.

COMMUNICATION and RHETORICAL STUDIES - located in recently renovated space in Sims Hall, the department’s facilities include classrooms designed for video capture and replay of student speech-making, along with multi-purpose room for hosting meetings and events.

Research Centers and Institutes

The College of Visual and Performing Arts supports and celebrates a culture of research. Both faculty and students across departments and programs engage in a variety of individual, group and cross-disciplinary initiatives that seek to expand human knowledge through creative analysis, innovation, and insight. These efforts are disseminated in a variety of ways including publishing, presentations, exhibitions and performances. The College’s Office of Research and Graduate studies facilitates both internal and external funding to support these efforts and the colleges’ mission of providing an environment that thrives on critical thought and action.

School of Art and Design

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Communication and Rhetorical Studies

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Combined Degree

Certificate of Advanced Study

Setnor School of Music

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