2015-2016 Catalog 
    
    Nov 13, 2019  
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Visual and Performing Arts, BA


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The Visual and Performing Arts Department offers a cross-disciplinary degree that encourages innovative collaboration between disciplines. This focus integrates art history, dance, film studies, museum and gallery practice, music, theatre, and visual arts. Students complete this degree with a primary concentration in one area and develop a comprehensive knowledge in each of the major disciplines. Through studio arts, performance, theory, scholarship, and creative uses of media and technology, students will engage in an investigative approach to the arts, where the local and global converge; where cross-fertilization inspires critical thinking, dialogue and improvisation; and where diversity of thought is intrinsic to artistic process and practice. When students complete this degree, they will have the skills and knowledge to enter graduate school or a variety of careers in the arts.

The Gallery of Contemporary Art, the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities, THEATREWORKS, and the Visual Resource Center offer students opportunities and venues for professional practice and interactions with visiting artists and scholars.

Departmental Policies

Arts Fees

Students enrolled in certain AH, DNCE, FILM, MSGP, THTR, VA, and VAPA courses will be assessed fees to help defray the cost of supplies. Course fees range from $15-$40 per class per semester. Check the course schedule for fees, or use the fee estimator at the Student Financial Services website: http://www.uccs.edu/bursar/estimate-your-total-bill.html. There is a full refund of the deposit for courses dropped the first two weeks of the term.

Departmental Goals

  • Students are members of a departmental campus culture with shared interests in the exchange of ideas about arts scholarship and performance by attending a variety of university and local performances and art events.

Learning Outcomes, Visual and Performing Arts, BA

Comprehension and development: perceptions concerning changes in attitude toward certain areas of performance vis-à-vis understanding and greater tolerance for innovation and experimentation.

  • Ability to recognize and comprehend aesthetic criteria, artistic genres, and the intention of a variety of performative acts in different contexts
  • Understand fundamental characteristics of performance and artistic expressiveness and their application cross-culturally and across disciplinary practices
  • Ability to critique direct outcomes of art and performance (e.g., symbolism, metaphoric content, tropes such as parody and satire, cultural representation, improvisatory interaction, subversive intent, etc.)
  • Ability to use the full range of resources to understand the complexity of any given arts-related topic, and to generate the requisite knowledge and evidence to create a compelling and coherent research project
  • Ability to work collaboratively in groups across the arts disciplines

Visual and Performing Arts BA Options

  • Art History Option
  • Film Studies Option
  • Music Options
  • Theatre Option
  • Visual Art Option

These options are described below. In addition, each option offers a minor. See that department’s page for more information.

General Degree Requirements


The Visual and Performing Arts degree is composed of a primary concentration and a group of core VAPA and interdisciplinary courses. The following distribution outlines the requirements for the degree.

60-62 Credit Hours Total:

  • 3 VAPA Foundation
  • 6 VAPA Upper-Division
  • 36-50 Primary Field, including Capstone course
  • 3-6 credits cross-disciplinary courses (courses in a VAPA field other than the primary field)

Art History Option


General Degree Requirements

Students intending to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts with an Art History option must complete 60 credit hours as follows:

  • 9 in VAPA
  • 39 in Art History
  • 6 in Visual Art
  • 6 within another VAPA option for the cross-disciplinary component

Cross-Disciplinary Requirement (9 credit hours)


  • 9 credit hours in 2000-or higher-level courses in Dance, Film Studies, Museum Studies and Gallery Practice, Music, or Theatre.

Art History Requirements (39 credit hours)


Upper-Division Requirements (18 credit hours)


Complete 3000 and 4000 level courses from at least four of the following areas of Art History: Ancient Cultures, the Medieval World, the Art of Africa, North American Native Arts, Mesoamerican Art, Islamic Art and Architecture, Asian Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art of Europe, the Arts of the Pacific Rim, the History of Women in the Arts, Public Art and Architecture, Art of the Contemporary Period, and Current Issues in Art History.

Art History Capstone (3 credit hours)


Visual Art Requirements (6 credit hours)


Please note: Students with the proper prerequisites may elect to take any upper-division visual arts courses to fulfill the Art History Visual Arts requirement.

Film Studies Option


The Film Studies option in the Visual and Performing Arts major is devoted to the study of film as a multicultural and transnational artistic discipline. The emphasis of this track is on film history, theory, and analysis. The department provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the moving image, which prepares the student for graduate programs in advanced film and media study, or as a component to film making. 

General Degree Requirements

Students intending to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts with a Film Studies option must complete 54 credit hours as follows:

  • 9 in VAPA
  • 39 in Film Studies
  • 6 within another option for the cross-disciplinary component

Cross-Disciplinary Requirement (6 credit hours)


2000/3000/4000 level courses in Art History, Dance, Museum Studies and Gallery Practice, Music,Theatre, or Visual Arts.

Film Studies Requirements (39 credit hours)


Lower-Division Requirements (6 credit hours)

These required courses offer a basic approach to film analysis through the study of composition, genre, plot structure, symbolism, and general cinema history.

Upper-Division Requirements (30 credit hours)

Two courses in national cinema and one course in either a specific director or a thematic/genre approach assures students a varied experience of global cinema in its cultural and cinematic context. Other film studies courses explore a variety of national cinemas, offer specialized genre, period, or director study, and focus on various special topics.

Theory (3 credit hours)


Practical Course (3 credits)


Nonproduction (festivals, journalism, teaching assistant duties, etc.) setting are recommended for the internship experience, but a production setting is acceptable if the student has film making knowledge and demonstrated ability. Independent study is restricted to majors and consists of a research project dealing with some aspect of the film studies program not covered in course offerings. The student must propose the topic to a film studies faculty member who serves as the student’s instructor.

Film Electives (15 credit hours)


Choose from 3000/4000 level courses.

Music Options


The VAPA Music Program offers two major tracks with interdisciplinary components:

  • Composition & Sound Design
  • Creative Music Practice, Performance and Technology

The Composition & Sound Design track connects traditional western composition, contemporary and experimental music, jazz and improvisation, computer music, world and non-western traditions with interdisciplinary arenas of sound art and sound design in multimedia, installation, video, theatre and film scoring.

The Creative Music Practice, Performance and Technology track identifies the performer/creative artist as a major paradigm in our musical culture. Musicians in this track can be from a range of traditions, any and all instruments in classical, jazz, singer/songwriter, vocal music – opera, music theatre, rap & hip-hop, DJ, laptop culture, and more. Students will embark on a comprehensive curriculum and rigorous training on their instruments/voice, to develop individual artistic directions in performance, composition and improvisation.

Students can reach their highest potential in our chamber music program through brass, woodwind and string quartets, sound design and technology hybrid instrumental ensembles. Other ensembles include the Jazz Ensemble, Electro Acoustic Ensemble (rock/jazz/avant-garde/experimental), Chamber Music Ensemble, Mountain Lion Band, VAPA Vocal Ensemble, University Choir, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, PeakHarmonic Orchestra, Music Theatre and Theatreworks Student Productions. 

General Degree Requirements

Both tracks include fluency in music technology, 20th century and contemporary music history, music theory and skills, and interdisciplinary courses across the arts. Students are encouraged to minor in or develop secondary specializations in other arts fields. Moreover, the VAPA Music Program’s priority on individual mentoring enables students to focus on a targeted range of specializations in performance, improvisations, composition, sound design, film scoring, music theatre, history and/or entrepreneurship.

Students are required to take private lessons from professional musicians in the Front Range area and participate at a high-level in instrumental and/or choral ensembles such as the Jazz and Improvisation Ensemble, University Choir, Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble, Electro Acoustic Ensemble, Computer Music, and Music Theater Performance.

Students intending to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts with a Music option (either concentration) must complete 62 credit hours as follows:

  • 9 in VAPA
  • 3 within another VAPA option for the cross-disciplinary requirement
  • 50 in Music

Cross-Disciplinary Requirement (3 credit hours)


Students in both music concentrations must take any 3 credits of 2000-or higher-level from another VAPA discipline, to include Art History, Dance, Film Studies, Museum Studies and Gallery Practice, Theatre, or Visual Art.

Composition & Sound Design Concentration Music Requirements (50 credit hours)


Creative Music Practice, Performance & Technology Concentration Music Requirements (50 credit hours)


Theatre Option


The basic sequence of required courses comprising the Theatre option is designed to provide the student with a theoretical/historical grounding in the art of the theatre and the opportunity to put theories into practice in performance situations. Electives allow students to create a focus of study according to their interests. The academic theatre program sponsors a major student production every spring and several student-directed shows throughout the year. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in productions of THEATREWORKS, the regional repertory company at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Students are advised that theatre courses, especially acting courses, are progressive and should be taken in sequence. 

General Degree Requirements

Students intending to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts with a Theatre option must complete 60 credit hours as follows:

  • 9 in VAPA
  • 45 in Theatre
  • 6 within another VAPA option for the cross-disciplinary requirement

Cross-Disciplinary Requirement (6 credit hours)


2000-4000 level courses in Art History, Film Studies, Museum Studies and Gallery Practice, Music or Visual Art. One course must be upper division.

Theatre Requirements (45 credit hours)


Visual Art Option


The Visual Art option, either as a major or minor within the cross-disciplinary VAPA degree, offers students a wide range of media, including: digital media, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture/installation, sound collage, and video. Students are encouraged to explore hybrid processes and collaborative relationships between the disciplines of art history, dance, film, museum studies and gallery practice, music, and theatre.

General Degree Requirements

Students intending to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts with a Visual Art option must complete 60 credit hours as follows:

  • 9 in VAPA
  • 39 in Visual Art, including the Capstone course
  • 6 in Art History
  • 6 within another VAPA option for a cross-disciplinary component

Cross-Disciplinary Requirement (6 credit hours)


Choose two 2000/3000/4000-level courses in Art History, Dance, Film Studies, Museum Studies & Gallery Practice, Music, or Theatre.

Visual Art Requirements (39 credit hours)


2000-level (9 credit hours)


  • Choose 9 credit hours of 2000-level VA courses.

3000/4000-level (18 credit hours)


  • VA 3980 - Seminar in Studio Problems
  • 15 credits of 3000/4000-level electives
  • Please note:

    VA 3980 is a companion course to AH 3860; both must be taken concurrently during the junior year, before VA 4980. VA 3980 and AH 3860 are only offered in the spring.

    VA 3000/4000-level courses may be taken twice for credit, except for VA 3980 and VA 4980.

Visual Arts Capstone Course (3 credit hours)


 The capstone course should be taken in the senior year. It is only offered in the spring.

Art History Requirements (6 credit hours)


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