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.
Students enrolled in certain AH, DNCE, FILM, MUS, 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.
- 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.
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, and there are BI degree options (Visual and Performing Arts - Museum Studies and Gallery Practice, BI™ ; Visual and Performing Arts - Music, BI™ ). See each department’s page for more information.
Each option of the VAPA, BA consists of the following course distribution.
60-62 Total Credit Hours
- VAPA Courses: 9 credit hours (6 of which must be upper division)
- Cross-Disciplinary Courses: 3-6 credit hours
- Primary Concentration Courses: 36-50 credit hours, to include a capstone course
Art History Option
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
- Complete 6 credit hours of 2000-level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: AH, DNCE, FILM, MSGP, MUS, or THTR.
Art History Requirements (39 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.
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
- Complete 6 credit hours of 2000 level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: AH, DNCE, MSGP, MUS, THTR, or VA.
Film Studies Requirements (39 credit hours)
The VAPA Music Program offers two major tracks with interdisciplinary components:
- Composition and Sound Design
- Creative Music Practice, Performance and Technology
The Composition and 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 and 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 hybrid chamber music program which combines technology with traditional instrumental performance. Ensembles include the Creative Music Ensemble, 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, Musical Theatre and Theatreworks Student Productions.
Both tracks develop fluency in music technology, music history, music theory and aural 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, improvisation, composition, sound design, film scoring, music theatre, history and/or entrepreneurship.
General Degree Requirements
Students are required to take private lessons from our award-winning faculty 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
Students in both concentrations are required to fulfill the following VAPA course requirements.
- Students in both music concentrations must complete 3 credit hours of 2000 level or higher coursework from another VAPA area: AH, DNCE, FILM, MSGP, THTR, or VA.
Composition and Sound Design Music Requirements (50 credit hours)
Creative Music Performance and Technology Music Requirements (50 credit hours)
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
- Complete 6 credit hours of 2000 level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: AH, DNCE, FILM, MSGP, MUS, or VA.
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
- 6 in Art History
- 6 within another VAPA option for a cross-disciplinary component
- Complete 6 credit hours of 2000 level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: AH, DNCE, FILM, MSGP, MUS, or THTR.
Visual Art Requirements (39 credit hours)