2023-2024 Catalog 
    
    Mar 02, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog

Visual and Performing Arts, BA


The Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Department offers a cross-disciplinary degree that encourages innovative collaboration between its disciplines of dance, film, history of art and visual culture, theatre and visual art. Students complete this degree with a primary concentration in one discipline while developing a comprehensive knowledge in each of the other areas. 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.

General Information

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Visual and Performing Arts requires the following:

  • A minimum of 39 credit hours of VAPA course work. At least 33 of those hours must be upper division (courses numbered 3000 or higher).
  • Selection of a primary discipline, or option (see below). Total and upper-division hours for the major will depend on which option is chosen.
  • A minimum of 9 hours of VAPA Core 1000- and 3000-level courses.
  • 3-6 hours of Cross-Disciplinary courses for these options: Dance, Film, History of Art and Visual Culture, and Theatre
  • A grade of C or better in courses applied to the major.
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA must be maintained in all VAPA course work.

Additional course work is required to complete the Visual and Performing Arts, BA degree. Please see the advising guide on the Academic Advising website for more information.

Arts Fees

Students enrolled in AH, DNCE, FILM, MUS, MSGP, THTR, VA, and VAPA courses will be assessed fees to help defray the cost of supplies. Program fees range from $15-$40 per course, per semester. Check the course schedule for fees, or use the fee estimator at the Student Financial Services website. There is a full refund of the deposit for courses dropped the first two weeks of the term (for full-term courses).

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

  • 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

  • Dance Option
  • Film Studies Option
  • History of Art and Visual Culture Option
  • Theatre Option
  • Theatre and Dance Dual Option
  • Visual Art Option

The VAPA - Music option is a distinct Bachelor of Arts degree as of fall 2022.  Music courses are still available as cross-disciplinary courses for VAPA majors.  The Music department also offers several minors.  See the Music, BA catalog page for information on the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.

In addition, each option offers a minor, and two Bachelor of Innovation (BI) degrees are available. Please visit the VAPA department’s website for more information.

Dance Option


The basic sequence of required courses comprising the Dance option is designed to provide the student with a theoretical/historical grounding in the art of the dance 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 and Dance Program sponsors several student and faculty choreographed performances 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 and other professional theatre or dance opportunities. Students are advised that dance courses, especially practice courses, are progressive and should be taken in sequence.

The Dance option requires 60 credit hours of VAPA coursework, to include 48 hours of required DNCE courses, 9 hours of core VAPA course work, and 3 hrs of cross-disciplinary electives.

Dance Courses (48 credit hours)


Cross-Disciplinary Electives


  • Complete 3 credit hours of 2000-level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: AH, FILM, MSGP, MUS, or VA.

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.

The Film Studies option requires 54 credit hours of VAPA coursework, to include 39 hours of required FILM courses, 9 hours of VAPA core courses, and 6 hours of cross-disciplinary electives.

Film Studies Courses (39 credit hours)


Cross-Disciplinary Electives


  • Complete 6 credit hours of 2000-level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: AH, DNCE, MSGP, MUS, THTR, or VA.

History of Art and Visual Culture Option


The History of Art and Visual Culture option requires 60 credit hours of VAPA coursework, to include 45 hours of required AH courses, 9 hours of core VAPA course work, 3 hours of VA courses, and 3 hrs of cross-disciplinary electives.

Areas Outside of Western Traditions of Europe and the U.S. -Upper-Division Electives (6 credit hours)


Complete one course each from two of the following areas:

Additional Upper Division Electives (9 credit hours)


Complete 9 additional UNUSED upper-division (3000+ level) History of Art and Visual Culture electives from the Time Period or Areas Outside of Western Traditions courses listed above.

Visual Art Course (3 credit hours)


Complete one of the following Visual Arts courses. Any upper-division VA course may be taken instead if the prerequisite(s) have been met.

Cross-Disciplinary Electives


  • Complete 3 credit hours of 2000-level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: DNCE, FILM, MSGP, MUS, THTR, or VA.

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 and Dance Program sponsors several student and faculty choreographed performances 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 and other professional theatre or dance opportunities. Students are advised that theatre courses, especially practice courses, are progressive and should be taken in sequence.

The Theatre option requires 60 credit hours of VAPA coursework, to include 48 hours of required THTR courses, 9 hours of core VAPA course work, and 3 hrs of cross-disciplinary electives.

Theatre Courses (48 credit hours)


Cross-Disciplinary Electives


  • Complete 3 credit hours of 2000-level or higher coursework from other VAPA areas: AH, FILM, MSGP, MUS, or VA.

Theatre and Dance Dual Option


The basic sequence of required courses comprising the Theatre and Dance option is designed to provide the student with a theoretical/historical grounding in the art of the theatre and dance as overlapping art forms, 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 and Dance Program sponsors several student and faculty choreographed performances 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 and other professional theatre or dance opportunities. Students are advised that Theatre and Dance courses, especially practice courses, are progressive and should be taken in sequence.

The Theatre and Dance Dual option requires 60 credit hours of VAPA coursework, to include 51 hours of required THTR and DNCE courses and 9 hours of core VAPA course work.

Electives (15 credit hours)


Complete 15 credit hours from the following courses.  At least 9 credit hours must be upper division (3000+):

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.

The Visual Art option requires 60 credit hours of VAPA coursework, to include 42 hours of required VA courses, 9 hours of core VAPA course work, and 9 hours of AH courses.

Note: VAPA 1100 - Art in Time and Space   is the recommended VAPA Core 1000-level course for this option.

Visual Art Courses (42 credit hours)


Art History Courses (9 credit hours)


Complete both of the following courses.