College of the Arts

Dean: Daniel Gurskis, M.F.A.
Associate Dean: Ronald L. Sharps, Ph.D.
Associate Dean: Christine Lemesianou, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean: Linda Davidson, M.F.A.

Twice designated as a Center of Excellence in the fine and performing arts, the College of the Arts (CART) maintains a commitment to quality programs, providing professional training and education for students seeking careers as practitioners, educators, public servants and managers of the arts. The College offers more than sixty graduate and undergraduate majors, minors and concentrations through the John J. Cali School of Music, the School of Communication and Media (SoCM), and the departments of Art and Design and Theatre and Dance.

The John J. Cali School of Music offers a well-rounded curriculum with the intense musical instruction of a conservatory. Students specialize in the areas of performance, jazz, music education, composition, and music therapy, and learn from world-class faculty, including the Shanghai Quartet. Students perform in the elegant Leshowitz Recital Hall and practice on Steinway pianos. The School presents over 300 performances and masterclasses each year by students, faculty, and guest artists. Students perform off-campus and on tour in the U.S. and abroad, and may study abroad through international exchange programs in several countries.

Combining television and digital media, filmmaking and communication studies, the School of Communication and Media enables students to work at a campus radio station, a multiplatform newsroom, and a variety of venues for television production (some of which are international); and enjoy concentrations that focus on new and developing areas in communication industries, including Public Relations, Health Communication, and Electronic Journalism, while interning with Fortune 500 companies, broadcast television stations, TV production centers, political campaigns, pharmaceutical companies, etc. Furthermore, SoCM has the only audio program in the area offering training in sound and sound design for broadcasting, film. theatre and music.

Alongside its array of established fine arts concentrations and studio specializations, the Department of Art and Design offers the only BFA in Product Design in NJ, as well as top of the line facilities for its ever popular Fashion Studies BA (which hosts an annual student fashion show and yearly international field trips), a highly competitive Visual Communication Design BFA with annual trips to London and a dual degree program with Seoul National University of Science & Technology, and a growing Animation/Illustration BFA with strong professional ties to the Society of Illustrators.

The Department of Theatre and Dance developed the first programs in Musical Theatre and Dance Education offered in NJ; recruits students through unified auditions in NYC, Chicago, and LA, as well as on campus; and features stage productions, masterclasses, and skills training by renowned directors, actors, and choreographers such as Spider-Man choreographer Chase Brock, Tony Award winning actor/singer Schuler Hensley, and Yale School of Drama director Robert Woodruff. A robust program of field trips to theatres in London, Berlin, and Prague, among others, complements the department’s instruction. Students in the College study and create with some of the finest artist-educators in the New York metropolitan area. Faculty include working composers, designers, fine artists, actors, musicians, directors, choreographers, arts managers, art historians, conductors, broadcasters and communication specialists including Fulbright, Guggenheim and Howard award winners. What's more, because we are only minutes from Manhattan, internationally recognized guest artists know the College well and come year after year to direct master classes, perform in staged productions, conduct student ensembles and teach what it takes to succeed in the arts.

For both the university campus and the region, CART provides events and community services that offer cultural enrichment of all kinds. Through the Peak Performances series, the college’s Arts and Cultural Programming unit presents and commissions works from national and international artists that engage students and audiences both on and off stage through groundbreaking performances, unique workshops and challenging masterclasses. Events take place in numerous professionally equipped performance spaces on campus, including the state-of-the-art 500-seat Alexander Kasser Theater–a venue unique to the region, combining exceptional acoustics and an over-sized proscenium stage within an intimate and comfortable setting. Additional campus venues for live performance include the 99-150-seat L. Howard Fox Theater, the 77-seat Dance Theater, the 986-seat Memorial Auditorium, and 1,500-seat Amphitheater.

Complementing the performing arts, CART’s University Art Galleries likewise provides visual arts enrichment through a comprehensive exhibitions program and growing art collection from the region and around the world. Our largest exhibitions are presented in the award-winning George Segal Gallery, while additional exhibits may be found in the MFA Gallery and student-run Gallery 3-1/2. Beyond these spaces, artworks are installed throughout the campus grounds to create a visually satisfying aesthetic environment. The DuMont Television Center is another major producer of CART programming. Boasting two production studios, recently upgraded to High Definition, the Center serves both campus needs and industry partners, while providing opportunities for university students to gain professional experience and contacts. Through student produced programs such as Inside MSU and Carpe Diem, campus and New Jersey citizens are kept informed of current events while students exercise what they’ve learned in the classroom.

Beyond these academic and production units, CART’s Office of Student Services, Office of Education and Community Outreach, and the John J. Cali School of Music Extension Division each extend further opportunities for community engagement. Programs include arts training and related programming for pre-college students and P-12 teachers, as well as academic support for enrolled students. Speaker programs such as Art Forum and Film Forum, offered by the academic units, round out the cultural offerings, while CART’s Creative Research Center provides a virtual haven for interdisciplinary/industry and international collaboration .

Departments and Schools

John J. Cali School of Music

School of Communication and Media

Department of Art and Design

Department of Theatre and Dance

Undergraduate Programs

Combined Degree Programs

Graduate Programs