College of Visual and Performing Arts
Phone: (703) 993-4551
Performing Arts Building, A407
"George Mason is deeply committed to the arts and to educating our students
about the significance the arts have in all our lives. This is why the arts are
integral to our institution. We encourage active student participation in the
many programs and related courses in the arts that are scheduled throughout the
year. Students are able to receive a more balanced education, develop a deeper
appreciation of the arts, and achieve a more enlightened perspective of the world."
Alan G. Merten
President, George Mason University
The College of Visual and Performing Arts was established to create an academic
environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines
and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Courses of study in
the college's four departments—Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music,
and Theater—are designed to lead to careers as creators, performers, teachers,
and scholars of the arts, as well as to prepare students for the challenges of
a rapidly changing world. In addition to providing strong programs for arts majors
and minors, the college strives to ensure that the entire George Mason University
student population has the opportunity to experience and study the arts as a key
component of a well-rounded liberal arts education.
Studying the arts goes hand in hand with creation and performance. The College
of Visual and Performing Arts provides the theaters, studios, rehearsal spaces,
computer laboratories, recital halls, and performance classrooms in which students
hone their skills. The college's faculty of practicing artist-teachers works closely
with students in a variety of curricular and co-curricular creative projects.
Once basic techniques are established, students are encouraged to stretch, grow,
and experiment within this supportive environment. Students regularly perform,
create, exhibit, and otherwise develop their art forms in a wide variety of public
venues, enhancing their experience as working artists while enriching the cultural
life of the George Mason community.
An education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished
visiting artists. The college is home to the Center for the Arts, which comprises
a variety of professional presenting and producing units that provide a diverse
program of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the entire university
community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area.
Artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform in the
Concert Hall, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies,
and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. The accessibility
and vitality of the Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Johnson Center Gallery, Harris
Theater, and other campus venues make the arts pervasive at George Mason University
and in our larger community.
William F. Reeder, Dean
Rick Davis, Associate Dean
Scott Martin, Assistant Dean of Technology and Advancement
Linda G. Miller, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Advancement
The College of Visual and Performing Arts houses four academic departments:
Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music, and Theater.
Each CVPA major features both strong academic preparation in the history and
theory of the art form and a wide range of discipline-based technique courses
offered by professional artist-teachers. Opportunities for creative work and performance
are at the core of most courses of study in the college.
Graduate Degree Programs
The college offers four master's degrees, including one masters of arts, one
master of music, and two masters of fine arts. The requirements for each degree
are described in the sections that follow.
Undergraduate Degree Programs
The undergraduate degree consists of course work in general education, course
work in a major area of study, and electives. The college offers four bachelor
of arts (B.A.) degrees, two bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degrees, and one bachelor
of music (B.M.) degree. To earn a bachelor's degree, students must complete a
minimum of 120 credits, of which at least 45 must be upper-level courses (numbered
300 and above). At least one course at the 300 or 400 level must be designated
"writing intensive." All entering students who have not yet satisfied
the university-wide requirement in quantitative reasoning are required to take
the math placement test prior to enrollment.
Students should consult the "Academic Polices" and "General
Education" chapters for information concerning university-wide requirements
for undergraduate degrees.
General Education Program
The baccalaureate degree requires students to take a range of courses which:
1. provide students with a broad knowledge of the world
2. develop the ability to think both conceptually and critically
3. acquaint students with many different methods of inquiry
4. provide students with the skills to continue intellectual
growth throughout their lives
Students select from a range of courses outlined in the section on general
education. Students accepted into the Honors Program in General Education fulfill
their core general education requirements with completion of that program of study.
The Mason Topics Program provides a way for students to register for two or more
complementary general education courses at the same time for four semesters. The
professors who teach in this program have coordinated readings and assignments.
The college sponsors some courses that transcend individual disciplines. These
courses are administered by the Dean's Office and are designated CVPA in the "Course
Descriptions" chapter of this catalog.