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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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You want to perform!

It’s in our blood too! We dance. We act. We compose and practice and play. It’s about connecting with an audience, and setting the stage. The College of Arts and Architecture’s majors, minors, and graduate programs will prepare you to succeed in the limelight.


Undergraduate
Degrees

Theatre students performing a scene from Argonautica.

B.F.A. in Acting

The B.F.A. in Acting degree program trains the next generation of stars using a holistic educational approach that prepares performers for success on every stage.
ADRI Jenny Kenyon

B.A. in Integrative Arts

The B.A. in Integrative Arts offers the unique opportunity for students to work successfully as innovative and dynamic artists, designers, and performers in an increasingly interdisciplinary world.
School of Music Mosaic performance.

Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music fosters musical creativity and skill while immersing students in a diverse educational experience that informs artistic growth and explores the profound importance of music.
School of Music recital hall center stage.

Bachelor of Music

The Bachelor of Music prepares students for a professional career as a performer or composer by offering specialized training designed to develop musicianship and celebrate creativity.
School of Music student playing the marimba.

Bachelor of Musical Arts

The Bachelor of Musical Arts explores each student’s passion for music while offering endless cross-disciplinary opportunities to create a unique degree that prepares graduates for a professional career.
School of Music student teacher helping elementary students during rehearsal.

Bachelor of Music Education

The Bachelor of Music Education equips students with the tools to become music educators that profoundly impact the lives of elementary and secondary school children.
Musical Theatre students performing the halftime show at Beaver Stadium.

B.F.A. in Musical Theatre

The B.F.A. in Musical Theatre is a revered and intensive professional training program that prepares students to step into the spotlight on Broadway and beyond.
Photo of a female presenting student on a dark background

B.A. in Theatre

The B.A. in Theatre develops the cross-trained artist/scholar, with a focus on playwriting, performance devising, directing, and preparation for graduate study.
School of Theatre dress rehearsal of Argonautica.

B.F.A. in Theatre

With options in Stage Management and Theatre Design and Technology, the B.F.A. in Theatre trains the behind-the-scenes theatre professionals to produce a transformative theatrical experience by artistically engaging modern technology and skills.

Undergraduate
Minors + Certificates

A student presents her 3d model figurine concept to a panel of judges during the Arts Business Ideas Competition. Mimicking the look of her 3d model, she wears a pink ponytail wig and vibrant outfit.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Minor

Become a leader in the arts or design. Engage in a start-up venture. Leverage your art or craft. Create alliances. Meet social or business needs. Craft ideas and make art work.
Hundreds of red lanterns overhead in the Doseonsa temple in Seoul, South Korea.

International Arts Minor

Expand your perspective. Become a well-traveled citizen of the world. A minor in International Arts will provide a deeper understanding of how art and design permeate cultures around the world.
Music students in class singing in front of microphones.

Music Technology Minor

The Music Tech minor opens the study of musical acoustics, digital audio, sound design, and audio recording. You will apply domains of knowledge from your majors to the fields of audio production and digital technology.
School of Music vocalists performing on stage during the Mardi Gras Jazz Concert at the Recital Hall.

Music Studies Minor

Blend music theory, composition, or performance studies with your major. The Music Studies minor can refine and balance coursework and studies across varied majors.
Penn State School of Music MOSAIC vocal performance in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Music Performance Minor

A minor in Music Performance lays the foundation for you to integrate your love and knowledge of music into any career path.
Stage crew students adjusting sound and lighting for the production rehearsal of Violet, located in the Playhouse Theatre at Penn State University Park campus.

Theatre Minor

The Theatre minor is designed for personal enrichment or to enhance study particularly for students in the humanities, communication, and the arts.

Graduate
Degrees

manuscript

Master of Arts in Music (+Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Option)

The Master of Arts in Music offers three curricular tracks – Musicology, Music Theory, or Music Theory and History – as well as integrated undergrad/grad options.
School of Music orchestra performance showcasing a violinist..

Master of Music

Program Application Deadline Applications received and completed, including auditions and interviews, by February 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and graduate assistantship funding. To be assured full consideration,...
Graduate student conducting a performance.

Master of Music Education

Program Application Deadline Applications received and completed, including auditions and interviews, by February 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and graduate assistantship funding. To be assured full consideration,...
A music education Ph.D. student teaching in front of a group of musicians with instruments.

Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education

The Music Ed Ph.D. program, which offers advanced study of teaching and learning music from a research-based perspective, is aimed at individuals careers in higher ed and music administration.
School of Music piano soloist performance.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Program Application Deadline Applications received and completed, including auditions and interviews, by February 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and graduate assistantship funding. To be assured full consideration,...
Scenic design from the play Argonautica.

M.F.A. in Theatre

Program Application Deadline The deadline for applications for AY 2023–24 is January 15, 2023. To be assured full consideration, please apply by this deadline. Review individual program descriptions for details...

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State provided the specialized training required to succeed in my field in the “real world,” as well as a strong network of alumni to guide me once I got there.
Penn State alumna and events professional Carolyn Quinn wearing headset.

Alumni Spotlight

Carolyn Quinn

B.F.A. in Theatre 2016

Carolyn Quinn is an events professional based in New York City. She is currently a production coordinator at Sequence Events, a Global Top 50 Events Agency. Prior to Sequence, Carolyn spent time at Baseline Theatrical and in the general management office of Hamilton: An American Musical, as well as freelancing for high-profile corporate and non-profit events, new
theatrical works, and television and film, including working on the production team for the 71st Annual Tony Awards.

An overhead shot of the 2018 Global Forum hosted in the Oculus World Trade Center. Carolyn Quinn production managed the event with Sequence for the Wharton School of Business.

Venues Galore

World-class performance venues. Classic theatres. Practice and performance spaces. They are here!
See All Venues Galore
Pavillion Theatre stage crew assembling equipment on the floor for the production of the play Grand Hotel.
Pavillion Theatre stage crew assembling equipment on the floor for the production of the play Grand Hotel.

Eisenhower Auditorium

Eisenhower Auditorium, with a seating capacity of 2,500, is Penn State’s primary theatrical performance space. Opened in 1974 and later named for former University


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Pavillion Theatre stage crew assembling equipment on the floor for the production of the play Grand Hotel.

Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, built in 1915, is a key venue for the Penn State School of Theatre. Designed by architects Frank Miles Day and Charles


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Pavillion Theatre stage crew assembling equipment on the floor for the production of the play Grand Hotel.

Penn State Downtown Theatre

Finished in 2003, the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center is an intimate 152-seat theatre in the heart of downtown State College. The Penn State


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Pavillion Theatre stage crew assembling equipment on the floor for the production of the play Grand Hotel.

Playhouse Theatre

The Playhouse Theatre is a 383-seat proscenium-thrust theatre equipped with a dual level, moveable pit, full fly space, and advanced lighting and sound control


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Pavillion Theatre stage crew assembling equipment on the floor for the production of the play Grand Hotel.

Recital Hall

Hailed as an acoustically superb design, the new Recital Hall has quickly distinguished itself as one of the centerpieces for the arts at University


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In the spotlight...

With more than 400 performances per year, A&A students have a wealth of opportunities to shine.

Faculty Spotlight

Students around a piano, working alongside Simpkins and playwright Joe Iconis.
Students around a piano, working alongside Simpkins and playwright Joe Iconis.

John Simpkins

Head of Musical Theatre

John Simpkins is head of Musical Theatre and the Nagle Family Endowed Chair at Penn State. He is also a professional director who recently directed the world premiere of Tony-nominated Joe Iconis’ Love in Hate Nation, which was commissioned by Penn State Musical Theatre as part of its New Musicals Initiative.

His recent new musical credits include the World Premiere of Legendale (music by Andrea Daly, words by Jeff Bienstock) at Fredericia Teater in Denmark and the subsequent American Premiere at Human Race Theatre Company. Recent new plays include the World Premieres of Raging Skillet (by Jacques Lamarre) at Theaterworks Hartford, The Bus (by Jim Lantz) at 59E59 Theaters and For Better, For Worse (by Reed Arnold). Regionally, he has directed at Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Theatre Oklahoma, North Carolina Theatre, the Engeman Theatre, and Sharon Playhouse (where he also served as Artistic Director).

John Simpkins
Place holder image for Events
Sep 29

Bach’s Lunch – School of Music Voice Area Noontime Concert Lyric Diction Class

Pasquerilla/Eisenhower Chapel
Lyric Diction Class Voice students present a program focusing on English and Italian diction skills developed in class. "Bach's Lunch" is a weekly Thursday afternoon

Events

Go. Explore.

Chamber Orchestra

Music I 130 Recital Hall
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Oct 2

Venue: School of Music Recital Hall Admission Information: to be announcedAvailable Online: School of Music Media Program Information: to be announced COVID Disclaimer: Please review


Bach’s Lunch – School of Music Voice Area Noontime Concert 3rd- & 4th-Year Voice Students

Pasquerilla/Eisenhower Chapel
Place holder image for Events
Oct 6

3rd- & 4th-Year Voice Students Upper-level students in voice present a program of favorite songs and arias. "Bach's Lunch" is a weekly Thursday afternoon concert


Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Music I 130 Recital Hall
Place holder image for Events
Oct 7

Venue: School of Music Recital Hall Admission Information: to be announcedAvailable Online: School of Music Media Program Information: to be announced COVID Disclaimer: Please review


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News from A&A

Opera ‘A Marvelous Order’ to make world premiere Oct. 20 in Eisenhower Auditorium

In conjunction with the opera's debut, the Palmer Museum of Art will host an exhibit featuring a collection of the director’s “blueprint” cyanotypes created with the event.

In conjunction, Palmer Museum presents an exhibit of works by opera’s director   The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State will present the world premiere of the contemporary


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Soul Science Lab artists to talk empowerment with free virtual film, Q&A Oct. 4

“Creating Make a Joyful Noize” is a short film that blends music, spoken-word interviews and dance to capture the visceral, contagious and unapologetic energy of Black joy.
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School of Music to host ‘Queer Voices in Hip Hop’ lecture

The School of Music's Diversity in 3D Series welcomes Lauron Kehrer, assistant professor of ethnomusicology and musicology in the School of Music at Western Michigan.
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