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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.

B.A. in Music

The B.A. 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.

B.M. in Music

The B.M. in 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.

B.M.A. in Musical Arts

The B.M.A. in 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.

B.M.E. in Music Education

The B.M.E. in 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.
A discussion with students

B.A. in Theatre

The B.A. in Theatre inspires the next generation of theatre professionals to shape the future of the industry after experiencing an impactful education supported by endless artistic outlets.
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

School of Music choir performance.

M.A. in Music (+IUGs)

The M.A. 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..

M.Mus. in Music

The Master of Music program prepares students for professional careers as performers or composers, or for doctoral study. The program is both rewarding and rigorous, with internationally known faculty providing...
Graduate student conducting a performance.

M.M.E. in Music Education

The M.M.E. program is designed to provide candidates with (1) a deeper level of musical skill and understanding, (2) an increased knowledge and skill in the pedagogy of music teaching,...
A music education Ph.D. student teaching in front of a group of musicians with instruments.

Ph.D. 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.

D.M.A. in Musical Arts

This program is for individuals interested in continuing their studies in piano performance and music theory, history, and analysis in order to teach at the university level. Degree requirements include...
Scenic design from the play Argonautica.

M.F.A. in Theatre

The M.F.A in Theatre program is one of the most unique and well-respected theatre education programs in the country that consistently exists as a conduit to Broadway and beyond. Collaboration...

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State School of Music alumna Annie Burridge

Alumni Spotlight

Annie Burridge

B.M. in Music 2000

As general director and CEO of Austin Opera, Annie has led the development of a new strategic plan and launched an artistic initiative – Opera ATX – which brings groundbreaking artists to unexpected and unique venues throughout Austin. Before switching her focus to administration, Annie performed with numerous opera companies and orchestras, and was a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. In addition to her performance successes, Annie has received many leadership accolades.

Opera venue with grand piano on stage.
Two operatic performers dancing on a darkened, red-cast stage.

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

Located on the first floor of the Music Building, this 400-seat auditorium is the primary performance space for the School of Music’s solo and


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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
Palmer Museum Director Erin Coe
Dec 3

Insight: Museum Conversations - How Exhibitions Are Made

Zoom
Insight: Museum Conversations - How Exhibitions Are Made Thursday, December 3, 4:00 p.m. Link to join: https://psu.zoom.us/j/92103082947 Ever wonder about the process of curating an

Events

Go. Explore.

Bach's Lunch: Voice Jury Honors

CSED All Faith Chapel
Place holder image for Events
Dec 3

Voice Jury Honors "Bach's Lunch" is a weekly Thursday afternoon concert series during the school year, jointly sponsored by the School of Music and the


DMA Solo Recital Part II: Yera Kim, piano

Music I 121 Esber Rehearsal Hall
Place holder image for Events
Dec 4


Cabaret of Many Colors

Virtual Performance
A graphic with 'Cabaret' in bright lights and the words
Dec 4

Join us for a virtual "Cabaret of Many Colors," including musical theatre performances, solos songs, spoken word, and dance.


See All Events

News from A&A

C. Brian Williams to join Dec. 8 ‘Meeting the Moment’

Musician Michael Mwenso will continue his “Meeting the Moment” livestream series at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 by speaking with Step Afrika! executive director C. Brian Williams.

Musical artist and The Shakes leader Michael Mwenso will continue his “Meeting the Moment” livestream series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, by speaking with Step Afrika! executive director C.


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Despite pandemic challenges the show goes on in the School of Theatre

When preparing for theatre education in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, School of Theatre administration, faculty and staff leaned on science to set the stage.
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Center for the Performing Arts to host final ‘Front Row: National’ chamber music stream Nov. 19–23

The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State will conclude its run of “Front Row National,” the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s free online concert series Nov. 19–23.
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