Nov 30, 2023  
2020-2021 University Catalog 
2020-2021 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

About the University of the Arts

The University of the Arts; 320 South Broad Street; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102; 1.800.616.ARTS


Accreditation & Agreements

The University of the Arts is authorized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant degrees in the visual, performing, and related arts.

The University of the Arts is accredited by:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
    3624 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    (267) 284-5000
  • National Association of the Schools of Art and Design
  • National Association of Schools of Music

The University of the Arts has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.



President David Yager
Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol Graney
Vice President for Academic Operations Rick Longo
Vice President for Advancement Andrew Pack
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Rick Longo
Vice President of Finance and Administration Stephen J. Lightcap
Dean, School of Art Mara Scupe
Dean, School of Critical & Professional Studies Erin Elman
Dean, School of Dance Donna Faye Burchfield
Dean, School of Design Mark Tocchet
Dean, School of Film Wendy Weinberg
Dean, School of Music Micah Jones
Dean, School of Theater David Howey
Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness Deborah Duffy
Registrar Jeffrey Kisler
Associate Vice President for Human Resources Christine Schaeffer
Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Chief of Staff Shelton Walker
Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management and Operations Desire DeLuca
Assistant Vice President for Academic Support Services Maria de Santis
Assistant Vice President for Student Services Sara Kupferer
Assistant Vice President for Admissions Heeseung Lee
Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services Mariann Cardonick
Assistant Vice President of Finance and Controller Chuck Avner
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Marketing Maria Raha

Board of Trustees

Chairman: Jeffrey A. Lutsky

President and CEO:  David Yager

Trustees: Judson A. Aaron ‘81, Joe Aristone, Ralph Citino, Eleanor L. Davis, Deanna S. DeCherney ‘66, Brian Effron (Vice Chairman), Patricia Fowler, William R. Gast ‘68 (Secretary), Travis Gaylord, Amy H. Goldman, Peter Haas, Nathaniel P. Hamilton, Jr. ‘07, Bruce Kardon (Treasurer), Seth Lehr, Elaine C. Levitt, Robert G. Little ‘81, Karen Lotman, Dr. Noel Mayo ‘60, Thomas M. Miles ‘75, Ronald Naples, Adolf A. Paier, Lawrence S. Reichlin, Ebonne Ruffins, Mark Samuels, Carole Shanis, Stephen Sypherd, Raj Tewari, Laurie Wagman, Harriet G. Weiss

Life Trustees: Ira Brind, Sam S. McKeel

Faculty Representative: Karl Staven, Fadi Skeiker

Core Values

Integrity and Diversity 
We are a supportive community committed to individual and artistic integrity and inclusion. We promote and respect self-expression, a wide range of ideas, and diversity in all its forms.

Excellence, Creativity and Passion 
With a focus on excellence, we inspire, challenge and support the unconventional thinkers, dreamers and doers who are passionate about using their creative works to impact society.

Connections and Collaboration 
We connect design and the performing, visual, communication and liberal arts in the classroom and the community, expanding artistic possibilities, outcomes and lives through creative collaboration.


Trustees Emeriti: George A. Beach ‘58, Mary Louise Beitzel ‘51, Sondra Myers, Albert E.Wolf

President Emeritus: Peter Solmssen

Director Emerita: Susan Glazer

Professor Emeriti: Terry Applebaum, Larry Bach, Jay Baker, Jane Bedno, Charles Burnette, Donald Chittum, Sharon Church, William Daley (University Distinguished Professor), John DeWitt, Inge Druckrey, Richard Felton, Alida Fish, Nancy Heller, Kenneth Hiebert (Honorary D.F.A. – 2013), J. David Howey, Jeanne Jaffe, Steven Jay, Elsa Johnson, Lois Johnson, David Kettner, Richard Lawn, Rod McCormick, Gerald Nichols, Barry Parker, Tom Porett, Peter Rose, Michael Rossman, Mara Scrupe, Warren Seelig, Patty Smith, Evan Solot, Peter Stambler, Robert Stein, Richard Stetser, Barb Suplee, Stephen Tarantal, Susan Viguers

Associate Professor Emeriti: Peter Bertini, Richard Farnum, Johnnie Hobbs, Jr., Nancy Kantra, Niles Lewandowski, Larry Mitnick, Carol Moore, Andrew Pap, Mary Phelan, Fabian Ulitsky, Diane Walsh

Office of Student Financial Services

Mariann Cardonick, Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services
(215) 717-6187

Hamilton Hall, Room 270
(P) (215) 717-6170

See the university directory for staff list.

The University of the Arts offers a variety of financial aid and educational financing programs to assist students in meeting their educational goals. Aid may be offered in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and/or employment and is funded through federal, state, institutional, and/or private organizations. Over eighty percent of the University’s students enrolled on a full-time basis are eligible for some type of need-based aid. All students are encouraged to apply.

Office of the Registrar

Jeffrey Kisler, Registrar
(215) 717-6420

Hamilton Hall, Room 320
(P) (215) 717-6420
(F) (215) 717-6417

See the university directory for staff list.

The Office of the Registrar provides academic and enrollment services in support of the University of the Arts’ diverse academic community, University strategic plan, and mission statement. 

We maintain accurate student academic records in compliance with current policies and laws, provide services ,and support to the UArts community related to:

  • academic standing
  • certification of enrollment and degrees awarded
  • classroom assignment 
  • course information
  • curriculum management
  • event scheduling
  • degree progress
  • grading
  • graduation
  • protection and release of academic record
  • registration
  • transcripts
  • transfer credit
  • university catalogue
  • veteran benefit certification

Graduation Completion Rate

Federal legislation relating to student consumer rights requires all institutions participating in federal student assistance programs to compile and publish completion and graduation rates. The information-gathering requirements are contained in legislation known as the Student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Act as amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991. Title I of the Act requires institutions to annually disclose completion and graduation rates of full-time certificate or degree-seeking undergraduate students to current and prospective students.

The University of the Arts is pleased to provide the following information regarding our institution’s graduation/completion rates. These rates reflect the graduation/completion status of students who enrolled during the 2012-13 school year and for whom 150 percent of the normal time-to-completion has elapsed.  Transfer-out rates are not reported because the University’s mission does not include providing substantial and specific preparation for students to transfer to other institutions.

During the fall semester of 2012, 414 first-time, full-time certificate or degree-seeking undergraduate students entered UArts. 62% of these students graduated within 150% (six years) of “normal time” to complete the program in which they were enrolled.

Many factors should be taken into consideration when reviewing graduation rates. It is important to recognize that students withdraw from university for various reasons - academic, medical, employment opportunities, personal, social, and financial issues are among those reasons.

History of the University of the Arts

The University of the Arts we celebrate today evolved from two century-old institutions: the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA) and Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (PCPA).

PCA was established in 1876 as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Together, they were originally known as the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, created in response to the growing interest in art and art education stirred by the country’s Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. In 1949 PCA changed its name to the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, reflecting expanded programs that trained artists in a variety of areas. The school received accreditation as a college in 1959 and, in 1964, separated from the Museum to become the Philadelphia College of Art.

The performing arts programs of the University of the Arts date back to 1870, when three graduates of Germany’s Leipzig Conservatory opened the Philadelphia Musical Academy, one of the first European-style conservatories of music in America. The Academy became an independent college of music in 1950, one of only eight institutions in the nation to offer four-year Bachelor of Music degrees. In 1962 the Philadelphia Musical Academy merged with the Philadelphia Conservatory  of Music  (founded 1877) and continued under the academy name. The school changed its name to the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (PCPA) in 1976. One year later, the Philadelphia Dance Academy became part of PCPA and, in 1983, the School of Theater was created, achieving the college’s ideal combination of dance, music, and theater arts.

In 1985 PCA and PCPA merged to become the Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts, a collaboration bringing the institution one step closer to becoming the nation’s first comprehensive arts university. After being granted university status in 1987, the University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, and theater. In 1996 the University established the College of Media and Communication, offering degrees in Communication, Writing for Film and Television, and Multimedia.

The College of Art, Media and Design was formed in 2011 by joining the College of Art and Design and the College of Media and Communication.

In Fall 2018 an academic reorganization was undertaken in order to better serve the students. Using the successful “school” model of administration in College of the Performing Arts, Uarts’ colleges were dissolved and reorganized into schools reflecting majors and curriculum, going into effect for the Fall 2019 academic year. 

Our Mission

T O   A D V A N C E   H U M A N   C R E A T I V I T Y

The University of the Arts is dedicated to advancing human creativity in an increasingly complex and technology- driven world. We believe creativity is the true catalyst for social and economic change and the most essential skill for success in today’s society. We deliver a diverse curriculum, grounded in critical inquiry and creative practice, which enables students to both explore and transcend different artistic disciplines. We are committed to being the place of choice for thinkers, doers and dreamers—a constantly evolving university devoted to the art and science of creativity for a better world.

Student Assistance General Provisions Report

In accordance with the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, The University of the Arts has available, upon request, information regarding academic programs, financial assistance, and institutional policies and statistics. This information may be found in the University catalogue. Public Safety publishes an annual report on the University’s security policies and crime statistics, that is available to all current and prospective students and employees.

The report includes the following:

  • Accreditation
  • Current degree programs including related facilities and faculty
  • Tuition, fees, and other estimated expenses
  • Withdrawal and refund policies
  • Description of financial aid programs, including eligibility, award criteria, and application procedures, as well as students’ rights and responsibilities upon receiving financial assistance (such as continued eligibility, exit counseling, and options for payment deferral)
  • Requirements for the return of Title IV grant or loan assistance
  • Services available for students with disabilities
  • Graduation rate

To request a copy of the report:

  • Contact the Office of the Provost at