Jul 15, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 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



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.

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.

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 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 Advancement Andrew Pack
Vice President of Finance and Administration Stephen J. Lightcap
Dean, Graduate & Professional Studies Erin Elman
Interim Dean, School of Art Mark Tocchet
Dean, School of Dance Donna Faye Burchfield
Dean, School of Design Mark Tocchet
Interim Dean, School of Film Susan Skoog
Dean, School of Music Kevin Haden
Interim Dean, School of Theater Kikau Alvaro
Chief of Staff Franklyn Cantor
Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness Deborah Duffy
Interim Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Stephen Cirino​
Registrar Jeffrey Kisler
Associate Vice President for Human Resources Christine Schaeffer
Associate Vice President for Information Technology Leonard Lipkin
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Pyle
Assistant Vice President for Admissions Angela Jones O’Brien
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Marketing Maria Raha
Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management and Operations Desire DeLuca
Assistant Vice President of Finance and Controller Chuck Avner
Assistant Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Government Affairs TBD
Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services Mariann Cardonick

Board of Trustees

Chairman: Judson A. Aaron ‘81

President and CEO:  David Yager

Trustees: 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, Karen Lotman, Dr. Noel Mayo ‘60, Ronald Naples, Adolf A. Paier, Lawrence S. Reichlin, Ebonne Ruffins, Stephen Sypherd, Raj Tewari, Laurie Wagman, Harriet G. Weiss, Kenneth Wong

Life Trustees: Ira Brind, Sam S. McKeel

Faculty Representative: Karl Staven, Katie Swords Thurman


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, Charles Gilbert, David Graham, Nancy Heller, Kenneth Hiebert (Honorary D.F.A. – 2013), J. David Howey, Jeanne Jaffe, Steven Jay, Elsa Johnson, Lois Johnson, Ronald Kerber, David Kettner, Richard Lawn, James Makins, 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

Graduation 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 2016-17 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 2016, 404 first-time, full-time certificate or degree-seeking undergraduate students entered UArts. 68% 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. 

Student Consumer Information

University of the Arts is committed to providing consumers (students, parents, counselors, researchers, legislators and the general public) with easy-to-access information that can be used in making informed decisions about higher education. This Student Consumer Information page serves as a central guide to sources of consumer information and disclosures required under the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Office of Admission

Angela Jones-OBrien, Assistant Vice President for Admissions

Office of Admissions, Hamilton Hall Room 170
Admission Website

Admission requirements and procedures are designed to help the University select those best qualified to benefit from the educational opportunities at the University of the Arts. The University prefers applicants who express themselves through visual images, the written word, and performance; who demonstrate intellectual abilities through their academic record; who wish to increase their awareness of themselves and their world; who address their environment in a positive, individualistic manner; and who bring energy, concern, and humor to their inquiry. The University values diversity, liveliness, thoughtfulness, and curiosity, and seeks in its students a broad range of intellectual, artistic, extracurricular, and personal energies. Admission is offered without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, age, or disability. Each applicant is considered individually, and the Assistant Vice President for Admissions may make an exception to any requirement.

Admission to the University is based on both academic performance and artistic development. Each school at the University of the Arts has special admission criteria related to its courses of study. The Admissions Committee examines every applicant’s academic record for evidence of rigorous, scholarly preparation. In addition, each school at the University has separate requirements for evaluating a candidate’s artistic progress. Entrance to the school of art, design or film requires the candidate to present a portfolio of their work and/or writing samples. The schools of dance, music and theater require students to pass an audition, portfolio review or interview in their specific discipline. The portfolio, audition, and interview requirements are specific to each program; interested applicants should refer to the portfolio and audition requirements or contact the Admissions Office for a full explanation of the University’s expectations.

Admission to the University is based upon a combination of factors. Candidates for admission must assume responsibility for all of the admission requirements when submitting an application and realize that the Admissions Committee will base its decision on the sum total of these factors.

Office of Student Financial Services

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

Hamilton Hall, Room 270
(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

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 records
  • registration
  • transcripts
  • transfer credit
  • university catalog
  • veteran benefit certification

Office of Technology & Information Services

Mira Sophia Adornetto, Director of Support Services

Kevin Brennan, Director of Infrastructure Services

Adam Carrigan, Director of Media Resources

OTIS Help Desk, Terra Hall Room 802
215-717-OOPS (6677)

OTIS provides the University community with academic and administrative technology and support of digital technologies used in the creative process. The departments of Support and Print Services, Information Services, Infrastructure Services, and Media Resources work together to ensure students, faculty, and staff have the resources necessary to incorporate various computing tools into the daily routine of campus life and study.

OTIS Support and Print Services is dedicated to supporting technology in both the academic and administrative departments within the university. It is the link between the other OTIS departments and the campus community. This is the department responsible for the set-up, maintenance, and upkeep of the 17 computer labs and 49 studios and suites, all of which are equipped with industry standard hardware and software. In addition, OTIS Support and Print Services facilitates the installation of software onto students’ Mac laptops to enable the use of the University’s extensive application library, even when off campus. To access OTIS Support and Print Services come to the walk-up Service Center, located in Terra Hall room 802, e-mail helpdesk@uarts.edu, or call 215-717-6677(OOPS). Technicians are available throughout the day to assist with e-mail access, password issues, Internet problems, hardware concerns, printing issues and any number of other questions and/or problems. For supplemental application training the University has partnered with lynda.com, an extensive online tutorial library accessed through the campus portal at lynda.uarts.edu. For more information on technology at UArts, visit our Help Desk Technology Orientation site.

OTIS Support and Print Services also offers a unified resource for the University’s printing needs. It oversees and manages the copier/printer fleet throughout the campus, handling the Xerox service management and assistance. It monitors the print management system that gives students an annual $25.00 print allowance to cover most printing and copying needs. OTIS Support and Print Services includes two Imaging Labs, one each in Terra and in Anderson, with several print options through ink-jet, laser printing, vinyl lettering, and laser cutting.

Media Resources provides an array of digital equipment for checkout in support of various academic programs - photography, film and animation - as well as equipment made available to the entire campus community.

Information Services provides resources to support collaboration and learning through the University’s information systems supporting the UArts Portal, MyUArts Record, and Digication–the learning management system. In addition, Information Services manages the University’s institutional database (Ellucian Colleague) and web services.

Infrastructure Services manages the University’s infrastructure, comprised of a gigabit fiber backbone, internet bandwidth in excess of 1000 Mbps, email, and telephone services throughout the campus. Infrastructure Services is responsible for network security and server management as well as hardwired and wireless port access to the network.

University Libraries

Josh Roberts, Director of University Libraries

The University Libraries are central to the educational mission of the University, enabling and enriching every student’s professional preparation, creative practice, and general education. Through the services the library staff provides, and through the materials it collects or to which it provides access, the University Libraries seek to enhance teaching and improve learning, and to educate students in the arts to be effective researchers and critical users of information.

Reference assistance and course reserves are available at each library location and electronically. Electronic reference service is available via instant messaging on the Libraries’ website by selecting “need help? chat live with library staff” as well as by email and video conference. Other information services such as interlibrary loan, virtual and in-person class instruction in research techniques and library use, and advanced electronic research capabilities are also provided. The Libraries also provide training, faculty development, and administrative support for Canvas, the University’s learning management system.

News about services and collections can be found on the Libraries website and on the UArts Libraries’ social media.


Information about the Libraries’ collections is available through an online catalog. The Libraries hold extensive collections in the visual and performing arts, as well as general topics. Their collections of artist monographs and exhibition catalogs, musical scores, and book arts are particularly strong. In addition to books and periodicals, the physical library also has large collections of music on LP and films on DVD and BluRay. Online, through the Libraries’ website, the UArts community has access to hundreds of thousands of full-text ebooks, plus online journals, newspapers, magazines, reference sources, and streaming video. To access the electronic resources, see Online Resources on the library’s website. OneSearch, the library’s main search tool, searches most of our online resources and physical collections. 

The Libraries develop and provide access to UArts Digital Collections, a repository for materials documenting UArts history, publications, student work, and campus events. This growing collection also includes materials from the Libraries’ special collections and the University Archives.

Albert M. Greenfield Library

Anderson Hall First Floor

The Albert M. Greenfield Library, on the first floor of Anderson Hall (333 South Broad Street), serves as the main library for the campus, containing materials in many formats on art and design, music, dance, theater, film and television, multimedia, liberal arts, and other general subjects. The library’s collections are especially strong in sheet music, exhibition catalogs, and artist’s monographs. A student space, called the Library Loft, is available on the mezzanine level of Anderson, which overlooks the library and is available whenever Anderson Hall is open. Students use this for private study, group study, for taking virtual classes, to play games, or lounge.

Visual Resources and Special Collections

Anderson Hall Mezzanine

Visual Resources and Special Collections (VRSC), provides imaging resources for teaching and study, and houses the Libraries’ Special Collections that have particular strengths in rare books, book arts, and zines.The VRSC provides space in which to use these collections, as most of these materials need to remain in the library. 

Visual Resources and Special Collections staff also oversee the University Archives, which contain materials documenting the history of UArts and its predecessor institutions, back to our founding in 1876. Please feel free to contact them with any questions regarding UArts history.