School of the Arts (Liberal Arts & Sciences)
About the School of the Arts
The School of the Arts is home to four departments: dance, film and media studies, theatre, and visual art. It is housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the broadest and most diverse academic unit on campus.
Students in the School of the Arts create, perform, and interpret works of art that contribute to our culture and history. As part of the College, students have access to ideas across the spectrum of arts, humanities, sciences and mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, and international studies. This partnership offers fresh possibilities for collaboration, paving the way for innovations and ideas.
- Bachelor of Art Education
- Bachelor of Arts in Dance
- Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
- Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in History of Art
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art
- Bachelor of General Studies in Film and Media Studies
- Bachelor of General Studies in Theatre
- Master of Arts in Film and Media Studies
- Master of Arts in Theatre Studies
- Master of Arts in Visual Art Education
- Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Design — Scenography
- Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art (Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Expanded Media, Fibers, Metalsmithing and Jewelry, Printmaking, Sculpture)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Film and Media Studies
- Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre Studies
- Online application
- Application fee: $30
- Requirements, processes, and deadlines for admission differ for each degree. Visit the School of the Arts website.
Financial aid and scholarships
Scholarships and other support
Departments in the school award scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students each year. Teaching and research assistantships are also awarded to graduate students on a competitive basis.
Information on university scholarships, grants, loans, and other financial support is available from
KU has excellent venues for performance and exhibition on campus. The Crafton-Preyer Theatre, a large proscenium theatre, seats 1,181, and the William Inge Memorial Theatre, a black box theatre, has flexible seating for about 120. The Department of Film and Media Studies is housed in Oldfather Studios, a fully equipped film and video production facility where students learn and develop their art and craft. The 130,000-square-foot Art and Design Building houses classrooms and studios for painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, weaving, and metalsmithing/jewelry and a faculty/student exhibition gallery. Dance students practice and rehearse in three large studios with basketweave floors. They perform in the Elizabeth Sherbon Theatre, a black box theatre that seats 125, and the Lied Center, a 2,020-seat auditorium for musical, dance, and theatrical performances, lectures, and symposia.
Members of the faculty of the School of the Arts hold advanced degrees from the leading programs in the world, and they are actively engaged in their professions. The internationally renowned artists and scholars in the School of the Arts prepare well-rounded students for the rigors and challenges of professional arts careers as well as for further academic study.
Our alumni are recognized as leaders in the arts throughout the world. Alumni have won major arts awards, including Guggenheim, Emmy, Tony, and MacArthur “Genius” honors. Their achievements can be seen on the stage and screen and behind the scenes. Many own galleries, theatre production companies, dance companies, and film production companies. They form a broad, close-knit, and helpful network of connections for graduates.
KU students in the School of the Arts have many opportunities to share their talents. The University Dance Company performs two concerts each year, many of which are choreographed by dance luminaries. Film students create and show their productions at film festivals internationally. In visual art, students are involved in creative activities from the first year and exhibit their works regionally. Theatre students can be involved in multiple productions each year with acclaimed actors and directors. These pursuits provide students with the experience necessary for professional careers in the arts.
The University of Kansas is a major educational and research institution with 29,000 students and 2,400 faculty members. KU includes the main campus in Lawrence, the Medical Center in Kansas City, the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, campuses of the School of Medicine in Wichita and Salina, and educational and research facilities throughout the state.
The university has 58 nationally ranked programs and earns excellent ratings in the top college guides. For more than a decade, the Fiske Guide to Colleges has awarded KU four-star ratings in all categories — academics, quality of living, and social life.
KU is a major comprehensive research and teaching university that serves as a center for learning, scholarship, and creative endeavor. KU is the only Kansas Board of Regents university to hold membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, a select group of 62 public and private research universities that represents excellence in graduate and professional education and the highest achievements in research internationally.