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About the School

Winner of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award – South Carolina's highest award in the arts – the School of the Arts strives to be a pre-eminent center for the study, practice and management of the performing and creative arts. The School is made up of four departments, which include art and architectural history, music, studio art, and theatre and dance, as well as two stand-alone programs: arts management and historic preservation and community planning. We also offer a degree in Computing in the Arts, which is a collaborative program with the School of Science and Math. Our professors also participate in offering master's programs in arts management, historic preservation and community planning, an artist certificate program in music, a graduate certificate in arts management and a master of arts in teaching (choral music and theatre).

We offer a broad range of courses in these fields, as well as other educational and cultural experiences, including study abroad possibilities. Students in this school enjoy multiple opportunities to exhibit their work and talents. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, administered by the School of the Arts, serves as an extension of the undergraduate curricula at the College and as a cultural resource for the region. The Institute provides a direct experience with works of art in all media within an environment that fosters creativity, individuality, innovation and education.

Each semester, the School of the Arts presents an exciting array of musical events, plays, dance performances, lectures and gallery exhibits. [View a calendar of events.] And, in the summer, the school produces many events that are part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. In addition, many of our students are engaged as interns within the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Spoleto Festival USA.

What are you going to do with THAT degree?

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) is an online survey of alumni from more than 250 arts programs in a diverse set of institutions across the nation. The School of the Arts has participated in the SNAAP survey for several years, most recently in 2015. 

SNAAP has reviewed survey results to develop an understanding of the realities that students who study the arts face in the years after they graduate. One area of analysis focused on alumni evaluations of their arts training and its relevance to their current work: 

Among SNAAP respondents employed at the time they completed the survey, 64% of recent grads and 69% of prior graduates were in jobs they described as either “very relevant” or “relevant” to their educational training. These graduates compare favorably to graduates from other fields. The National Science  Foundation’s Survey of Recent College Graduates (2010) reveals that 53% of mechanical engineers, 56% of accounting majors, 58% of biology majors, and 3% of journalism majors work in jobs closely related to their fields of study.

SNAAP also has produced a video that addresses opportunities that await arts majors. Using humor to make serious points, it responds to the “What are you going to do with THAT degree” question. 

• Read a message from Dean Valerie B. Morris. 

• Join the Friends of the School of the Arts, an organization that promotes and supports the school's departments and programs, and assists students in their academic and artistic pursuits.

• Read the 2014-15 Annual Report or the 2013-14 Annual Report for the School of the Arts.

• View the School of the Arts' faculty/staff organizational chart.

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