School philosophy

Being a student-centered institution

Our commitment is to student-centered learning, innovative teaching, praxis, and community interaction. Our strength is the caliber of our faculty, our award-winning research and teaching and our vision for an integrated approach to the fine and performing arts.

An understanding of the relationship between practice and theory is at the heart of our programs. To that end historical, thematic and contextual approaches allow for a balanced and nuanced understanding of both traditional and contemporary trends in your chosen field.

Performance and studio-related activities are the very definition of student-centered learning where process, close interaction between instructor and student, and critical reflection go hand-in-hand. The products of these inspired encounters are often the focus of student critiques and at a more advanced level, a main stage production, a musical recital or a visual arts exhibition: the public face, in other words, of our collective learning and creativity.

The principle of interdisciplinary study is championed by our Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture where students follow a program of study unique to their interests. This includes special topics offered by the program (cSTAC) as well as cross-listed courses with all departments, film studies and the Centre for Canadian Studies. Enhanced by small-sized seminars and the dedication of some of our best teachers, this program of study is geared to the independent student who believes in the value of a multi-faceted undergraduate degree.

In addition to preparing students for careers in performance, drama, studio, arts management and cultural leadership, vital too are the inspirational roles that teachers and researchers play. Should teaching at all levels, community-related service (Applied Theatre) or graduate work be your passion, our advanced seminars, directed studies, thesis courses, co-op programs (Dramatic Arts), and excellent mentoring will each play a definitive role in helping you achieve these important goals and more.