Academics

Mission of the Performing Arts Department

The Department of Performing Arts—music, theatre arts, and dance—offers students the opportunity to acquire skills essential to many career paths. Our mission is to prepare our students to learn, communicate, critically analyze, interpret, empathize, and be inquisitive throughout their lives, and we strive to facilitate artistic creativity, confidence, spontaneity, and teamwork skills. We implement our mission in music through professional and artistic instruction preparing students for advanced professional training, music teaching, graduate study, or myriad music-related careers. Our theatre program provides the knowledge, ability, and experience for undergraduates to pursue further study or training, to enter the expanding world of regional and national theatre, to teach and direct theatre in schools, or to become active members of the theatre community. We implement our mission in dance through peer-collaboration, performance, and experience with a wide variety of artistic styles. Our classes, activities, concerts, stage productions, recitals, workshops, master classes, and field trips facilitate our students’ connections to the wider world while emphasizing the necessary role that the arts play in our daily lives. As a result, we foster in our students a passion for and recognition of the arts as a necessary element of the human condition. Students who approach their respective personal, academic, and professional lives with this understanding become more successful in all three areas, and perhaps more importantly, they become better citizens—locally and globally.

The Performing Arts Department celebrates the diverse student body at UMass Boston and provides an outlet in which students of diverse backgrounds can thrive academically and socially. Our students, faculty, and curricula echo the university’s mission of diversity, inclusion, and urban and global engagement. Our students hail from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, countries of origin, ability levels in the arts, ages, educational backgrounds, and linguistic abilities, and frequently juggle the rigors of academic study with outside employment and familial responsibilities. We actively engage the community through a variety of internships, school visitations, student teaching practica, and partnerships. Our music education program is in the process of honing its area of specialization in urban music education, which addresses the specific needs of the K-12 curriculum in urban centers like, but certainly not limited to, Boston.

The department parallel’s the university’s research mission with faculty and students who actively participate in the professional world, contributing much to the creation, dissemination, and understanding of knowledge. Our faculty are recognized nationally and internationally for their work and have garnered the respect of their peers across the United States and abroad. Our faculty’s exceptional commitment to ongoing professional and creative activity is a hallmark of our program and provides our students with opportunities to engage the academic world on a professional level. Our undergraduates frequently present papers at academic conferences, rank highly in national competitions, and perform alongside their faculty mentors in a variety of performance contexts.