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College of Fine Arts

Dan J. Martin, Dean (CFA 100)
Eric Anderson, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Governance (MM 110)
Franco Sciannameo, Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Initiatives (Solar Decathlon House)
http://www.cfa.cmu.edu

Departments:

Overview

The College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1905 as the first comprehensive arts learning institution in the United States. For over 105 years it has educated outstanding artists, architects, designers, theater artists and musicians who have made important contributions to culture in the United States and the world. The alumni of the College of Fine Arts have shaped the worlds of television, stage, film, and electronic media; are collected in numerous international museums; have composed for and are performing in and conducting major symphony orchestras, choruses and opera companies throughout the world; have built notable buildings, pioneered innovative sustainable design strategies and created interactive software systems; created significant innovations in graphic and industrial design; and are professors and deans in major arts institutions.

The College of Fine Arts concentrates on the education of professionals in the arts in the broader context of Carnegie Mellon University. Beyond their education in their chosen field, through required and elective course work, students are involved with other disciplines within the College of Fine Arts and within the other colleges of Carnegie Mellon University. Further, the College's location in the Oakland District of Pittsburgh with its broad cultural resources (The Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Carnegie Library, the University of Pittsburgh, The Hillman Library, the Frick Fine Arts Building, and Phipps Botanical Conservatory) places the College of Fine Arts at the center of a premier cultural environment.

The College of Fine Arts has a 9:1 student faculty ratio which provides a rigorous learning environment. It is a highly spirited federation of schools (Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music) made up of students and faculty who have an intense need to create and excel. Interacting among the schools, the University and the wider community are research centers such as the Frank-Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry, the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics and the Center for Arts in Society. The intellectual and artistic life of the College is interwoven with a dense calendar of theater performances, concerts, exhibitions, film and media presentations and lectures by visiting artists, practitioners and scholars.

The College of Fine Arts offers a wide range of professionally oriented majors and minors in each of its schools. In addition, the College offers the Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), jointly with the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), jointly with the Mellon College of Science, the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA), jointly with the School of Computer Science, and the Master of Arts Management (MAM) and Master of Entertainment Industry Management (MEIM), jointly with the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management. These are presented only briefly below, but a complete listing of the graduation requirements for these programs may be found in the school descriptions later in this section and elsewhere in this volume.

Architecture Office: CFA 201

The School of Architecture offers a five-year NAAB accredited Bachelor of Architecture undergraduate degree for students who seek professional careers in architectural practice. Beyond standard preparation in architectural design, history and representation, its curriculum stresses the centrality of aesthetics, scientific knowledge and tectonic resolution in the education of future practicing professionals. A core of university course work in mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, writing and history is prerequisite to sequences in design, building and environmental technology, and architectural history. The school offers M.S. degrees in Architecture; Architecture, Engineering & Construction Management; Building Performance and Diagnostics; Computational Design; and Sustainable Design. In addition, the School offers a Masters of Urban Design and a Masters of Tangible Interaction Design. The School of Architecture has a well-known architectural Ph.D. program that provides qualified students with the opportunity to continue their studies in the areas of specialization for which the School is recognized.

Art Office: CFA 300

The primary mission of the School of Art is to develop in the individual student the skills, knowledge, and commitment required to work as an artist in society. The four-year undergraduate program leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art. Concentrations within the art major are offered in four areas: 1) Painting, Drawing, Print Media and Photography; 2) Electronic and Time-Based Work; 3) Sculpture, Installation, and Site Work; and 4) Contextual Practice. A Master of Fine Arts degree in Art is also offered.

Design Office: MM 110

The School of Design combines its professional program with a sound education in the liberal arts, leading to careers in many fields of design. It offers the following degrees: B.F.A. in Communication Design; B.F.A. in Industrial Design; Master of Design in Interaction Design; Master of Design in Communication Planning and Information Design (a joint degree with the Department of English); and Master of Product Development (a joint degree with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Tepper School of Business).

Drama Office: PCA 220

The School of Drama offers a highly focused, world-class theatre education with thorough preparation for sustained careers and innovation in today's widely-varied entertainment industries. The undergraduate programs lead to BFA degrees in Drama, with focuses in Acting, Music Theatre, Directing, Dramaturgy, Design, Production Technology and Management; MFA programs are offered in Scene, Costume, Sound, and Lighting Design; Directing; Dramatic Writing; and Production Technology and Management.

Music Office: CFA 105

The School of Music has as its goal the preparation of musicians for careers in performance, composition, music technology, conducting and teaching. The programs provide the opportunity to study with world-class artists utilizing the best aspects of conservatory training in the context of a major research university, combining the educational with the intensely professional. Undergraduate degrees are offered in Music Composition, Music Performance, and Music and Technology (a joint degree with the School of Computer Science and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department) with minors in Collaborative Piano, Conducting, Music Education, Music Performance, and Music Technology available. The Master of Music is offered in Composition, Performance, Conducting, Music Education, and Music and Technology (a joint degree with Computer Science and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department).

 

BXA Intercollege Degree Program

Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA)

M. Stephanie Murray, Director & Academic Advisor
Location: Solar Decathlon House

www.cmu.edu/interdisciplinary

The Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA) is a four-year intercollege degree-granting program designed for students interested in blending studies in the College of Fine Arts and the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The BHA degree combines a General Education requirement, a concentration of courses in the College of Fine Arts, a concentration of courses in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and free electives. Please refer to Intercollege Programs in this catalog for details.

The Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA) is a four-year intercollege degree-granting program designed for students interested in combining studies in the College of Fine Arts and the Mellon College of Science. It combines General Core requirements, a concentration of courses in the College of Fine Arts, a concentration of courses in the Mellon College of Science, and free electives. Please refer to Intercollege Programs in this catalog for details.

The Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) is a four-year intercollege degree-granting program designed for students interested in pursuing fields that comprehensively meld technology and the arts through courses offered in the College of Fine Arts and the School of Computer Science. It combines General Core requirements, a concentration of courses in the College of Fine Arts, a concentration of courses in the School of Computer Science, and free electives. Please refer to Intercollege Programs in this catalog for details.

 

The Master of Arts Management Program 

1116 Hamburg Hall

The search for both increased support and larger audiences has intensified over the last decade and now, more than ever, arts organizations seek skilled managers. To meet this need, the College of Fine Arts and the Heinz College jointly developed the Master of Arts Management (MAM) Program to provide strong leadership in theater companies, dance companies, orchestras, opera companies, and visual arts organizations. In addition to the traditional two-year graduate degree structure, the Master of Arts Management Program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to complete the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts Management degrees within a period of five years through the Heinz College's Accelerated Masters Program (AMP). MAM Program alumni can be found managing music and arts service organizations; marketing orchestras, theaters and dance companies; fund-raising for museums, opera companies, ballet companies and public television stations; and managing the finances of university arts departments and private businesses working in the arts and entertainment industry.

 

Student Defined Majors in the College of Fine Arts

To apply for a Student Defined Major in the College of Fine Arts, one:

  1. Must be a student in good standing in the University and have completed at least one semester successfully.
  2. Must have a cumulative QPA of 2.75 or better. A student whose QPA is under 2.75 may still submit a proposal. If the proposal is accepted by the Associate Deans, the student must apply for transitional status for the following semester and will have 1 semester to improve his or her QPA to the 2.75 minimum. If the student is not successful in raising the QPA to the 2.75 minimum, he or she may lose the affiliation with the current home department in the College of Fine Arts. If this happens the student must either be re-admitted back into the old program or seek admittance into another department or college.
  3. Must have a statement of purpose that explains how and why the proposed course of study will be the best way for the student to receive an education and degree from Carnegie Mellon. This statement should detail the academic backbone of the program and project possible career paths after graduation.
  4. Must outline the proposed courses to be taken and the semester in which they might be taken.
  5. Must have a faculty mentor in the College of Fine Arts who has agreed to mentor the student through the completion of the degree. This mentor should be from the school where the student is taking the majority of his or her courses, and be approved by the Associate Deans.
  6. Once the proposal has been submitted to the Associate Deans and they have reviewed it, the student will be required to go to the academic advisors in the school/schools where he or she will be taking courses and have them sign-off on the courses which are specific to their schools. Once the student has obtained all the necessary signatures, the completed proposal should be returned to CFA 100 for final review and approval by the Associate Deans.

All signed documentation should be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Fine Arts, CFA 100, by May 1 to be effective in the fall semester, and by October 1 to be effective in the spring semester. The proposal will be considered by the Associate Deans of the College, in consultation with the appropriate School Heads and Academic Advisors. Proposals that come in after these dates will be considered, but may not be able to be processed until the following semester. In that case, the student has the option to become a transitional student for a semester.

Under most circumstances the degree conferred at graduation will be a Bachelor of Arts. To continue in the program a student must show academic progress toward the degree. The academic actions of the College will apply to all student-defined majors. The Office of the Dean, in consultation with the faculty mentor and academic advisor, will determine certification of the degree.

 

Student Organizations

Professional and honorary societies for students in the College of Fine Arts are the American Institute of Architects, Tau Sigma (honorary for students in architecture), Alpha Rho Chi (architectural award for leadership), the Design League, American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (music fraternity for men), Sigma Alpha Iota (music sorority for women), Pi Kappa Lambda (honorary for students in music) and the Music Educators' National Conference.

 

Academic Standards

Grading Practices

Grades given to record academic performance in the College of Fine Arts are detailed in the catalog section entitled "Undergraduate Academic Regulations." All courses taught by the schools in the College of Fine Arts follow the standard letter grade system of the university. Responsibility for the grade given the student rests entirely with the instructor and the school concerned. A permanent grade may not be raised by taking a second examination. Students who wish to repeat a course already passed must obtain approval from the Dean of the College. At the time of approval, the Dean will decide in the light of circumstances whether the new grade or the old grade will be the official grade used as the computing factor for honors. Both grades, however, will appear on the official transcript.

Academic Actions

The decision to impose academic action is first initiated at the conclusion of each semester by the School faculty most involved in the student's primary area of study and then presented at the end of the semester to the Academic Actions sub-committee of the College Council for confirmation.

A student who is not making satisfactory progress toward meeting professional standards or toward completing graduation requirements in a School may have any of the academic actions listed below imposed by that School even though the student has received “passing” grades.

The academic actions listed below do not follow a particular sequence; any of the actions may be appropriately imposed at any time upon recommendation of the School faculty concerned and confirmation by the College Council.

Warning: For failure to maintain professional standards in a required course; or insufficient evidence of serious application to the professional standards of the School; or an overall quality point average below a satisfactory level. Warning action is intended to notify the student of unsatisfactory performance, and to suggest that the student take steps to determine and correct the cause of the difficulty.

Probation: For failure to pass any professional course as outlined by the faculty of the School; or failure to meet the professional standards of the School although no failing grades are given; or failure to earn the minimum quality point average required to continue in the School. A student on probation may be required to achieve a specified quality point average. The student must improve scholastic standing to an acceptable level in order to be removed from Probation. A student not doing so may be Suspended or Dropped at the end of the semester.

Final Probation: For significantly poor performance, or for continued failure to meet the professional standards of the School. The student must improve scholastic standing to an acceptable level in order to be removed from Final Probation. A student not doing so may be Suspended or Dropped at the end of the semester. This action may be taken without previous academic action.

School Suspension: For poor performance, or for personal problems that create an impediment to professional achievement in the School. A student is suspended from the School, but not the University, when it is deemed in the best interest of the student to allow continuation of study outside of the School during the period of the suspension. The student is not permitted to take courses in the School for a period to be determined by this faculty action, but will be re-admitted at the end of the period of School Suspension specified by the faculty after the condition of the School Suspension is satisfied.

Drop from the School: A student is Dropped from the School when it is clear that the student's progress in professional training is insufficient to warrant continuing in the current professional field of study in this College. This action is taken in the case of a student who has been lacking in some essential requirement in the chosen professional field, but whose general scholastic ability, habits and character justify an opportunity in some other field of education. This action terminates the student's enrollment in the current School, but is not intended to prejudice admission to another Department, School, or College of the University, or to another institution.

This academic action allows the student three choices:

  • Transfer to another Carnegie Mellon University Department or School. A student must contact that Department or School of choice to discuss possible transfer.
  • Request for Transitional status in the College of Fine Arts for one semester (see below: Transitional Students). A student must make an appointment at the Carnegie Mellon Advising Resource Center in order to pursue this option.
  • Withdraw from Carnegie Mellon University. An application for Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form is enclosed with the letter notifying a student of this academic action.

Drop from the College: A student is Dropped from the College when it is clear that the student shows no indication of being able to reach an acceptable level of performance or maintain steady progress toward completing graduation requirements. This action terminates the student's enrollment in the College of Fine Arts, but is not intended to prejudice admission to another College of the University, or to another institution.

This academic action allows the student three choices:

  • Transfer to another Carnegie Mellon University College. A student must contact that College of choice to discuss possible transfer.
  • Request for Transitional status in the College of Fine Arts for one semester (see below: Transitional Students). A student must make an appointment at the Carnegie Mellon Advising Resource Center in order to pursue this option.
  • Withdraw from Carnegie Mellon University. An application for Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form is enclosed with the letter notifying a student of this academic action.

A student who has been suspended from the University or has withdrawn is required to leave the campus, including residence halls and Greek houses, within a maximum of two days after the action and to remain off campus for the duration of the time specified. This action includes exclusion from part-time and summer study at the University for the duration of the period of the action.

 

Dean's Honor List

Each semester the College of Fine Arts recognizes those students who have attained outstanding semester quality point averages by naming them to the Dean's List. To be eligible, students must complete at least 36 factorable units and have no conditional, missing or failing grades in core classes at the time when final semester grades are recorded. The top 35% of eligible students in each of the College of Fine Arts schools are named to the Dean's List. 

 

Graduation Requirements

Because of the special nature of work in the College of Fine Arts, the first year in all schools should be considered probationary, a period in which a student and faculty can evaluate professional promise in terms of the college's standards. Graduation from the College of Fine Arts follows the general university guidelines. As part of a student's qualification for an undergraduate degree, the equivalent of two terms of full-time work must be pursued under the direction of faculty members in the college during the period immediately prior to the degree award. Courses completed at other institutions will not be acceptable as terminal credit for a degree. Exceptions to this stipulation can be recommended by a school faculty in unusual cases, but the concurrence of the College Council is necessary before final approval of an exception can be given.

To be eligible to graduate, undergraduate students must complete all course requirements for their program with a cumulative Quality Point Average of at least 2.0 for all courses taken. For undergraduate students who enrolled at Carnegie Mellon as freshmen and whose freshman grades cause the cumulative QPA to fall below 2.0, this requirement is modified to be a cumulative QPA of at least 2.0 for all courses taken after the freshman year. Note, however, the cumulative QPA that appears on the student's final transcript will be calculated based on all grades in all courses taken, including freshman year. Some programs may have additional QPA requirements in order to graduate.

Other graduation requirements in the College of Fine Arts are described in the curriculum of each school. Further questions about specific course requirements and the total number of units required should be directed to the respective school advisors.

 

Other Regulations Affecting Student Status 

Schedule Changes

Courses may be added or dropped within the times stated in the college calendar. No courses may be added or dropped after the stated deadline dates except with the approval of the student's School Head and the Dean of the College. (See http://coursecatalog.web.cmu.edu/servicesandoptions/enrollmentservices/ for Add/Drop procedures.)

Withdrawal/Leave of Absence

Please refer to the Student Leave Policy.

Transitional Students

The designation Transitional Student has been instituted by the Dean of the College of Fine Arts to assist students who have been judged unlikely to make satisfactory progress in their chosen professional field, or who on their own initiative, have changed their mind about their originally chosen field of study. Being a Transitional Student gives them an opportunity to maintain a relationship with the College of Fine Arts while re-orienting career plans and goals. It also gives them time to enhance their admissibility to another school in the college, another college in the university, or another institution. Ordinarily a student will be permitted to register as a Transitional Student for no more than one semester.

Transitional status is made available to students upon the advice of their advisors or upon their own request. A student must make an appointment at the Carnegie Mellon Advising Resource Center to discuss this option.

Transfer Students

Undergraduate students seeking transfer within or to any school of the College of Fine Arts must file an application with the School and proceed with the established transfer application procedure, audition, portfolio review or ASAT requirements. Admission may dictate freshman status regardless of the student's prior college experience.

Materials

The college does not furnish students with any drawing materials, make-up materials, textbooks, or other expendable equipment except those in courses in which materials fees are charged to cover specific costs.

Retention of Students' Work

The college reserves the right to retain indefinitely any student work the faculty may select. All work not retained by the faculty must be claimed at the time specified on the bulletin boards of the schools concerned. The college assumes no liability for student materials in its custody.

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