College of Arts and Communication - A&C (Undergraduate)

Eileen M. Hayes, Dean
Robert Mertens, Associate Dean

Jim Disrude, Advising Coordinator

Mission Statement

The Mission of the College of Arts and Communication is to cultivate and inspire creativity, expression, inquiry, and integrity through embodied education in the fine, performing and communicative arts and professions.


The College of Arts and Communication offers opportunities for expanding creative talents and aesthetic awareness, and for developing communication skills at the interpersonal, corporate, mass, and social media levels. Students in the College acquire these skills and understandings through course work and participation in varied college activities.

Students are invited to attend plays, concerts, and exhibits, to audition for roles in theatre productions, to participate in musical ensembles and to gain first-hand experience in areas of radio, television, media arts and game development, and print and web media. Many opportunities are available to volunteer and gain valuable experience. Involvement in the arts and communication fields will enrich the total college life.

Students who choose to take courses in the arts and communication are encouraged to discover and develop their talents. Their work with faculty enables them to reach creative and analytical goals, and to develop the perceptions, production skills and reflective dispositions which characterize professionals in their chosen discipline. Students in the College find a wide range of possibilities for participation in addition to opportunities to specialize in areas of particular interest. The production studios, rehearsal rooms, stages, and media labs are active and congenial places at all hours.

Students in Communication make use of a number of facilities and programs. UWWTV, the on-campus TV station, provides opportunities for experience in television production, direction and performance. Radio broadcasting facilities are available at the campus radio station, WSUW-FM (91.7), “The Edge.” Journalism students have opportunities to work in both print and web formats on the Royal Purple, the student newspaper. Students in Art and Design, Music, Theatre and Dance and Media Arts and Game Development take advantage of the facilities in the Greenhill Center of the Arts, including carefully designed and fully equipped studios, computer labs, shops and rehearsal rooms for artists, dancers, musicians, actors, and theatre technicians. The Crossman Gallery, the Barnett and Hicklin Studio Theatres, and the Light Recital Hall provide beautiful settings for students’ exhibitions, theatre performances, dances, or music concerts. A number of interdisciplinary programs allow students in the college to interact and collaborate on professional projects. The adjacent Young Auditorium is an acoustically excellent performance facility with 1300 seats.

Students may prepare for a variety of careers through majoring or minoring in arts and communication, either preparing to be a practicing artist or communicator or in using those talents and skills in a variety of settings in business, education, non-profit organizations, the media, government, and other areas. Majors are available in: art (studio, graphic design, art history), art education, journalism (advertising, broadcast/print/web journalism, and international journalism), media arts and game development, music (performance, theory-composition, music), music education, communication (public relations, electronic media, corporate and health communication), and theatre (performance, design/technology, stage management, and management/promotion), and theatre education. For students whose career preparation cannot be met in a single department in the college, an individually designed major or minor is available. Other minors include: advertising, art, art history, art studio, arts management, dance, journalism, media arts and game development, music, public relations, communication, communication elementary and communication secondary education, theatre, and theatre education. Music students may complete the following certificates: accompanying, jazz, music theory, and music history.

Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor to make the best choices for their personal and career goals from the wide array of course possibilities available. Graduates from the college have an excellent placement rate, moving into employment opportunities that use their well-developed talents and skills.

The Department of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Music Department is accredited by National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the Theatre/Dance Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Department Chairpersons

Art and Design
James Bronson, Interim

Communication (Journalism and Communication)
Susan Wildermuth, Interim

Michael Dugan

Theatre and Dance
Marshall Anderson

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Bachelor of Music

Bachelor of Science in Education




  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Music (BM)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Music or a Bachelor of Science from the College of Arts and Communication. Successful completion of a minimum of one hundred twenty (120) units in the following areas is required.

College Degree Requirements

All new freshmen entering the Summer of 1994 or later and all transfer students entering the Summer of 1996 forward must complete the following degree requirements in addition to Proficiency, General Education, U.S. Racial/Ethnic Diversity, and Writing:

BA Degree

All students must complete at least 2 (GA) Arts units outside their major department in the college in addition to the 3-unit World of the Arts course (GENED 110). It is advisable to first take The World of the Arts course. They must also complete a minimum of 6 (GH) Humanities units (from 2 different subject areas) in addition to General Education required core classes.

BFA and BM Degrees

All students must complete at least 2 Arts units outside their department in the college in addition to the 3-unit World of the Arts course (GENED 110). It is advisable to first take The World of the Arts core course.

BS Degree

Students must complete at least 6 units in Natural Sciences/Mathematics (GL/GM) in addition to the Laboratory Science course and general education elective 3 unit science or math (GL/GM) for a total of 13-14 GL/GM units.

Major 34-81 Units

The number of units required for a major varies with the different departments and the particular major desired. Consult the following sections of this catalog devoted to departmental major offerings.

Minor 21-24 Units

Requirements for a minor vary with the different departments and with the minor desired. The College of Arts and Communication accepts most University minors including the Professional Minor in Business Studies. A minor is not required with a major of 54 or more units. Consult the following departmental sections for these offerings.

Writing Proficiency in Major

This requirement is determined by each department.

General Electives

For the remainder of the 120 units, students will be free to plan with their advisor a program best suited to their needs and interests. If they meet the prerequisites stated by the respective departments, they are free to choose elective courses from any college in the University.

To be eligible to graduate as an Art, Music, or Theatre major, students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in the upper level courses within their major.

To be eligible to graduate as a Theatre BFA major, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the major and a 2.50 overall GPA.

A 2.50 cumulative GPA is required to declare all emphases in the Communication major.  A 2.50 cumulative GPA is required to declare all emphases in the Journalism major except for the International Journalism emphasis which requires a 2.75 GPA to declare. A minimum 2.25 GPA is required in both the Communication and Journalism majors for graduation. The major GPA is based upon both the grades for courses completed at UW-W and those for courses accepted in transfer.

A 2.50 cumulative GPA is required to declare the Media Arts and Game Development major.

Departmental Organizations and Activities

The departments of the College sponsor a wide variety of organizations and activities in which students participate.

Department of Art and Design

The Student Art Association (SAA) is recognized by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as an official non-academic organization open to all university students interested in the visual arts. It aims to expose students to the world of visual arts through student-run events and art opportunities.​

AIGA, the UW-Whitewater student chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, aims to provide students with professional experiences, opportunities and education in Graphic Design. Preparing members to enter the design world when they graduate from college is a primary goal

The Ceramics Club and ALLOY (metals and jewelry), and the UW-Whitewater Printmakers Association (Print Farm) address the professional interests of students active in ceramics and art metals and printmaking and sponsor visiting artists and workshops in each of the areas during the academic year. The groups also host the popular annual holiday ceramics and jewelry sale and the annual Print Farm print sale.


The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) links you to the world’s top society for students of public relations. As a member, you may get involved in the society’s national programs, gain exposure to professional development, leadership development, and educational and networking opportunities. 

The Royal Purple, an independent student newspaper, offers student journalists opportunities in writing, editing, sales, photography, layout, and management.

The UW Whitewater chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) is a student led organization that includes members from across all disciplines and career levels in advertising. Student members experience hands-on projects, guest speakers, agency tours and more — all with an eye toward helping them stay current and build meaningful career connections in the ever-changing, amazing Advertising industry.

The UW-Whitewater Forensics Team is a student organization that speaks competitively. They complete in 11 different individual events when they travel to tournaments across the Midwest. Benefits of being on the Forensics Team include: fun, increased confidence, enhanced public speaking skills.

UWWTV (Campus Cable Television Station) is open to all students, regardless of major, who are interested in television performance and/or production.

WSUW (Campus FM Radio Station) features student programming in a wide array of formats (music, news, sports and talk). The station welcomes all majors.

Media Arts and Game Development

The GAMED organization is open to all UW-Whitewater students and focuses on creating all aspects (art, programming, story, audio, production, etc.) of original games.

GameZombie is a student run web journalism venue to analyze and review video games, create original game-related content, and interview and work with current game-makers.  


The UW-Whitewater chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) is open to musicians who are interested in promoting excellence in string and orchestra teaching and playing.

The student chapter the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) encourages the highest standards of singing through excellence in teaching and the promotion of vocal education and research. Members participate in state and regional competitions as well as professional development activities.

The campus chapter of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference (CMENC) is composed of music majors and minors interested in music education.

The Wisconsin Association of Jazz Educators (WI-AJE) promotes the appreciation of jazz and its artistic performance, helps organize jazz curricula in schools, and fosters the application of Jazz principles at all levels of education. Membership is open to any student interested in Jazz.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble plays challenging band literature and is open by audition to all qualified students. This group annually tours in the spring and makes several appearances on campus.

The Concert Band is another large ensemble within the department that plays a variety of band literature. Open to all students with previous band experience by audition.

The Whitewater Symphony Orchestra performs several concerts each year from the standard symphonic repertoire. The orchestra sponsors a Concerto competition and performs a major work with the Choir each year. The group is open to all students by audition.

The Chamber Orchestra is a smaller group comprised of strings only, playing repertoire from the string orchestra repertoire. The group is open to all students by audition.

The UW-Whitewater Jazz Bands are open by audition to all UW-Whitewater students. Jazz Ensembles I and II perform a wide array of standard and contemporary styles for big band. The Jazz Labs are small combos where students can focus on the development of improvisation skills. All groups are involved in many concerts and events throughout the year.

The Warhawk Marching Band is open to any student who plays an instrument and has had some marching experience. The band provides entertainment for all home football games and one away game each year.

There are numerous small ensembles, which perform in concerts and recitals throughout the year. In addition, several larger groups perform concerts during the Spring Term. These are all open by audition and include Brass Choir, Clarinet Choir, Early Music Ensemble, Flute Choir, Horn Choir, Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble (both Fall and Spring terms), Saxophone Quartet, String Ensemble, Trombone Choir and Trumpet Ensemble.

The Chamber Singers is a highly selective ensemble of 32 singers singing challenging choral literature of all periods. They perform on campus and on annual tours. Open to all university students by audition.

The Concert Choir is a large, mixed group of about 60-100 singers who perform music of all styles in campus concerts. Open to all university students by audition.

Main Street Vocal Jazz is a select group of 12-16 mixed voices with rhythm section that performs Jazz and a wide range of other styles in concerts on and off campus. Open to all university students by audition.

The Women's Chorale is a select ensemble of women's voices who perform a wide variety of works from the rich tradition of compositions for treble voices. Open to all university students by audition.

The Meistersingers is a select ensemble of men’s voices who sing works from the Männerchor tradition and a wide range of works for male voices. Open to all university students by audition.

The Gospel Choir is a mixed chorus open to all UW-Whitewater students. Repertoire is selected from traditional spiritual to contemporary gospel music.

Opera Workshop is comprised of singers selected by audition; the Opera Workshop performs a recital of opera scenes in a staged, costumed scene recital once annually (Fall Term). Intended for more advanced singers, but open to all university students by audition.

Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre/Dance presents evenings of one-act and full-length plays directed by students in addition to the five mainstage productions directed by the faculty during the academic year. (The sixth mainstage production is the annual dance concert).  All University students are eligible for participation in acting, makeup, costuming, lighting, sound, stagecraft, and theatre management and may receive class credit for this participation.  Students are urged to note announcements for tryouts.

Summer Theatre: The Department of Theatre/Dance produces two plays in June and July in Hicklin Studio Theatre. All students and interested persons in the community are invited to try out for roles or to participate in other aspects of production. Participants may earn from 1 to 6 units by enrolling in the appropriate practicum course.

Children’s Theatre/Touring Theatre: A play designed for children and family audiences is toured annually to elementary schools and public theatres in Wisconsin and northern Illinois, as part of our six show production season.

Contemporary Dance: The annual dance concert is open to all students who demonstrate proficiency in dance. All are invited to audition. It is presented each spring, featuring student performers and choreography by faculty, students, and guest artists.

UW-Whitewater Dance Company: This group helps promote all forms of dance on campus, sponsors workshops, and presents the annual Emerging Choreographers' Concert.

Professional and Honorary Fraternities

Delta Omicron: A professional fraternity for and a charter member of the Professional Panhellenic Association, Delta Omicron’s membership is made up of music majors interested in service to the musical community. Members usher for all activities sponsored by the Music Department and present at least one recital each year. Pledges are accepted in the spring and the fall, with scholarship and musicianship as the main requirements.

Phi Kappa Phi: A community of scholars and professionals creating a global network comprised of the best and brightest from all academic disciplines by recognizing and promoting academic excellence in all fields of higher education and engaging the community of scholars in service to others.

Phi Theta Psi: A professional fine arts society.

Pi Kappa Delta: A forensics honorary fraternity that recognizes qualified students who compete in inter-collegiate debate and forensics.

Theta Alpha Phi: Wisconsin Delta chapter of this national honorary theatre fraternity was installed at UW-Whitewater in May 1950. Membership is earned through participation in all phases of theatrical production and evidence of a continuing interest in theatre and the fraternity works to promote the theatre arts in all of its forms.

Zeta Phi Eta: A national professional fraternity in Communication Arts and Sciences offering students opportunities to develop their skills in communication and leadership through educational and service activities both on the campus and within the community.