College of Arts and Communication - COAC (Undergraduate)

Michael Dugan, Dean
Robert Mertens, Associate Dean


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 proscenium Barnett Theatre, the black box Hicklin Studio Theatre, 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, communication (public relations, electronic media, corporate and health communication), journalism (advertising, broadcast/print/web journalism, and international journalism), media arts and game development, music (performance, theory-composition, music), music education, and theatre (performance, design/technology, and stage management), 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 availableor may pursue one of three Musical Theatre minors. Other minors include: advertising, art, art history, art studio, broadcast/print/web journalism, communication (general), communication secondary education, corporate communication, dance, electronic media, media arts and game development, music, audio production and sound design, jazz, public relations, theatre, and theatre education. Music students may complete the following certificates: accompanying, conducting, jazz, music theory, and music history. Communication students may complete the following certificates: audio, communication competence, creative communication, digital communication, event planning, mass media literacy, sports communication, and video production.

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), and the Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Department Chairs

Art and Design Jared Janovec & Daniel Kim (Co-Chairs)
Communication Kathy Brady
Music Glenn Hayes, Interim
Theatre and Dance Eric Appleton

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 CORE 110. They must also complete a minimum of 6 GH, GG, or GE 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 (GA) Arts units outside their major department in the college in addition to  CORE 110

BS Degree

Students must complete at least 6 units in Natural Sciences/Mathematics (GL/GN/GQ) in addition to the Laboratory Science course and general education elective 3 unit science or math (GL/GN/GQ) for a total of 12 GL/GN/GQ 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. 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 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 minimum 2.25 GPA is required in all emphases within the Communication department for graduation.

A 2.5 cumulative GPA is required to declare the Media Arts and Game Development major, and a GPA of at least 2.5 in the major is required to continue and graduate.

Departmental Organizations and Activities

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

Art and Design

The Ceramics Organization 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, available in both print and web formats, offers student journalists opportunities in writing, editing, sales, photography, layout, and management.

WAA (Whitewater Advertising Association) is a student-led advertising agency that works with UW-Whitewater campus organizations and local businesses in the Wisconsin area. WAA is team of student social and digital specialists who create strategic advertising for a wide variety of clients.

The UW-Whitewater Forensics Team is a student organization that speaks competitively. They compete in 11 different individual events when they travel to tournaments across the Midwest. Benefits of being on the Forensics Team include: fun, increased confidence, and 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-FM (91.7), “The Edge” features student programming in a wide array of formats (music, news, sports and talk). The station welcomes all majors.

Zeta Phi Eta is a national fraternity for professionals in the communication arts and sciences that offers students academic and job resources, philanthropic experiences, and a career-based support network.

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.

Double Jump Gaming News 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, with a focus on ESports.

The Animation Club makes 2D animations, incorporating both traditional drawing and CGI.

The Digital Media Lab works on client-based media projects, with students working under faculty mentors.

The ESports group competes in ESports against other clubs at other schools, hosts tournaments, and runs summer ESports camps.

The Gaming Group of Whitewater group board games of all kinds - card games, strategic games, euro games, war games, etc.

Super Smash Bros Club plays Smash and sponsors Smash tournaments, along with other similar video games.


The Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE)is the premiere wind band on campus. Open by audition to all students, SWE is respected nationally for exceptional musical sensitivity and diversity of programming. In addition to being the first university level band from Wisconsin to perform at Carnegie Hall, they have toured internationally.

The University Band is open to all students, staff and faculty with previous band experience. There is not an audition. The ensemble plays a wide variety of band literature. Rehearsals are on Monday evenings.

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.

Known as “Wisconsin’s Finest”, he Warhawk Marching Band (WMB) is open to any student who plays an instrument or has been in a color guard and has some marching experience. Known for excellence in both marching and musical performance, the WMB plays all styles of contemporary music. The WMB performs for all home football games, hosts the WSMA State Marching Band Championships and has performed 14 times for the Green Bay Packers.

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.

There are numerous small ensembles, which perform in concerts and recitals throughout the year. These are all open by audition and include Brass Choir, Clarinet Choir, Early Music Ensemble, Flute Choir, Horn Choir, Basketball 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 without audition.

The Vocal Jazz Ensemble 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.

Harmonia is an ensemble who perform a wide variety of works from the rich tradition of compositions for treble voices. Open to all university students without audition.

The Hawk-Kor is an ensemble who sing works from the Männerchor tradition and a wide range of works for tenor, baritone and bass voices. Open to all university students without audition.

Opera Workshop is comprised of singers selected by audition; the Opera Workshop performs a recital of opera and musical theatre scenes. Intended for more advanced singers, this ensemble is open to all university students by audition.

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 UW-Whitewater chapter of the National Association for Music Education (CNAfME) is composed of music majors and minors active in their chosen professional field. Members attend conferences, facilitate educational events and gain the personal and professional skills to have an impactful career and help young people grow through music.

The Wisconsin Chapter-Jazz Education Network (WI-JEN) 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 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 UW-Whitewater chapter of the American Choral Directors Association seeks to inspire excellence and nurture a lifelong involvement in choral music to everyone through education, performance, and advocacy.

The Mission of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity is to promote and support excellence in music and musicianship. Open to all students.

Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre/Dance presents five mainstage productions directed by the faculty during the academic year, including one musical/opera in collaboration with the Music department, and the annual DanceScapes concert. All University students are welcome to audition for all productions. Audition information can be found on the department website. All University students are eligible to engage in performance, makeup, costume, lighting, sound, carpentry, scenic painting, properties, and stage management activities and receive class credit for this participation. Students can contact the scene and costume shop managers to learn what backstage opportunities are available. Majors and minors are encouraged to experience all facets of theatrical production.

DanceScapes features student performers and choreography by faculty, students, and guest artists and is open to all students who demonstrate proficiency in dance. It is offered every Spring, and pieces are selected by an adjudication process.

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.

Speech Waiver

The Speech Waiver program allows those students who have had previous experience learning about and giving speeches an opportunity to bypass the required COMM 110 course.

The Department of Communication Speech Waiver is composed of two stages - first, completing an online course consisting of six modules, and second, delivering a persuasive speech to a panel of instructors.

The speech waiver is completed in two stages:

  • STAGE 1: Completing an online course via CANVAS
    • First, student will contact the Coordinator, Tammy French at or 262-472-1720, to explain his/her previous public speaking experience.
    • There is a $20 fee for attempting the Speech Waiver. This waiver fee will turn up in the student’s WINS account; once that has been paid at the Cashier’s office in Hyer Hall, the receipt can be brought or emailed to the department (Heide Hall 406).
    • The class includes six modules, each of which has material to read and sample speeches to watch. Each module has a reading, a quiz and videos to watch.
    • You may enroll in this course anytime from the beginning of the semester until the 7th week of class, but ALL requirements of this course must be met by the 7th week or otherwise you will have “failed” this course and you will not be allowed to proceed any further.
    • After all material has been read, watched, and all quizzes have been completed, you should contact Tammy French. She will verify your course completion then schedule you for your persuasive speech.
  • STAGE 2: Delivering a persuasive speech
    • The persuasive speech is expected to be 5-7 minutes with at least five sources, and may not be read. (The specific expectations for this speech are explained in detail at the end of the CANVAS course). The evaluators for this speech will be three Department of Communication faculty members.
    • It is important to note that since by this point the student will have successfully passed the online waiver course, it is fully expected that the student will implement almost all of the strategies and skills discussed and exemplified in the course. Failing to successfully meet these requirements will result in a failure to pass this stage of the waiver process, and therefore will necessitate your enrollment in COMM 110 (the persuasive speech may only be attempted once).

If you have any questions, please contact Tammy French, Basic Course Coordinator, at or 262-472-1720.

Complete instructions for the waiver can be found on the department website.