Professor Steve Swayne: "Many Dartmouth grads are going to go on to be community leaders…asked to serve on the boards of symphonies, museums, opera companies. Have we done what we can do to equip them to serve well in that capacity?"

Arts programs at Dartmouth never force you to choose between building technical skills or academic skills; we embrace the "and". Our faculty are deeply invested in developing creative, imaginative artists as well as critical thinkers. You can explore the cultural underpinnings and economic impacts of great works of the past while collaborating with your classmates to create your own masterpiece, all with the guidance and support of world-class faculty and masters of their crafts.

Our Faculty of Art & Performing Arts Say

A photo of professor Soo Sunny Park

Soo Sunny Park

"As a sculptor teaching in various genres of visual art, my primary goal is to guide students with active, creative, and engaging assignments, to provide inspiring visual resources and reading materials, and, in a broader sense, to facilitate the skill development needed to articulate ideas visually in each chosen discipline."

Learn more about Soo Sunny Park, the Parents Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities Professor of Studio Art
Professor Mary Coffey in front of the Orozco Murals

Professor Mary Coffey

Mary Coffey specializes in the history of modern Mexican visual culture, with an emphasis on Mexican muralism and the politics of exhibition. At Dartmouth, take her course on Constructing and Dismantling Mexican National Identity, and tour Orozco’s most famous murals. "My thinking about the mural has been utterly transformed by this place, by my students, by the questions they ask, and by the things they do with the mural."

Learn more about Mary Coffey, Associate Professor of Art History
Photo of professor Enrico Riley standing in front of his painting

Professor Enrico Riley

Asked about the evolution of his painting, Riley says, “The act of painting doesn’t exist isolated from time; it responds to the artist’s development as a human being, and as you move through life and have different experiences, how you paint changes, subtly or drastically.”

Learn more about Enrico Riley, Associate Professor of Studio Art
A photo of professor Jodie Mack riding a bike equipped with a zoetrope

Professor Jodie Mack

“The focus of my research is to encourage people to question abstraction’s role in society themselves, think about constantly obsolescing technology, the role of products made for disposal, and the role of experimental animation.”

Learn more about Jodie Mack, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies

Cool Classes

Dartmouth creates a rich academic culture imbued with critical thinking and creativity, one that promotes experimentation, reflection, learning, and leadership. But don't take our word for it. We asked our students to tell us about some of their favorite arts and performing arts courses.

Academics at DartmouthDartmouth Arts NewsStudying the Arts at Dartmouth

Art & Performing Arts Alumni

Nobel laureates, government leaders, judges, scientists, writers, scholars, journalists, entertainers—Dartmouth alumni have distinguished themselves in all fields. Here are some notable alumni in the arts and performing arts making a difference in the world.

Learn More About Our Alumni

Study Art & Performing Arts Off Campus

At Dartmouth, we have taken the traditional study abroad model, erased its boundaries, and expanded its parameters. Study abroad here is not an isolated semester in another country. Arranged through Dartmouth's Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education, these powerful learning experiences are enhanced through faculty mentorship. The curriculum and structure of the school year allow students to follow their research around the world.

Dartmouth's Global Impact
Click to stop viewing map.
  • Art History

    Bachelor of Arts

    Art History explores the visual cultures of diverse peoples, places, and times. Emphasizing critical, historical, and linguistic skills—as well as creativity and innovation—Art History offers a bridge between traditional, language-based fields in the humanities and the creative worlds of art, architecture, and performance. The study of Art History will change the way you see everything from paintings and statues to advertisements and other visual phenomena; it's a way of looking at the world.

    At Dartmouth, students studying Art History gain analytical skills that encourage an inquiring approach to visual experience. In addition to training students for further study and employment in the discipline, the faculty equip all students with visual analysis, logical reasoning, critical reading, writing, and public speaking skills that serve them well in many academic disciplines or professions.

  • Film and Media Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    Film and Media Studies blends coursework in the theory, history, and criticism of film, television, and new media with instruction in both screenwriting and production in film, video, animation, and gaming. That combination of analysis and creativity prepares students to apply diverse modes of thought as they seek deeper inquiry in a medium of their choice.

    The department of Film and Media Studies at Dartmouth empowers students to advance their understanding of the discipline by taking at least one course with a production component. Students are encouraged to both shape their emphasis of study and increase their breadth of understanding by taking at least one additional course relevant to their emphasis outside the department. Students may modify Film and Media Studies with another related discipline, and Film and Media Studies can be either the major or the minor in a modified major.

  • Music

    Bachelor of Arts

    There are as many different ways to study music as there are kinds of music to study. The study of music combines a range of classroom courses with opportunities for performance, concerts, festivals, colloquia, and masterclasses. Each mode of instruction brings together students, faculty, and artists-in-residence in a variety of roles.

    The Dartmouth Music department is at the cutting edge of music scholarship, thanks to an internationally acclaimed faculty of composers, performers, conductors, music theorists, historians, musicologists, and ethnomusicologists. Arts and artists flourish, musical journeys are launched and take unexpected turns, and exceptional resources—both human and institutional—support creative work. Students do not have to be music majors or minors to participate in the Hopkins Center ensembles or take the Music Department's Individual Instruction Program lessons.

  • Studio Art

    Bachelor of Arts

    The study of Studio Art offers students a serious and sustained exploration of the creative processes in visual art. Technical, perceptual and aesthetic issues are addressed in a historical and contemporary context. 

    The Studio Art major at Dartmouth consists of architecture, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Each discipline's dedicated page further details the classes taught in each area, introduces the faculty who teach them, and shares student work in each area. Classes in the department are structured so that students experience the creative process through a direct and dynamic engagement with visual media. Pedagogy is broad, with equal emphasis on representation and abstraction. Interdisciplinary investigations between studio areas and other departments are also encouraged. A required senior seminar serves as the culminating experience in the major.

  • Theater

    Bachelor of Arts

    Theater is a multidisciplinary form in which all of the arts and humanities intersect. Thus, the study of theater cultivates skills in collaborative, creative, and critical thinking. The theory and practice of theater are inseparable—and mutually beneficial—in this endeavor.

    The Dartmouth Theater Department provides students with a distinguished, challenging and integrated course of study in the history, literature, theory and practice of theater—both in the classroom and in production. The department's curriculum prepares the serious theater student for graduate study, a professional career in theater, or both. Faculty members draw on both a depth of experience that spans both the academic and professional theatrical worlds, and they are committed to providing every student with close mentorship and individual attention to foster a deep and lifelong appreciation for theater.