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The department has 290 students and had 71 students graduate from the program in the past year. Students in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts are provided with both a solid theoretical understanding of their field of study as well as numerous opportunities for hands-on experience. Programming in visual and performing arts allows students to learn how to function successfully as a professional, to develop sensitivity to the creative processes of the arts, to master the technical skills of their discipline, and to prepare for continuing growth whether through advanced study or employment.
Majors and non-majors alike are eligible and encouraged to participate in performance groups and student organizations.
The department serves as a center for cultural activity and enrichment for the University and surrounding communities. Art, music, and theatrical events are varied and plentiful throughout the academic year.
The department offers 11 majors, six minors, and one area of endorsement.
Each major and minor is assigned a personal faculty advisor to assist in the selection of courses to complete the degree requirements.
Majors are available to students in Art (B.F.A.) with specializations in ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, or graphic design; Art (B.S.Ed.) certifying K-12; Art (B.A.) comprehensive; Art (B.S.) Interactive Digital Media – Visual Imaging; Music (BME) comprehensive major (no minor required) in Instrumental Music Education, certifying K-12; Music (B.M.E.) comprehensive major (no minor required) in Vocal Music Education, certifying K-12; Music (B.A.) general; Theatre (B.S.) with concentrations in Performance or Technical/Design; Theatre (B.A.) general; Speech/Theatre Education (B.S.Ed.) comprehensive (no minor required); Speech/Theatre Education (B.S.Ed.) non-comprehensive.
Minors are available to students in the areas of Art (general); Art (teaching – elementary); Art (teaching – secondary); Music (general); Theatre (general); Speech/Theatre Education (teaching). The department also offers an area of endorsement in Speech/Theatre for students pursuing Middle School certification (grades 5-9).
"Students come to Northwest from all over; many from very far away, but it doesn't take long to feel a part of the family atmosphere here. As a new Freshman, I was extremely intimidated by almost everyone. I quickly learned that people at Northwest care about each other and there really was no need for me to be intimidated. The faculty here really care about us as people, not just as students! I feel very lucky to be here."