Why study the arts?

In the Arts Division, we know that creativity, innovation and imagination are essential to the 21st century workplace. You will be challenged and inspired to explore, preparing you for success in careers both within and beyond the arts. The Arts Division offers degree programs, exhibitions and performances that unite theory with practice — here, studying art and creating art are one.

Find Yourself in the Arts

Arts opportunities for all

Explore campus arts opportunities, memorable courses and discounted admission to performances and exhibitions on the ArtsUW website.

Visit ArtsUW


The practice of thinking creatively and critically are central to research and analysis. That’s why the Arts Division created a place for artistic research with the Arts and Creativity Initiative. Students, artists, scholars and audiences collaborate on projects that spark creative discovery. The Division supports the artistic process at the highest levels of expression and technique by funding faculty fellowships, research grants, archival research and other programs. With the UW positioned as an engine for the arts in the region and beyond, students and faculty become influential and creative leaders in their chosen fields.

More About Art & Sciences Research

A smiling student and professor use a 3D printer that is using clay.

A Brave New World for Clay

For her research into 3D printing with clay, artist Timea Tihanyi collaborates with other faculty and with students across campus.

Read More about A Brave New World for Clay

What do Arts students do after graduating?

The arts prepare the next generation of creative leaders. When you study the arts at the UW, you gain transferable skills that prepare you for many career paths. Alumni find meaningful work in a range of high-demand careers both within and beyond the arts, including arts and other non-profit management, design, business, media and communications, education, theater and more. Our alumni are everywhere, making a difference in local communities and the world.

Students and faculty stand in a gallery and look at charcoal drawings on paper on the ground to be hung on the gallery walls.

"I appreciate all that the School of Art + Art History + Design does to prepare students for the professional world. We're exposed to the outside world a lot and taught how to interact in that sort of sphere."

Terrick Eto BA, Industrial Design, 2019
portrait of Terrick Eto

Alumni Career Paths

  • Creative Director

  • Graphic designer 
  • UX designer
  • Nonprofit director 
  • Business entrepreneur
  • Performer
  • Educator 
  • Theater director 
  • Industrial designer
  • Marketing manager
  • Composer
  • Costume designer
  • Museum/gallery curator
two students painting

Arts programs

Whatever your artistic interest, there’s a program in the Arts Division for you.

  • School of Art + Art History + Design
    • B.A., Art History
    • B.A., Art: 3D4M: ceramics + glass + sculpture
    • B.A., Art: Interdisciplinary Visual Art
    • B.A., Art: Painting + Drawing
    • B.A., Art: Photo/Media
    • BDes, Industrial Design
    • BDes, Interaction Design
    • BDes, Visual Communication Design
    • M.A., Art History: Practicum Track
    • M.A., Art History: Thesis Track
    • MDes, Design
    • M.F.A., 3D4M: ceramics + glass + sculpture
    • M.F.A., Painting + Drawing
    • M.F.A., Photo/Media
    • Ph.D., Art History
  • Department of Dance
    • B.A., Dance
    • M.F.A., Dance
  • School of Drama
    • B.A., Drama
    • M.F.A., Acting
    • M.F.A., Design
    • M.F.A., Directing
    • Ph.D., Drama
  • Department of Digital Arts & Experimental Media
    • Ph.D., DXARTS
  • School of Music
    • B.A., Ethnomusicology
    • B.A., Music: Early Music History
    • B.A., Music: Instrumental
    • B.A., Music: Music History
    • B.A., Music: Music Theory
    • B.A., Music: Vocal
    • B.M., Composition
    • B.M., Guitar
    • B.M., Jazz Studies
    • B.M., Music Education: Instrumental Emphasis
    • B.M., Music Education: Post Baccalaureate Certification, Instrumental Emphasis
    • B.M., Music Education: Post Baccalaureate Certification, Vocal Emphasis
    • B.M., Music Education: Vocal Emphasis
    • B.M., Orchestral Intruments
    • B.M., Organ
    • B.M., Percussion Performance
    • B.M., Piano
    • B.M., Strings
    • B.M., Voice
    • DMA, Brass Performance
    • DMA, Choral Conducting
    • DMA, Composition
    • DMA, Harp Performance
    • DMA, Harpsichord Performance
    • DMA, Instrumental Conducting
    • DMA, Organ Performance
    • DMA, Percussion Performance
    • DMA, Piano Performance
    • DMA, String Performance
    • DMA, Voice Performance
    • DMA, Woodwind Performance
    • Theory Certificate
    • M.A., Ethnomusicology
    • M.A., Music Education
    • M.A., Music History
    • M.A., Music Theory
    • MM, Brass Peformance
    • MM, Choral Conducting
    • MM, Composition
    • MM, Harp and Guitar Performance
    • MM, Harpsichord Performance
    • MM, Instrumental Conducting
    • MM, Jazz Studies and Improvised Music
    • MM, Organ Performance
    • MM, Percussion Performance
    • MM, Piano Performance
    • MM, String Performance
    • MM, Voice Performance
    • MM, Woodwind Performance
    • Ph.D., Ethnomusicology
    • Ph.D., Music Education
    • Ph.D., Music History
    • Ph.D., Music Theory

Cool Courses

Arts Division faculty offer engaging courses that will spark your creativity and sharpen your critical thinking. Take a look at just a few of the cool courses available, many of which don't require prerequisites or previous experience.

Illustration showing backs of heads of students listening to live music, represented as bright colors and musical notes

The Concert Season

By attending concerts on and off campus, and listening to online lectures and podcasts, students learn about a range of jazz and classical music styles.

David Armstrong holding up a Playbill for the musical Hairspray

The Broadway Musical

Learn how this American art form, predominantly created by outcasts from mainstream society, has both reflected and shaped American culture.

blown glass sphere in front of kiln

Introduction To 3D4M: Glass

This introductory studio course investigates glass as an artistic medium and its applications in the fine arts.

Ready to dive into the Arts?

Our faculty and students are innovators in the arts, pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Join our creative community.

Divisional Dean of the Arts

Gabriel Solis
portrait of Gabriel Solis


Scott Devenny


Explore Our Other Divisions