University of South Florida (USF) College of The Arts (CoTA)

USF College of The Arts - Student Services & Advising

Frequently Asked Questions





Q. What programs do you offer in the School of Art and Art History?

A. We offer the following: a BA in Art History, a BA in Studio Art and a BFA in Studio Art. The areas of emphasis available in studio art are Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Photography, Printmaking and Electronic Media. The BA in Art History focuses primarily on a Eurocentric tradition from Medieval to Modern, with Non-Western courses available in African and Latin American art.

Q. Do you have computer animation, illustration, design, film or graphic art?

A. Our program is a fine art program offering specialties in computer animation and also in video.  There is a graphic art program at USF St Petersburg.

Q. Where can I go for graphic/commercial art in the area?

A. USF’s St. Petersburg campus offers a graphic arts program. For information on that program, please contact the St. Petersburg Campus. USF’s Tampa campus does not coordinate the program. In general, the program is print/publication/design oriented and admits a limited number of qualified applicants in their junior year. For additional information, contact the St. Petersburg Campus.

Q. Do you require a portfolio for admittance into the School of Art and Art History?

A. Yes, for Art Studio. Please visit the School of Art and Art History website for more information.

Q. I’m not an Art major yet. Can I speak with an advisor?

A. Each college and department established its own policies regarding non-major advisement. The School of Art and Art History advisor is happy to meet prospective students and answer their questions. For an appointment, please contact (813) 974-3660.

Q. What’s the difference between the BA in studio and the BFA in studio?

A. The BA in studio requires a minimum of 58 hours in the School of Art and Art History plus six hours in music, dance, or theatre. It is a very generalized introduction to art practice and theory and is best suited to those students seeking a degree with a strong liberal arts emphasis who have an interest in art. The BFA is a more professionally oriented emphasis requiring 84 hours in the School of Art and Art History plus six hours in music dance or theatre. It is best suited for students who intend to practice professionally as artists, or to continue their education at the graduate level.

Q. I took foreign language in high school. Doesn’t that satisfy the foreign language requirement?

A. Not necessarily. There is considerable confusion about foreign language in college. The University of South Florida has two language requirements, FLENT and FLEX. The FLENT (Foreign Language Entrance Requirement) is two years of the same language in high school. That is an admission requirement of the State University System. Universities’ often waive the FLENT requirement for students seeking admission. However, if FLENT is waived, the incoming student must satisfy FLEX (Foreign Language Exit Requirement) no matter what degree is being pursued. FLEX is 2 terms of the same language at the college level or an equivalent competence. FLEX must always be satisfied if the student is pursuing the BA degree in any field. If FLENT (the high school requirement) is satisfied, students pursuing the BS degree or the BFA degree do not have to satisfy FLEX. To recap: if you have completed two years of the same language in high school, you still must take two terms of the same language at the college level to be awarded a BA degree in any field. If you have not taken two years of the same foreign language in high school, you must take two terms of the same language at the college level to be awarded any degree from the University of South Florida. If you have taken two years of the same foreign language in high school, you do not have to take foreign language at the college level to be awarded a BS or a BFA degree.

Q. How do I become an Art major?

A. If you are an incoming freshman or a transfer student, indicate on your application for admission to the University of South Florida that you wish to be an art major. If you wish to be an Art History major you must only meet the University requirements. If you wish to be an Art Studio major, you must also submit a portfolio for review and be accepted into the program. (for guidelines visit the School of Art & Art History website.) During the required orientation you will be sent to meet with representatives of the College of Visual and Performing Arts to have curriculum issues clarified, transfer credits evaluated (in the case of transfer students) and to be registered. It is in your interest to schedule the earliest possible orientation as course availability becomes limited the later it gets. If you are a student in another college at USF, (Art Studio majors must be accepted by portfolio review first.) fill out a declaration of major form at your current college and bring your paperwork to Fine Arts Advising (FAH 120).

Q. Are there any scholarships available for Art majors?

A. In addition to scholarships available through financial aid, the School of Art and Art History has some scholarship money that is talent based. To determine if funds are available, a portfolio and a letter should be sent to Professor Wallace Wilson, Director of the School of Art and Art History. In addition to scholarship funds that are used for recruiting, there are a number of endowed scholarships awarded each year in the spring. These are competitive. Information is posted in the School of Art and Art History during the spring term outlining eligibility requirements and submission procedures.

Q. What are some of the career opportunities in Art?

A. Exhibiting Artist; research scholar; teacher; free-lance designer & illustrator; commissioned artist; fabricator; applied artist in set design, theme parks, movies, and television; arts administrator...

Q. When are the School of Music’s audition dates?

A. Please see our online schedule for the next date:

Q. Must I wait to be accepted by USF before I schedule an audition in the School of Music?

A. NO! Don't wait for acceptance from USF. If you do, you'll miss the audition dates.

Q. What are the audition requirements for my particular instrument?

A. The requirements are available online at

Q. I cannot audition on any of the scheduled dates. Can I arrange one?

A. NO. If you cannot audition on the scheduled dates, submit a videotaped audition along with your completed paperwork THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO THE FINAL AUDITION DATE.

Q. How do I get involved in the Marching Band?

A. Visit our website for more information.

Q. What are the requirements for the degree program in Music that I am interested in?

A. Contact the undergraduate music advisor Dr. William Hayden at: or 813-974-1753 or

Q. What are some of the career opportunities in Music?

A. Teacher; conductor; performer; recording artist; composer; arranger; arts administrator; television & radio producer & performer; church musician; instrument repair technician...

Q. How do I gain entrance into the Dance program?

A. Upcoming audition dates and admittance forms are available on our website. Students placed in level 1 Ballet and Modern are considered dance majors, if placed below the 1 level, major status is tentative.

Q. What does the Dance audition involve?

A. Technique class in ballet and modern dance given by dance faculty-- approx. 2 hrs. total. Some auditions require a solo as well...check website for specifications.

Q. What kinds of degree programs do you have in Dance?

A. B.A Dance Studies, involving combination of dance course work and 15-17 focused electives in another field of study, such as psychology, education, business, women's studies, etc. - Involves completion of final research project combining both areas (Sr. year)

B.F.A Dance performance - involves performance in 5 faculty pieces, and the choreography of a solo and group piece (Sr. year)

Q. What kinds of performance opportunities will I have as a Dance major?

A. Dance concerts are produced each semester and offer opportunities for performing in a guest choreographer or faculty piece. The American College Dance Festival each spring enables students to travel to another college to engage in dance classes and possible performances. The Summer Paris Study Abroad program also offers a unique experiential opportunity to students.

Q. Will Dance course work from another college transfer?

A. It depends upon specific course content and credit hour equivalency. Students should meet with the dance advisor to discuss specific dance course transfer credit...this is usually discussed during the orientation process when students meet with their dance advisor. Courses generally accepted include: Music for Dance, Dance Improvisation, Technical Theatre, Dance Kinesiology, Dance History. Dance technique and choreography courses are not accepted.

Q. How long will it take me to complete a degree in Dance?

A. It will take three years to accomplish the degree given that the student makes adequate progress in their technique placement.

Q. Do you offer Dance Education as a degree track?

A. Although the dance education program has been temporarily suspended, students may pursue the dance studies degree track which would enable them to combine their dance work with courses in the college of education.

Q. What are some of the career opportunities in Dance?

A. Performer; choreographer; teacher; dance researcher/historian; dance kinesiologist/movement analyst; dance/arts administrator; dance therapist; dance production/ technical manager...

Q. Does USF offer a Theatre Major?

A. Yes. We offer a BA in Theatre, with concentrations in Performance, Design, and Theatre Arts. We also offer a limited BFA program in Design.

Q. Do you offer a degree in Musical Theatre?

A. No, we do not. We do offer musicals as part of our production program, about every fourth or fifth semester, but we do not focus on musical theatre within the department. You may, of course, major in theatre and minor (or take classes in) music and dance.

Q. Do you require an audition or portfolio review for Theatre?

A. No. Freshmen do not have to audition or submit a portfolio. Students do have to audition or have a portfolio review for admission to the upper-division concentration classes. This process usually takes place at the end of the sophomore year. Transfer students, if they have met the lower-level requirements, may audition or undergo the portfolio review before starting their first year at USF.

Q. Are there any scholarships available for Theatre majors?

A. The Theatre program uses most of its scholarship money for continuing students in the form of service awards and talent grants. However, there is some funding for new students. If you send your name and address, we’ll be happy to send you a scholarship application.

Q. How many Theatre productions do you do each year?

A. The Program produces four “mainstage” productions each year. In addition, the directing class stages 4-8 one-acts and the Student Theatre Production Board mounts 2-3 evenings of theatre each semester. Furthermore, other projects, both in class and out, present more opportunities for production experience.

Q. Can I minor in Theatre?

A. Yes, the Program offers a minor that is open to all USF students. You also can take classes (as long as you have the prerequisites) and work on productions, either onstage or backstage, without being a theatre major.

Q. Are there any special features to Theatre at USF?

A. Yes. Perhaps the most outstanding is the BRIT program, which every year brings professionals from the British theatre to work with our students in production and in master classes. The BRIT program is open to all students through auditions. We also offer an exchange program with Middlesex University in London and have a strong guest artist program that allows our students to interact with artists of national and international caliber.

Q. What can I do if I have any other questions about the Theatre program?

A. Please feel free to contact the Theatre Advisor, Merry Lynn Morris, at or 813.974.1739. You might also want to visit our website:

Q. What are some of the career opportunities in Theatre?

A. Professional actor; scenic/costume/lighting/sound designer; theatre manager; teacher; writer; stage/film director; stage/television/film producer; and even social worker, therapist, or law student...



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