Fine and Performing Arts


As long as there have been human beings, there has been art. Ancient societies created art and enjoyed music and theater. Art brings beauty to our surroundings through creative expression of emotion. Music is a universal language that forms gates of communication across cultures.  Theatre opens our hearts to the experiences of people in situations outside of our routine life.  The Arts awaken our imaginations and encourage intellectual and emotional reflection. Most would argue that the arts are essential – that they are part of the very core of humanity.

Studying art at Alvernia also can benefit you academically and set you apart from other students as you learn to think critically and independently, to interpret great works, write with precision, encopunter multiple world populations, and express yourself effectively in an variety of ways. 

This ability to think, question, observe, learn and understand is a hallmark of the liberal arts education that Alvernia holds dear. You’ll expand your skills, your world view, and your understanding of the human condition, traits that translate well to any job or career and can set you apart from other graduates.


Why should you minor in art, music, or theater at Alvernia University? 
Because at Alvernia you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a manageable setting with personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has a 14-1 student-faculty ratio, and most classes contain less than 20 students. This facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students. In these small class settings, you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s faculty members aren’t just teachers. They’re experts in their fields who are committed to passing along their knowledge and expertise to their students. Members of Alvernia’s Fine and Performing Arts department are professional artists, actors and musicians. In small class settings faculty members become mentors and advisors, intent on helping you learn, grow and succeed.

Research Opportunities
There may be opportunities for minors to work with faculty members on projects relating to their areas of concentration. This collaboration prepares students for professions and/or graduate school.

The Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated.  It is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.  There are opportunities to take intense courses dealing with unusual topics.  The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities, and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.  Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at

“Get Real” - Your Real World Learning Experience
Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment. All Alvernia students participate in service learning, a teaching and learning experience that enables students to get real-world learning while benefiting a community partner.  Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.  Participating in these types of experiences help you stretch and grow toward your full potential.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at the following links:



Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined.  Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. Opportunities to study abroad exist in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco and Palestine.

Your college years are the perfect time to broaden your horizons and participate in experiences that will change your life. Students have benefitted from participation in Study Abroad programs in whatever location they choose.  There are many short and long term possibilities.  You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance.  You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office at or by contacting


Art, Music, and Theatre are versatile minors which, in conjunction with your major, can prepare you for a variety of rewarding careers. The knowledge and skills you’ll develop can help you to find employment in fields including education, communications, marketing and psychology. With proper planning, a minor in the arts will complement your major and make you a viable and competitive candidate for jobs.

Alvernia graduates who minor in the arts find jobs as performers, counselors, researchers, teachers, business managers and journalists. Some work as graphic designers, for newspapers or magazines, for theaters or non-profit organizations. Some have started their own businesses, while others choose to work in the public sector.

For more information about Alvernia’s arts programscontact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or



Alvernia offers a minor in art that provides students with the foundation needed to perceive and uniquely express their knowledge about the world. The study of art prepares students for independent critical thinking and provides inspiration for personal creativity. Basic skills acquired relate to all areas of curriculum and professional endeavors, and a minor in art may be well suited to students majoring in communication, education, general studies, history, marketing, occupational therapy or psychology. Courses in digital art have been added to the program.  All Art minors must successfully complete 21 credits.

All art minors must complete:

ART 101 Drawing I
ART 103 Color and Design
ART 251 3-D Design
ART 215 Art: Prehistoric through Middle Ages – OR – ART 217 Renaissance to Present

Choose 3 courses from:

ART 106 Design and Crafts
ART 201 Drawing II
ART 208 Painting I
ART 209 Basic Photography
ART 212 Teaching Art
ART 215 Art: Prehistoric through Middle Ages – OR – ART 217 Renaissance to Present
ART 281 Graphic Design and Illustration
ART 307 Silkscreening
ART 308 Painting II
ART 340 Watercolor
ART 390 Sculpture


Music offerings seek to serve students by presenting the basics of music and the relationship of music to other areas of human endeavor. Skills courses seek to develop the student as a performer to foster self-expression and enjoyment of the art of music. Performance groups include chorus, band and ensembles.  A student pursuing another discipline may choose electives to form a music minor.  All Music minors must successfully complete 18 credits.

All music minors must complete:

MUS 135 Music Theory
MUS 235 Harmony
MUS 051 Private Instruction (repeatable)
MUS 010 Chorus (repeatable) – OR – MUS 020 Instrumental Ensemble (repeatable)

Choose 3 courses from:

MUS 121 Introduction to Music
MUS 123 American Popular Music
MUS 130 Sing Broadway
MUS 131 Music Fundamentals via Piano
MUS 132 Music Fundamentals via Guitar
MUS 220 Music and Health
MUS 221 American Music
MUS 222 Multicultural Music
MUS 224 Broadway Musicals
MUS 330 World Music
MUS 331 Women in the Arts
MUS 333 Music History

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the 2015-2016 Academic Course Catalogue at


Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you. You can learn more about all student services at

Academic Success Center
The Academic Success Center  (ASC) offers advising services, disability services, course-specific tutoring, writing support, academic skills coaching, and Supplemental Instruction for select courses. We encourage you to access our writing support throughout the semester to help build a strong foundation for writing in all of your courses. Our writing tutors will work with you at any stage of the writing process, from developing and organizing ideas to revising and editing drafts. Rather than editing your work for you, writing tutors will actively engage you in meaningful conversations about your writing and help you learn new strategies. The ASC is located in the Bernardine Hall 105. For general ASC inquires, call 610-796-8263. To schedule tutoring appointments, call 610-568-1494 or email You can view the current schedule and make tutoring appointments through our online appointment system at or visit us in person for assistance.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers related to your major and/or minor. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at, or by emailing

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at or by emailing

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the art program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-3011 or at

Faculty Members
Alvernia’s arts programs is staffed by dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with their students. Faculty members have extensive experience in various areas of the arts, and bring their professional expertise to the classroom. They often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience, and serve as mentors to aspiring students.

Members of Alvernia’s Fine and Performing Arts department are professional artists, actors and musicians. Some have written books and chapters of books, produced articles that have appeared in prestigious publications and presented nationally and internationally at conferences. They are engaged both on campus and in the community, sharing their gifts and expertise with area churches, schools and community organizations.

You can learn more about Alvernia art faculty and their backgrounds and credentials at the Fine and Performing Arts Faculty Page.


There is so much more to college than classes, and students at Alvernia have some excellent opportunities to get involved in activities that are both enjoyable and provide beneficial, hands-on experience. Students who get involved and engaged in extra-curricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy include:

  • Theatre Club and theatre productions. Francis Hall, with its theatre and recital hall, is home to Alvernia’s theatre program and provides a first-class venue for performances. The theatre allows for flexible performance space, including traditional and theatre-in-the-round stages. All theatre majors participate in campus productions, which are open to the community. Alvernia students have in the past participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Dance Club
  • Alvernia University's Chorus or Intrumental Ensemble.  Students enjoy performing in the Alvernia chorus and band, either for credit or as a non-credit activity.  There are concers and small group performances every semester.
  • The Zephrus is Alvernia’s literary magazine. Published each spring, it contains original poetry, fiction, essays, photography and artwork by Alvernia students.
  • You can learn more about Alvernia’s Student Government Association, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at
  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. The Center partners with a variety of organizations to provide Alvernia students with opportunities to serve. You might work with an agency that brings public art to the City of Reading or sponsors murals on public structures. You could be paired with the Berks Arts Council or volunteer with a community arts center. You can read more about volunteer opportunities at

fine and performing arts

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