BU is home to myriad arts-related programs at different schools and colleges, many of them nationally recognized.
The Schools of Theatre, Music, and Visual Arts, all within the College of Fine Arts, together offer a wide variety of programs, including interdisciplinary degrees in art, music, and theatre education, performance diplomas, minors, and courses open to the entire BU community.
Programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels in film and television or mass communication, emerging media, journalism, and advertising are available through the College of Communication.
Looking for a recommendation? See some of BU students’ favorite art courses.
Student Funding Resources
We’re looking for great ideas to engage our campus community through art. Each semester, the BU Arts Initiative offers grants for special projects. Read the criteria and feel free to contact us if you have questions.
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) was established in 1997 to facilitate participation by Boston University undergraduates in faculty-mentored research. Research projects may be undertaken in any academic area, including the arts, and can take place at either the Charles River Campus or the Medical Campus. The Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines such endeavors as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline”. The BU Arts Initiative specifically funds two arts related research projects each year.
We also sponsor annual research grants for graduate students doing work in the arts. The research may be traditional research of the arts (e.g., musicology, art history, study of performance or literature of any kind), practice based research, or research from any discipline on the impact of the arts.
Faculty and Staff Funding Resources
We award grants to faculty and staff for projects that will directly involve students in the arts. Elsewhere on campus, the College of Arts & Sciences offers the Academic Enhancement Fund. The BU Arts Initiative supports faculty arts programs in a variety of ways, check out our full list of faculty support programs.
Explore the roster of more than 50 arts-related student organizations registered with BU Student Activities, including groups focused on photography, dance, theatre, a cappella, comedy, and more.
Arts Events & Centers
Campus buzzes with arts activity year round, with students busy the internationally recognized College of Fine Arts and the many events and centers. Thousands of arts events on campus each year are free and open to the public. Read on for events and locales geared toward specific areas, check the events calendar, or see our complete list of venues.
Faculty and student recitals and world music performances, sponsored by the School of Music, and the Center for Early Music Studies are just some of the things that you can find at the College of Fine Arts Concert Hall. Arts-related student organizations perform at a variety of venues across campus, while BU Central regularly offers live music. Agganis Arena hosts concerts featuring big-ticket names. Many music organizations at BU are open to any interested students regardless of proficiency or major—and in some cases you can get class credit for taking part. These range from the Marching Band, the Pep Band, and groovy Jazz Combos to the Marsh Chapel Choir and music ensembles celebrating the best in religious music.
Feast your eyes on the variety of rotating exhibitions offered every semester in multiple galleries on campus including College of Fine Arts Galleries, the Howard Thurman Center Gallery, the Rubin-Frankel Gallery, and the Center for Gender, Sexuality & Activism.
Theatre & Opera
If you enjoy the energy of live stagecraft, catch an act at the Boston Center for American Performance or the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, where you can also see first-time performances of new works. And of course you can catch any number of School of Theatre productions in the Theatre Lab, and the Miller and Jewels Studio Theatres, all in the College of Fine Arts at 855 Commonwealth Avenue.
BU’s creative writing program offers a number of opportunities to hear poetry and prose writers in all stages of their careers and runs the Favorite Poem Project, founded by BU faculty member and former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. In addition, BU’s Poetry Reading Series offers a chance to hear the work of both renowned and emerging poets, while professional literary journal Agni and student literary journals The Chimaerid and Coup d’Etat produce regular issues featuring short stories, poetry, artwork, and more.
Dance & More
Get up close and personal with archives from artists, musicians, dancers, writers, and actors in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. You can also check out Boston University dance program and more at the Department of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, and a variety of programming from BU and area arts organizations at the Tsai Performance Center.