College of Fine Arts Resources
Advising for Undergraduate and Graduate Students
All CFA students are assigned to an advisor in their school. Students must meet with their advisor prior to registration each semester in order to obtain their Academic Advising Code. We encourage students to consult their advisor whenever they have an academic concern. Advising can assist students in understanding program requirements, semester course selection, and career direction, among many other issues.
Each of the three schools in CFA has a program office with staff to assist students with academic and personal concerns. Please consult the CFA website for additional information. In Enrollment Services, located in the Dean’s office, the Director of Undergraduate Student Services serves the undergraduate population with concerns about program requirements, degree completion, curricular training for international students, community building, and overall academic guidance. The Registrar oversees scheduling and academic records, including graduation clearing. The Graduate Affairs office works with prospective and current graduate students, overseeing graduate admissions, graduate financial aid, and graduate student life.
College of Fine Arts First-Year Seminar, CFA FA 100
All undergraduate students will complete a freshman experience course, CFA FA 100, in the fall semester of their first year. This course is an integrated learning experience, introducing students to the full scope of artistic endeavors housed within the College of Fine Arts. The course will engage students in collaborative projects and expose them to visiting artists. Policies, procedures, and guidelines will be communicated to students through this course, to assist in their adjustment to Boston University and the College of Fine Arts. CFA FA 100 is a 2-credit course that will fulfill the Hub requirement Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings.
College of Fine Arts Academic Computer Lab
The College of Fine Arts Academic Computer Lab is open to Boston University students, faculty, and staff only. Students enrolled in CFA courses that meet in the lab have priority for the completion of specific course assignments.
College of Fine Arts Student Government
The Student Government of the College of Fine Arts serves a community of musicians, actors, visual artists, and scholars. We ensure that our students maintain an active voice within the greater BU student body. CFA Student Government plans social and community building events for the college. We serve as a liaison between students, faculty, and administration. Student Government also organizes philanthropic events for its student body.
School of Music
In 855 Commonwealth Avenue, 120 spacious, acoustically sealed, fully ventilated, individual and ensemble practice rooms create an exceptional studio atmosphere. There is a 485-seat concert hall; three halls for large ensemble rehearsals; a recording studio; two electronic music studios; an academic computing center; and a keyboard instruction lab. Opera rehearsal and coaching studios are located in a spacious facility across the street from the College of Fine Arts. The Tsai Performance Center, three blocks away on the Boston University campus, is an outstanding concert and rehearsal space for the major performing organizations of the School of Music. The Opera Institute performs in venues including the Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and the city’s major theaters.
The library within the School of Music maintains a large collection of scores, recordings, and books. The Boston University Mugar Memorial Library contains a distinguished research collection of books, microfilms, and journals, and it offers a full array of library services such as reference, electronically delivered information, course reserves, and interlibrary loans. Mugar Library’s Gotlieb Archival Research Center includes significant music-related holdings of manuscripts, letters, and first editions.
During the academic year, the School of Music hosts a series of workshops on topics of relevance. Past workshops have included tax preparation for musicians, performance psychology, applying for graduate school, music business basics, and summer music festival application. Additionally, School of Music students have access to an institutional subscription to the Bridge: Worldwide Music Connection, a comprehensive online professional development resource.
In addition to the peer advising group, the School of Music runs a Student Advisory Committee. This committee is comprised of students nominated by their department who meet monthly with the director of the School of Music and the student services coordinator to share information.
Virtual Concert Hall
The Boston University School of Music Virtual Concert Hall is designed to showcase work performed by BU students and faculty. We are now able to present videos in high definition.
School of Theatre
Boston University Professional Theatre Initiative
The Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI) reflects the school’s belief in the necessity of strong artistic relationships with the theater profession. PTI provides opportunities for stimulating, creative interactions between participating theaters and the BU School of Theatre community. Many students, faculty, and alumni are linked with a variety of professional theaters of many kinds, sizes, and missions to provide experience and interaction that serve both the participant and the theater company itself.
In recent years, theaters as varied as the Olney Theatre Center, National Players, Potomac Theatre Project, Vineyard Playhouse, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and the Pendragon Theatre, among others, have joined this initiative. Project-based interactions have been successfully forged with theaters such as the Guthrie Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Primary Stages, and the Arden Theatre.
Often, PTI member theaters provide professional opportunities in acting, directing, and design and/or career development opportunities through internships. In some cases, our interactions with these companies result in new play development and opportunities to conceive new approaches to existing works.
Visit the BU Professional Theatre Initiative section of the CFA website for a full list of our professional partners in this endeavor.
Boston University New Play Initiative
The New Play Initiative expresses the school’s commitment to the development of new work. This initiative provides playwrights, directors, designers, and actors with a variety of developmental options to support the collaborative creation of new work for the theater. Students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists are given the opportunity to use the creativity of the rehearsal room to develop their plays, which are then presented through workshop productions. Many New Play Initiative productions are later fully produced by member companies of our Professional Theatre Initiative or featured in our InCite Arts Festival.
Boston Center for American Performance
This program is presently on hold.
The School of Theatre offers a variety of spaces in which to realize our students’ creative visions:
- The 250-seat Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre is located at the heart of the Charles River Campus at 820 Commonwealth Avenue. The purposeful, flexible design of the Booth Theatre allows for the evolution of performances and a deep engagement with audiences. Through the configuration of seating risers, a fully trapped performance floor, installation of set pieces and drapes, and use of creative stage lighting, the space can be transformed to create a unique performance and audience experience.
- The intimate studio theater at the College of Fine Arts, Studio ONE.
- Three modern black box studios at the College of Fine Arts, generous gifts from David J. Copeland and Friends and the family of Juliane Ethel Leilani Miller.
- Three classic Rehearsal Studios appointed with sprung floors and mirrored walls.
- Additional production spaces at the Boston University Production Center, including a light & sound lab, scene shop, paint shop, costume shop, and studio space for the design, production, and management academic concentrations.
- The School of Theatre Greenroom, a hub for roundtable discussions and student gatherings.
- The Evangeline Machlin Script Library, a non-circulating collection of scripts, anthologies, and theater resources available to all SOT students and faculty. New materials are added annually, and acquisition recommendations are always welcome.
School of Visual Arts
The Visual Arts Resource Library
The Visual Arts Resource Library is a non-circulating collection of books, exhibition catalogues, directories, magazines, videos, and sound recordings available for SVA students and faculty. New materials are added annually, and acquisition recommendations are always welcome. In addition to housing a 6,000-volume reference collection, which includes many rare and unique items, the library frequently hosts events and workshops targeted at career development education for young artists.
The Visual Arts Resource Library’s digital resources include Apple desktop computers fully loaded with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, a large-format digital scanner, a copier, and a black-and-white printer. A collection of digital equipment, including still and video cameras, projectors, audio recording equipment, lighting kits, and more, are available for short-term loans to SVA students and faculty.
Information on employment opportunities, exhibitions, fellowships, and grants is also available in the library. Literature on graduate programs, study abroad, artist fellowships, and summer programs are on file as well.
Galleries at Boston University
The galleries at the College of Fine Arts comprise both professional and student-run exhibition spaces that complement and augment the educational experience. The BU Art Galleries—the 808 Gallery and the Stone Gallery—presents professionally organized exhibitions by contemporary artists in all disciplines. The Commonwealth Gallery and Gallery 5 are dedicated to rotating exhibitions organized by graduate and undergraduate students.
Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series
Each semester, the School of Visual Arts’ Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series presents a series of lectures by various professional artists, including renowned painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers, art educators, and art critics. Undergraduate and graduate students benefit from exposure to the lecturers’ work, engaging with them in dialogues about the art-making process, as well as benefiting from individual studio visits and critiques. Visiting artist lectures are free and open to the public.
- Spacious individual studios for upper-level and graduate students.
- A fully equipped woodshop.
- A 5,000-square-foot printmaking facility, including five studios with dedicated space and equipment for etching, lithography letterpress, screenprinting, and bookmaking, and a digital print facility with 12 work stations, five large-format printers and scanner, and a 22″ Wacom Cintiq Touch Screen.
- Graduate students also have access to their own private woodshop and printmaking studio.
- A welding studio.
- A ceramics studio.
- Three photography darkrooms and a digital photography lab.
- Brand-new graphic design facilities, featuring spacious communal and individual studios, a digital print center, and digital tools including a vinyl cutter and 3-D printers.