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Visual and Performing Arts

Our visual and performing arts feature traditional training and so much more.

Our graduates shine because they are trained as critical thinkers and problem-solvers. Students tell us that they are attracted to JMU because of our commitment to balancing a rigorous professional program of visual arts study with a liberal arts curriculum renowned for its academic excellence. The same is true for music and other academic disciplines.

It's about expression, knowledge, creativity, and the unique fulfillment that comes with a well-rounded academic adventure.

Two students work in a JMU art studio.

Special application requirements

To pursue an arts major, you must meet additional application requirements. These include an artistic review, personal interview and letters of recommendation. Music and theater and dance have similar requirements. Details may be found here.


  • Our Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, opened in fall 2010, is the region's finest performing arts center. It features amazing learning sp
  • The JMU School of Theatre and Dance is one of the largest undergraduate programs in Virginia. It has a student population of more than 200 majors with nearly half that number of minors.
  • The JMU Kennedy Center Series highlights our professors as performers four times each year.
  • The Institute for Visual Studies is helping to shape students' futures by bringing together professors from across many disciplines who work with images, using them as teaching tools and creating an extraordinary range of new applications.

What do our professors say?

Professor Amadi Azikiwe tutors a viola student.I take very seriously the idea that the teacher should be a teacher and a mentor and an example. I have seen that from my own teachers, and I am sincere when I think that it's just as important to lead by example as it is to be able to say, 'You're out of tune here' or 'you need to use more bow there.'

- Amadi Azikiwe, viola professor