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Performing Arts Profile

Performing arts
Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts (CFA) was founded in 1905 as the first comprehensive arts learning institution in the United States. 

For 98 years it’s educated outstanding artists, architects, designers, theater artists, and musicians who’ve made important contributions to culture in the United States and the world. Within CFA, the School of Drama and School of Music focus on the performing arts. The student-faculty ratio for CFA is 9:1, which provides intense learning interactions and conservatory or studio training within the larger university. 

School of Drama
Carnegie Mellon was the first institution in the United States to offer a bachelor’s degree in drama in 1917. The School of Drama produces innovators, practitioners, and industry leaders in the arts and entertainment professions who indelibly impact how people experience the world at large.

The focus of the school’s programs is to study and create theater and performance work that is constantly connected to an ever-evolving world. Theater as an art form has never been more influenced by technology, by economics, and by larger cultural developments than now.

Students focus on the totality of theater and its relevance to the contemporary world. Each season, up to 21 events, in addition to our annual festival of independent student work, are presented in the Purnell Center’s theaters, studios, and lobbies.

The school’s alumni include innovators and leaders in the theater, television and film professions, and related arts/entertainment industries: actors, directors, dramaturgs,dramatic writers, production designers, crafts persons, technicians, technical managers, producers, and imaginative visionaries.

School of Music
Carnegie Mellon was the first institution to celebrate 100 years of educating outstanding musicians. Today’s musician must be entrepreneurial, a good business person, possess the courage to travel around the world, and be willing to embrace new technologies.

The School of Music is a conservatory within a university; however, students may develop concentrations or minors in other fields, effectively expanding future career options. The School of Music offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in instrumental performance, keyboard performance, vocal performance, and composition. The B.F.A. is a professional degree in which 80% of the curriculum is in music. The School of Music also offers a Bachelor of Science in Music & Technology.

Every music student is part of an orchestra, chorus, or wind ensemble and chamber group. We also have an internationally known program in eurhythmics and solfege, complemented by outstanding offerings in history and theory. One of the best ways to learn is to teach, and we support a significant program of pedagogy and music education as a co-requisite to performance, an invaluable training component for a life in music.

School of Music alumni have composed for and are performing and conducting in major symphony orchestras, choruses, and opera companies around the world.





Majors in the
Performing Arts

School of Drama
• Acting
• Design
- Costume
- Lighting
- Scenic
- Sound

- Video and Music
• Directing
• Dramaturgy
• Music Theatre
• Production
- Production Management
- Technical Direction
- Stage Management

School of Music
• Music Composition
• Music Performance
- Instrumental
- Organ
- Piano
- Voice

Music Education with Teacher Certification

Music and Technology
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