University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

Performing Arts Profile

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In 1855, the University of Iowa became the first public university in the country to admit women and men on an equal basis. To this day, the will to break down walls and challenge ideas continues to define what it means to be a Hawkeye. 

The University of Iowa provides an engaging, interdisciplinary learning environment that encourages exploration, critical thinking, and creativity. Expert faculty members work alongside undergraduates on projects and research, helping Hawkeyes get involved and gain crucial hands-on skills in their desired fields. 

Leadership in the performing arts
The University of Iowa has earned its reputation as an international pioneer in the arts, being home to the world-renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop and leaders across every form of creative expression. Countless artists have found their inspiration at Iowa, bringing inventive new perspectives to their medium of choice.

Iowa’s distinction in the performing arts comes from three sources: a lack of barriers between disciplines, access to accomplished faculty, and practical opportunities to create and display work. Students from every area of study can work together to create something new, allowing students to find and learn from other skilled Hawkeyes as they bring their visions to life. This extends to faculty as well, with students having direct access to instructors who are all masters of their craft. Whether creating their own original work or participating in a student production, there are numerous performance venues that provide students an opportunity to get on stage. This hands-on approach to arts education is why so many blockbuster filmmakers, Oscar winners, Emmy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, and elite symphony members can be found among UI alumni.

Where creativity lives
The University of Iowa is home to many dynamic performance venues, including Hancher Auditorium. Hancher is not only one of Iowa City’s most beloved artistic resources but also provides a place where world-class performers and students can share a stage. Acts from around the globe come to Iowa to perform in the 1,800-seat main theatre.

Voxman Music Building is another phenomenal resource for students. Inside, students have access to numerous soundproof practice rooms, a digital music production lab, a music library that houses more than 90,000 scores of music, and a 700-seat recital hall. The Voxman Music Building is also home to a 3,883-pipe Klais organ, the only one of its kind in the United States.

Facilities like these provide a perfect complement to the hands-on, practical approach to arts education that defines the University of Iowa. Blending personal attention, leading faculty, and the resources of a Big Ten university creates a truly unique experience for students exploring their passion for the arts. 



#33 Best Public University | U.S. News & World Report


#1 Best Public University in Iowa | U.S. News & World Report


Top 100 National Universities | U.S. News & World Report

By the Numbers

Total undergraduate enrollment: 31,206
Total undergraduate areas of study: 200+
Student-faculty ratio: 16:1

40+ Pulitzer Prize-winning faculty and alumni. Seven US Poets Laureate. Blockbuster filmmakers. Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Peabodys, elite symphony placements—the list of accolades earned by members of the University of Iowa arts community goes on and on!

Art undergraduate areas of study

• Art
• Art History
• Cinema
• Communication Studies
• Comparative Literature
• Dance
• English
• English and Creative Writing
• Journalism and Mass Communication
• Music
• Theatre Arts

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An Inside Look