The University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Performing Arts Profile

Rigor, Creativity, Innovation

Chartered in 1890, the University of Chicago has approximately 6,800 undergraduates that comprise a community of exceptional student scholars who chose UChicago for its rigorous liberal arts curriculum, small discussion-style seminars, and 5:1 student-faculty ratio. The University prepares students for challenging careers and competitive graduate schools through professional and recreational opportunities on campus and in Chicago.

An educational ideal
Focused on careful reading, analytical writing, and critical thinking, UChicago’s Core Curriculum is the perfect foundation for any major—and for all future endeavors. With over 50 majors and more than 40 minors, students can double-major, create their own, or explore interdisciplinary opportunities. Undergraduates choose electives from more than 3,000 offered courses at the University each year, and over 40% study abroad through nearly 60 faculty-designed and taught programs. 

UChicago sponsors a wealth of undergraduate research opportunities in programs ranging from Economics and Psychology to Astrophysics and Sociology. More than 160 institutes and centers provide a home for true innovation. Our new Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering provides a unique opportunity to pursue molecular-level science in both an academic and research context.

Campus life
The residential housing system is a vital element of the University’s community. Modeled after the British house system, our 39 undergraduate houses eat together at shared dining tables, explore Chicago at sporting and cultural events, and compete against each other in intramural sports. Each student is guaranteed housing for four years, and though it’s only required for first- and second-year students, many upperclassmen remain to enjoy the houses’ perennial traditions. 

Undergraduates actively participate in more than 400 student organizations encompassing athletics, the arts, community service, and Greek life. Varsity teams compete at the NCAA Division III level, and more than 70% of the student body participates in UChicago’s extensive intramural and club sports programs.

Theater and Performance Studies
Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) seeks to animate the intersection of practice and theory in the arts. TAPS offers studio classes, seminars, and studio-seminars, which combine academic and practice-based inquiry.

The TAPS curricular program offers:

  • coursework in acting, dance, devising and writing (across media), design, directing, dramaturgy, media arts, performance studies, and theater history;
  • teaching roster of distinguished faculty and professional artists drawn from Chicago's vibrant theater and dance community;
  • intensive studio classes, seminars, and studio/seminars, typically with a ratio of 1 instructor to 8-14 students;
  • a unique and vibrant collaborative relationship with Court Theatre, the nationally renowned professional theater on campus, via coursework and internships.
  • a flourishing environment for collaboration and interdisciplinarity that includes the Smart MuseumMedia Arts & Design Center, and Chicago Performance Lab

TAPS is also home to an extraordinary variety of productions, both student-initiated and professionally-led. Each year, the performance/production side of our program supports:

  • 30+ productions involving approximately 500 student actors, dancers, designers, dramaturgs, writers, musicians, directors, choreographers, comedians, circus artists, filmmakers, and production staff in our theaters and performance labs.
  • fully designed productions and intimate laboratory workshops.
  • on- & off-campus internships and student staff positions where students gain experience in artistic, technical, managerial, and administrative positions while being mentored by professionals.

TAPS activities take place all across campus but are headquartered in the Logan Center for the Arts, which houses two state-of-the-art theaters, two studio-lab classrooms, a scene shop, a costume shop, and a welcoming, informal student lounge located in the TAPS suite.

Virtual Dance Lab
TAPS major/minor
Joint PhD program
Student Productions

Department of Music
Positioned at the heart of a world-renowned academic institution, the Department of Music offers graduate degrees in Composition, Ethnomusicology, and Music History and Theory, as well as an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a lively performance program that involves undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students. The Department of Music at UChicago allows you to study music your way. With flexible major and minor options, you can pursue your dream of becoming a hip-hop producer, an a cappella arranger, a leading member of the next generation of composers, or a new voice in music scholarship. You can also pursue interdisciplinary studies in music, combining the music major or minor with other disciplines such as computer science, cognitive science and psychology, sociology, or world languages and cultures.


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Performance Opportunities...

... in Music

Dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of music, UChicago’s vibrant Performance Program provides UChicago students from all backgrounds and academic programs with an exceptional environment for artistic inspiration and musical growth.

The Performance Program encompasses a wide range of musical opportunities for talented musicians throughout the campus and community. The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all majors and areas of study, as well as faculty, staff, and community members. The Performance Program involves hundreds of musicians across campus in a full schedule of concerts, master classes, and workshops each year. Performances regularly include special guest soloists, multi-arts collaborations, and world premieres, along with both masterworks and unusual treasures of the repertoire. The ensembles and programs strive to develop each student's individual proficiency and musical understanding to the highest degree possible.

... in Theatre

The Committee on Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) produces and collaborates with a number of student organizations. We offer a range of facilities and resources in the Logan Arts Center and the Reynolds Club, including but not limited to a black box theater, two proscenium theaters, two performance labs, scene, costumes, lighting, sound, and props shops. In addition, TAPS professional staff, faculty, and guest artists provide hands-on mentorship with two fully produced TAPS productions a year.

There are 60+ student-run or student-driven arts organizations, ensembles, troupes, and cultural/ethnic groups that are creatively engaged and ready to entertain you or even to take you on board. Here at UChicago we call them RSOs (Registered Student Organizations).

An Inside Look