About The Department

About The Department


Since its inception, the Visual and Performing Arts Department has been committed to several innovative educational objectives:

  1. Interdisciplinary approach - The VPA includes tracks in music, theatre, visual arts, arts and technology, and arts and education. Collaboration across disciplines is encouraged among our students and faculty to provide a more expansive arts education.
  2. Commitment to the latest technology - The VPA Department offers cutting edge courses in digital art and music, web design, video, and interactive multimedia.
  3. Building community through the arts - the VPA department builds community through outreach to schools, art research and exhibits, theatre, dance, music performances and video productions. 
  4. Support of teaching through the arts - Center ARTES, a university Center dedicated to restoring arts to schools is housed within the VPA department.  Among its programs and research are the award-winning SUAVE Program, AVID for Arts, the County-wide Arts Education Summit (in cooperation with the County Office of Education), as well as DREAM (Developing Reading Education through Arts Methods), a Department of Education Office of Innovation grant between Cal State San Marcos, the County Office of Education, and numerous school districts.
  5. Global Arts - The VPA Department celebrates the arts of the world with the Indonesian Gamelan, theater in Spanish, and many survey courses in global arts.

The Goals of the Visual and Performing Arts Department are:

  1. To help students develop a multi-disciplinary and global perspective in the arts.
  2. To provide a curriculum that teaches the skills of critical analysis using works of art from a broad range of cultures and styles.
  3. To assist students to become fluent in the theory and practice of new digital technologies.
  4. To provide the tools for students to create their own art as composers, visual artists or performers.
  5. To help students discover their own cultural histories and ethnic identities.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for a graduate of the Visual and Performing Arts Department area as diverse as the interests of VPA majors. Graduates pursue careers as actors, artists, composers, dancers, directors, filmmakers, and musicians. The Department provides an excellent preparation for careers in performance, multimedia design, video and/or music production, web design and support, art history, arts management and publishing. Many students go on to graduate school in the arts, or to complete a credential program in education and assume teaching positions in primary and secondary schools.

Capstone Project

An important component of the VPA degree is the Senior Capstone Project which represents a culmination of work done while in the program. Capstone Projects take many forms and are designed with the input of the student's advisor. Possible Capstone Projects are: a multimedia CD-ROM, a full length video, an art exhibit, a collection of music compositions, a recital, directing, writing, or taking a lead role in a theatre production. Students should begin planning for the capstone in the fall of their senior year; public presentation of their work may be anytime during the semester.