University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

About The Arts at USF

As the creative center of the University of South Florida, the College of The Arts provides an enriched, creative, and professional environment for tomorrow’s leaders in architecture, design, art, art history, dance, music, and theatre. The college embraces opportunities to embed new and existing arts programming in the rapidly growing regional communities and serves as an integral engine for socioeconomic progress through its research, advocacy, and engagement. 

Cultural Opportunities

At USF, we provide our students with hands-on experiences and real-world opportunities for exhibitions, performances and practice within our own university gallery spaces, museum and performance halls. Students also participate in design, research, performance and exhibition projects across the Tampa Bay arts community. We proudly feature our students, faculty and guest artists in approximately 400 stage productions, concerts, exhibitions and lectures each year. These events free of charge and open to the public. See our event calendar to plan your next visit.


Research is how the College of The Arts provides resources to help students and the community benefit from the work and discovery at this university. Research in the Arts expands the practice of our students, faculty and community of artists through interdisciplinary work, global explorations of perspectives and local community engagement. The three research units of the College of The Arts – the Graphicstudio, the Center for Music Education Research and the Florida Center for Community Design and Research – exemplify the interdisciplinary significance of the arts. Through these research units, our students are exposed to various contemporary works that become incorporated into their curriculum and expand their own creative practices.


When the University of South Florida was founded in 1956, what is today the College of The Arts was known as the Division of Fine Arts under the umbrella of the College of Liberal Arts – one of the first four colleges at USF. In 1971, that division officially became its own college, and today the College of The Arts is home to the School of Architecture & Community Design, the School of Art & Art History, the School of Music, the School of Theatre & Dance and the Institute for Research in Art. For more background history on USF, visit History and Traditions.


Architecture & Community Design

The USF School of Architecture & Community Design is a studio-intensive program with an emphasis on the design process, the craft of making, urbanism, tectonics, digital fabrication and the cultural influences on architectural space and built form. The school offers master's degree programs only. Although bachelor's degrees are not offered, a Pre-Architecture program for undergraduates is available for both non-degree holding students and students with an associate's degree, which prepares students for master's studies in Architecture or Urban & Community Design.

Art & Art History

The USF School of Art & Art History recognizes the power of images to construct and reflect the shared consciousness of a culture. The school provides a challenging learning environment for research, creativity and experimentation, with an emphasis on engaged, critical thinking. With access to studio spaces, new technologies and a dedicated visual resources library, students enrolled in the bachelor's and master's programs can explore traditional mediums and techniques, as well as experiment with new media and technologies.


At the USF School of Music, opportunities to listen, learn and perform abound. The school's distinguished artist faculty regularly lead splendid student ensembles on performances at regional, national and international music events. Housed in an acoustically superior building, students in the bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs are encouraged to fine-tune their skills and develop their research. The school offers an exceptional jazz studies program, one of the most complete electronic music studios in the nation (SYCOM), a visionary music education program and an environment that boasts a wide range of excellent cultural activities.

Theatre & Dance

The USF School of Theatre & Dance facilitates the creative and academic activity of artists and scholars through rigorous training in the studio, the classroom and in performance. The school specializes in an undergraduate educational environment where students can write, choreograph, stage and perform an assortment of productions open to the university and Tampa Bay community. Students are also encouraged to expand their horizons by participating in international collaborations through study abroad programs and with visiting international guest artists.

  • Bull statue in front of the USF Marshall Student Center on the Tampa campus.

    About USF

    Founded in 1956, USF is a young and vibrant university located in Tampa, Florida. Learn about history, careers, facts, traditions, visiting campus and more.

    Learn More About USF

  • Curator's Tour of an exhibition at the USF Contemporary Art Museum

    Visit the College of The Arts

    If you are interested in attending the College of The Arts, come visit us. Schedule a tour, attend one of our events, or find a map to our buildings and creative spaces.

    Learn More About Visiting the College

  • Profile of the Tampa Museum of Art located directly in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park at the heart of downtown Tampa.

    Tampa Bay Arts Community

    Outside USF, the Tampa Bay area offers a rich variety of creative and cultural activities. Follow this link to learn more about our local arts community.

    Learn More About the Local Arts Community