University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Mission, Vision and Values

Welcome to the College of The Arts

Dean Chris Garvin

We are proud of the work that our College has accomplished in our brief history. We maintain an outstanding faculty with deep connections to architecture, art, dance, music, theatre, and the contemporary visual arts through our Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio. We strive to provide our students with a practice-based, student-centered, outcome driven academic environment in order to prepare them to successfully engage the world when they graduate.

We offer a wide array of classes ranging from arts electives available to the entire USF student population to highly specialized courses for majors in each of our disciplines, as well as a doctoral level program in music education. The College of The Arts is also ambitious in its size and scope, with four separate schools, nearly a dozen different degree programs, two concert halls, three theatres, a professional museum, a student art gallery, a digital media lab, a new Music Building, and Graphicstudio—which is renowned throughout the nation and the world.

For our community, the College annually presents approximately 400 public performances, exhibitions, lectures, plays, shows, concerts, workshops and more – by our students and faculty as well as by nationally and internationally recognized artists, scholars, and performers.

I invite you to explore our website, visit our campus, attend an event, talk to our faculty and our current students, and to become an integral part of our College arts community.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Garvin, Dean


The mission of the University of South Florida's College of The Arts is to conduct scholarly and creative research and to challenge and inspire students to make significant contributions in the arts.

At USF, we provide a learning environment that is engaged locally and nationally in contemporary issues and initiatives.


Our college aspires to achieve national and international recognition as a distinguished center for study, creation, and research (in architecture and community environmental design, publishing of prints and sculpture multiples, visual arts, dance, music, theatre, and contemporary exhibitions).

We provide an innovative and exciting environment to prepare the next generation of architects, artists, designers, educators, scholars, and audiences for these disciplines.

The Arts at USF supports and promotes creative research (including history and theory), performance, and production in these disciplines while continuing to engage the Tampa Bay community by enriching the cultural landscape and advancing sustainable practices.


Our college values the role and function the arts have — both historically and in the present — as a means of discovery, expression, and reflection on our human experience and the world in which we live.

More specifically we value:

  • Innovative approaches to teaching that fosters critical thinking, creative problem solving and effective communication
  • Rigorous preparation in the foundations of one's discipline as a point of departure for creative development and scholarship
  • Significant scholarly and creative research
  • The diverse perspectives of faculty, guest artists/lecturers/scholars, and students
  • Active involvement in the local, national, and international discipline-based dialog
  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative opportunities – locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Community engagement and partnerships
  • Production and presentation of distinctive contemporary work
  • Collegial participation of faculty, staff, and students in efforts of the schools, college, and university