Welcome to the College of the Arts – A College of Significance
Where faculty change lives and create futures

The College of the Arts is a destination of choice for students seeking the highest quality training in the visual and performing arts. The college prides itself on being an institution with regional focus and national impact - we serve the local community while influencing all areas of the arts nationwide. Our graduates perform on Broadway and in major opera houses; work for major television and film productions both on and off camera; and show their artwork in galleries across the country.

The college is home to one of the largest theatre programs in the state with an emphasis in technical theatre, providing the industry with numerous workforce-ready theatre technicians. Our Visual Arts complex is home to one of only a few large, comprehensive art programs in the Cal State system, distinguishing itself from other campuses.

It is our mission to provide an environment that encourages individual achievement and artistic expression, inspiring tomorrow's artists, performers, and scholars to create new and innovative art forms we have yet to imagine.

All degree programs are continuously and fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theatre, and Art and Design.

Each year, over 40,000 members of our community attend more than 400 concerts, plays, dance performances, and exhibitions in the College of the Arts.

Dean Dale Merrill congratulates a graduating student
Dean Dale A. Merrill congratulates a new graduate from the College of the Arts commencement ceremony Saturday, May 18th, 2019. (Michael Ares, Contributing Photographer)

Orange County Register:  Cal State Fullerton graduates aspire to create change through art Opens in new window

What sets CSUF's College of the Arts apart?


CSUF and the College of the Arts have a historical and proven reputation for delivering a high-quality arts education to diverse groups of students.
Our students are engaged in art making as undergraduates and are actively involved in a wide range of performances, concerts, plays, exhibitions, recitals, masterclasses, and internships in contrast to many colleges where these opportunities are typically reserved for seniors and graduate students. Our students have access to and benefit greatly from mentoring by our exceptional faculty members. As performers and master-teachers, they "teach and do."

CSUF is proud to offer a remarkable depth and breadth of educational programs with tuition well below the national average. It is continually recognized as a top institution in the West for students graduating with the least debt.

Students learn practical and technical skills in addition to the theoretical and conceptual aspects of their art form.

Graduates are successful in admissions to top graduate programs across the country. 2017 undergraduate exit survey shows that 31% planned to attend graduate school, with 28% having been accepted at the time of the survey. 


Upon graduation, students are ready to step into a multitude of careers through faculty connections, industry partnerships, and alumni referrals.
Graduates of the Department of Visual Art's programs are highly sought after and employed by a premiere list of entertainment and media companies, including Nickelodeon, Disney, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Sony Pictures, Paramount Studios, Pixar, and Warner Bros.

Theatre & Dance graduates are working across the country as performers, technicians and managers, in a diverse range of companies that include Disney, major movie studios, Broadway, national touring companies, professional dance and theatre companies, and the entertainment industry.

The School of Music's working artists perform at the Metropolitan Opera, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Disney Hall, as well as compose, orchestrate and arrange for major motion pictures. 20-25 new music teachers are credentialed through the School of Music every year, and step directly into teaching positions at schools across the region and nation.

Our size, breadth, and longevity in arts education has - and continues to - significantly impact creative industries and economies in Southern California and beyond.

Through a "learning by doing" approach to arts education, College of the Arts students graduate with authentic, real world experience that ensures their success in the working world.


The College continually invests in state of the art learning tools, classrooms, labs, and performance facilities:

Visual Arts students learn in newly upgraded glass and ceramics studios, and industry standard Cintiq labs in animation/ illustration classrooms.
Theatre & Dance students utilize state-of-the-art audio, lighting, and other technical labs, in addition to having access to a broad array of theatre and dance spaces for rehearsal to gain performance experience.

School of Music students benefit from the Performance Science Centre Lab, which uses motion capture video and other technologies to study performance improvement and injury prevention for pianists, instrumentalists, singers, and conductors. It is also used for instruction in the psychology of performance, anatomy and physiology in music performance, health and wellness for musicians, and Alexander Technique for musicians.

School of Music students rehearse and perform in one of Southern California's finest concert halls, Meng Concert Hall, located in Clayes Performing Arts Center.


As a state university and a national model for successful public comprehensive universities, we provide access and opportunity to our community's aspiring arts students.

CSUF's broad geographic area is larger than that for other local CSU campuses, resulting in a more diverse and talented body of arts students.
Our mandate is to focus on local students, providing them with access first. Local benefit - national impact


Through 400 plays, concerts, exhibitions annually, we provide community access to affordable, quality arts experiences.

Faculty and students partner with community organizations to deliver youth arts education programs such as Ryman Arts, summer art and music camps, and high school theatre and music festivals.

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Last Published 8/1/19

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