The Fine Arts Program at North Carolina State University

The study of fine arts encourages creativity and self-expression, as well as teaches critical thinking and communication skills. It also increases cognitive functioning and enhances academic achievement and social awareness.

Lawren Harris’s idealized northern landscapes are considered essential to 20th century Canadian art. This exhibit explores Harris’s major works.

Visual Arts

The arts help us unlock the door to our imagination, discover new perspectives and shape our world. Through our small classes, close student-faculty interaction and hands-on training, we foster creativity, critical thinking and lifelong learning.

We offer a variety of visual art courses including drawing, ceramics, digital imaging, painting, printmaking, jewelry and sculpture. Students also take advanced level classes that build on concepts from basic techniques.

Our art history courses provide students with a foundation for understanding the development of artistic styles, issues and themes throughout history. We also cover the relationships between people, cultures and their artifacts.

Performing Arts

The performing arts are the art forms that involve a person or group of people using specific talents and skills in front of an audience. These include dancing, music, theatre and musical theatre, magic or illusion performances and object manipulation as well as oratory, recitation, mime and circus art. Artists who participate in the performing arts are called performers, not artists.

The north fine arts department hosts a wide variety of performances, events and courses each year. This provides a cultural asset to the northwest Houston community. These include the annual Chase Away the Blues concert, the art competition Showcase of Excellence and a full calendar of music and theatre productions. We also offer workforce programs in arts and visual communications. These programs are housed in the visual arts, drama and music divisions. Students who study in these areas will develop their creativity, imagination and sensitivity while developing communication skills through art history, dance, drama, music and writing studies.


The study of music and the performance of music in all forms, including traditional instrumental ensembles and voice. Students gain a greater understanding of musical elements and techniques, develop an appreciation for the history of musical styles, and acquire skills in the interpretation and analysis of representative works.

Historically, the five main fine arts were painting, sculpture, architecture, and music, with other “minor or subsidiary arts” including drawing, dance, and theatre. The prevailing theory for this distinction was founded on classical precedent, especially the cult of individual artists such as Greek painters and sculptors and the carvers of engraved gems.

Every undergraduate student, regardless of major, must take one acceptable course in music, art, or theatre as part of their Area C core curriculum requirements. Successful completion of any of the courses below fulfills this requirement. Students enrolled in these courses are expected to attend a prescribed number of exhibitions, concerts, guest lectures, and other cultural events that occur on campus outside of the regular class time.


Students earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre, with options to focus in either performance or design/technology. Faculty encourage majors to attend regional theatre conferences and participate in experiential learning trips to New York, the heart of America’s theatrical center.

The department’s mainstage season includes student productions, actor showcases and one-act plays. The campus theatre also hosts guest directors, improv troupes, festivals and more.

In addition to teaching in the classroom, Theatre Arts faculty are active participants in local and national professional organizations. They are also frequent visitors to high school drama departments and present workshops for educators.

Theatre Arts alumni pursue a broad range of careers, including actors, teachers, directors, designers and producers. Other graduates have gone on to graduate study or enter professional training programs, including law and medicine. Scholarships are available to qualified theatre and music majors. See the complete list of scholarships and apply online. Applicants are reviewed and notified of admission decision in 10 days or less.

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