Upon the establishment of the Lewis Center for the Arts and throughout the prior histories of the academic programs within the Center – Creative Writing, Dance, Theater, Music Theater, and Visual Arts — there has been a conscious philosophical intent to offer study in these art forms as a certificate, similar in some ways to a minor, rather than a major area of concentration.

Lewis Center programs grant Certificates of Proficiency, rather than a degree like the University department in which a student majors.

Interested students may apply to one or more programs to pursue a certificate.

Each program has its own expectations, which consist of required courses, senior independent work, and in some cases, additional technical work.

Certificates may be:

  • Seamlessly integrated with a major, as in a major in Art & Archaeology in the Practice of Art track, a collaboration between the Program in Visual Arts and the Department of Art & Archaeology
  • Complementary, such as a Music major pursuing a certificate in Theater, and staging a musical as her thesis work
  • Just because! Some students simply have a passion for art, like a Molecular Biology major who chooses to earn a certificate in Poetry

The procedure to apply for a certificate may differ from program to program, so please consult the program(s) in which you may be interested for details. In Creative Writing, students apply at the end of junior year to do a senior creative thesis; if accepted, they are on track to earn the certificate. In Music TheaterTheater and Dance, students may apply at any time; provided they have met the requirements, students will receive the certificate (a creative thesis is not a requirement). In Visual Arts, students apply in a highly selective process based on portfolio review and quality of work; accepted students do a creative thesis with a public showing such as an exhibition or screening.