Skip to main content area Skip to main navigation Skip to institutional navigation Skip to footer

Visual and Performing Arts

Major Requirements

Bottle and Cloth, Christopher LovelyBottle and Cloth, Christopher LovelyThe Visual and Performing Arts Department offers a variety of courses in art and art history, digital media, film and video, music, and theatre. Students have opportunities to study art history, theory, and methodology, as well as traditional studio and digital design work in the arts.

The Visual and Performing Arts Major In Art And Art History

The major in art and art history gives a broad-based and focused, historical education in the arts. General history courses in art (i.e. painting, sculpture, architecture and related media), music, film, photography, and theatre are coupled with studio experience.

  • After a course in methodology and art literature, students choose more specific work, not in one discipline, but in one era or period.
  • Courses in art, music, film, photography, theatre and literature (as appropriate to the chosen period) are taken in combination to encourage an informed view of the arts in a given period, such as the Renaissance, the Baroque/Classic, the Romantic, the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the Modern.
  • A senior seminar with thesis provides students an opportunity to relate in the various strands of their coursework in the arts.

In addition, art and art history majors are required (1) to take two semesters of a foreign language, preferably a language suitable to the student’s chosen period of study, and (2) to attend on a regular basis cultural affairs on- and off-campus: concerts, gallery exhibitions, films, lectures, etc.

The Visual and Performing Arts Major In Digital Design

The major in Digital Design provides the student with the opportunity to use traditional media such as photography, paint, pencil and charcoal and digital media to produce printed publications, 3D animation and illustration, and web sites. The student will have a grounding in art history to make his or her work intelligent and insightful whether the goal is to produce quality graphic design or fine art.

The Visual and Performing Arts Major in Theatre

Playwright John Patrick Shanley with the cast and crew of DOUBT (February 2014).Playwright John Patrick Shanley with the cast and crew of DOUBT (February 2014).


Supporting and embracing the mission statement of Merrimack College, an Augustinian, comprehensive college, the Theatre Arts major bases its curriculum on a liberal arts foundation while providing students with a series of core theatre courses in various aspects of theatrical art, including history and criticism, literature, performance, directing, design, management and technical production.  


The Theatre Arts major:

  • Prepares students for graduate school or professional careers in theatre related professions;
  • Provides students with practical experience in managing an arts organization;
  • Strives for high degrees of excellence and professionalism in its diverse academic and production offerings;
  • Provides group-oriented problem-solving opportunities for students that encourage research, collaboration and cooperation, while also encouraging individuals to realize the importance of self-exploration, self-discipline, and creative expression;
  • Prepares and encourages students to embrace theatrical art as an effective and necessary form of human inquiry, exploration, and critique.
  • Promotes among the local community a greater awareness and appreciation for the role, function, and value of theatre in society.

Click here for the Theatre Arts Major: Curriculum and Requirements



Please contact:
Dr. Kathleen Sills
Chair of Visual and Performing Arts