The University of St. Thomas


Fine Arts Requirement

Fine Arts Requirement

Fine Arts Requirement

A core-area course in one of the fine arts aims to enhance students' understanding of and appreciation for one or more of the fine arts (art, music, or theater). Students gain an understanding of the role of the fine arts in expressing and maintaining, discovering and questioning a culture's dominant beliefs and ordeals. A transfer or study-abroad course must be broad enough to encompass different periods, cultures and styles, but also allow for an intensive scrutiny of the way in which the work of art, music or theater is composed and created.

The following Music Department courses currently fulfill the Fine Arts Requirement:

  • MUSC 115 Understanding Music and Culture
  • MUSC 118 Understanding Music and Culture to 1850 (Partial Fulfillment)
  • MUSC 119 Understanding Music and Culture 1850 to Present (Partial Fulfillment)
  • MUSC 120 Orchestral Literature
  • MUSC 130 Introduction to World Music
  • MUSC 216 Jazz in America
  • MUSC 217 Music of the Americas
  • MUSC 218 Black America Music: A Historical Survey
  • MUSC 219 Music in the United States
  • MUSC 222 The Theology of America Popular Music
  • MUSC 412 History and Literature of Music II

The Fine Arts Requirement may also be fulfilled by four semesters of participation in one of the following ensembles:

  • MUSN 140 Women's Choir
  • MUSN 142 Chamber Singers
  • MUSN 143 Liturgical Choir
  • MUSN 160 Concert Choir
  • MUSN 173 Guitar Ensemble
  • MUSN 181 Orchestra
  • MUSN 185 Symphonic Band
  • MUSN 186 Symphonic Wind Ensemble
  • A total of four semesters in MUSN 142 and 160 or 185 and 186

To have a transfer or study abroad course evaluated for Fine Arts Requirement fulfillment:

  • Attach a syllabus to the form. Please note that if a course description from a catalog does not provide sufficient information for the course to be properly evaluated and will not be accepted.
  • Turn in your fine arts review form to Dr. Michael Jordan, AQU 110F.

In most cases courses are evaluated within 10 business days, except if school is not in session. Please write your contact information clearly (e-mail, telephone number, and student ID) on the form so that you can be contacted when a decision is made.

Criteria for Core Area Courses in Fine Arts:

In order to evaluate a transfer or study-abroad course for the fine arts requirement, it is necessary to determine if it meets the required elements for fine arts courses at St. Thomas. These six required elements or "perspectives" are found below. In order to facilitate options for students, it is necessary that five of the required six elements listed below be in the course. It is not possible to do extra-credit work outside of the class to make up for a missing requirement.

Historical Perspective: A fine arts core area course should cover a range of periods diverse enough to highlight changes in the style of the fine arts and to elucidate the meaning of the work of arts in its broader cultural context. It should also examine the ways in which these changes reflect or challenge a society's beliefs and ideals.

Theoretical Perspective: A fine arts core area course should examine the means by which artists express themselves by analyzing the basic components of compositions, their arrangement, and their potential for expressive phrasing or nuances. It also should consider the relationship of artist and listener or viewer and circumstances under which this occurs.

Analytical Perspective: A fine arts core area course should require oral and written analysis of the art form. This may include writing a commentary on a museum visit, a concert report, a critical analysis of the production of a play or film, or an oral presentation analyzing and interpreting performance.

Contextual Perspective: A fine arts core area course should examine works of art in their religious, cultural, social, and political contexts as appropriate. Courses will also study and compare works of art from different cultures or ethnic groups.

Stylistic Perspective: A fine arts core area course should consider the effect of style upon the form and interpretation of a work of art, and consider how differences in style within or between periods and cultures reveal an expression of the artist and culture.

Experiential Perspective: A fine arts core area course should include some experience of the art form beyond lecturing and reading. This may include attendance at theater or concert performances, field trips to museums, participation in a concert ensemble, or informal participatory experiences such as sketching or stage design.