West Virginia University – College of Creative Arts
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West Virginia University – College of Creative Arts

The College of Creative Arts is a diverse, highly regarded faculty with a range of arts- and performance-related offerings. Around 800 students are enrolled, creating a microcosm within West Virginia University, one of the most highly regarded university campuses in the US.

The college focuses on creative development in art, music, theatre and dance. This takes place in the Creative Arts Center, a well-equipped and modern facility with 50 classrooms and a 1,400-seat concert theatre that hosts a line-up of performances throughout the year. A choral recital hall, an orchestra rehearsal hall and three smaller theatres on site as well, allowing students to hone their technical skills and conduct smaller-scale performances.

The above are just the performance-related facilities, and the Creative Arts Center adds to this with a comprehensive suite of studios. Students can hone their skills in a range of art forms through in facilities dedicated to painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, photography and computer design. Finished works of art are proudly displayed in the Mesaros Art Galleries. And for students arriving this year, the soon-to-open Art Museum is set to provide 5,500 square feet worth of inspiration.

These state-of-the-facilities combined with the opportunity to study under world-renown faculty have set the CCA apart from the competition. It’s easily one of the best academic destinations in the US for students of the creative arts. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report singled out the CCA as having the number-one Master of Fine Arts programs in the country. Needless to say, international students from Asia and elsewhere are taking notice.

International opportunities

Students of the College of Creative Arts have access to study abroad programs that broaden artistic horizons while building cultural awareness. Studying abroad is worthwhile for students of any discipline, but it has particularly acute advantages for aspiring artists. Breaking through cultural boundaries paves the way for innovation and forms of fusion that might otherwise have gone undiscovered.

One of the most attractive travel and study programs currently on offer is for students of ceramics. The MFA in Ceramic was ranked in the top-20 by U.S. News & World Report. A partnership between the CCA and China’s world-renown Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute has made it possible for students from both continents to travel across the world and learn alongside their international peers. This is the only study abroad program of its kind in the US.


Pic: WVU School of Theatre and Dance.

The CCA also offers a summer painting in Tongren and Nanjing, China. Students explore landscape painting in Chinese ink style and scroll painting. Visits to artistic sites and major historical attractions are part of the experience.

Many other international programs and internships are also on the agenda. The ‘Music Alive!’ program sends students to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where they apprentice with local musicians and take part in the world-famous Carnvaval festivities. The Summer Voice and Piano Workshop in the Bavarian Alps is timed to coincide with some of the biggest music festivals in Austria and Germany, while the Disegno Italia program takes students on tour of Italy’s major cities where they study art, art history, design and Italian culture.

Life on campus

WVU is located in Morganitown, West Virginia, which was voted the “No. 1 Small City in America” by BizJournals.com for its exceptional quality of life. This sets the stage for one of the most enriching campus experiences that art students enjoy anywhere in the world.

The university hosts 350 student organizations, which provide opportunity to further skills in extracurricular creative arts programs, begin lifelong networks by getting to know students from other colleges or simply cut loose and enjoy a comprehensive selection of intramural and club sports.


Pic: WVU ceramics.

The list of accolades for greater Morgantown is long. The town has been rated one of the “Best Sport Cities” (Sporting News) in the US, “Best Small Metro” (Forbes), one of “50 Smartest Places to Live” (Kiplinger’s), one of the “Best Cities for Jobs” (MSN Careers), second-ranking “Best College Towns for Jobs” (Forbes), one of the “50 Best Places to Launch a Small Business” (CNNMoney.com) and 12th overall “Hottest Small City” (Inc.) At this point, it practically goes without saying that WVU students enjoy one of the finest campus experiences in the country.

Furthermore, students from Asia who would like to explore as many of the US’s iconic cities will find WVU ideally positioned for downtown excursions and outings. Washington D.C. is nearby, hosting some of the most majestic architecture and finest museums in the country. West Virginia is also well-located on the Atlantic coast, squarely between the colonial northern seaboard and genteel southern states.


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