University of the Arts

College review by Lisa Bleich

I spent a week last month touring a variety of colleges in Pennsylvania, starting with Philadelphia schools such as University of Pennsylvania, University of the Arts and Drexel, making my way to Lancaster to see Franklin and Marshall and Dickinson and ending up in Central PA at Susquehanna and Bucknell. Each college represented a different educational experience and I discovered some pleasant surprises along the way.

Located in Center City Philadelphia, University of the Arts is a bustling performing and visual arts mecca for students. The visual arts program is highly rated and everywhere on campus you see art being created. From the studio classes where students cluster around a professor or fellow artist to examine each other’s work or create their own to a glass blowing center, to an industrial design floor with cutting saws and furniture design. They also have a very competitive musical theater conservatory and drama program. (Only 24 students, 12 male and 12 female, are accepted for each respective program). Their music program is focused on jazz studies and their vocal also has a strong classical component to it. The buildings cover about four city blocks and the main Philadelphia theater lies in the center. The area around the campus is urban and mixed in terms of its safety. This is a great school for a focused artist, who can easily take initiative in a city environment. Students also take advantage of the first Friday of the month to visit art galleries and stock up on “free food”.

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