You know visual and performing arts is your path if being under the lights in the theater, or on the stage singing, is your passion. Or if you love painting or cartoon creation. But it might also be a good fit if you like working behind the stage: doing lighting or set design. If you think this might be your field, use high school to get some experience, since many of the best schools that offer this major will ask for portfolios of work.

This video from Banbury and Bicester college has student stories of why they’re studying performing arts:

Applying to these fields can involve choosing between a general degree with a focus on performing or visual arts, or a degree in performance. As the National Association of College Admissions Counselors explains, the difference is crucial:

“There is a world of difference between a BA in music and a BM in music,” says Anthony Celentano, school counselor and military advisor at Pope John XXIII High School (NJ), who holds a BM and MM (master of music). “A BA in music will be pretty much like any other BA degree, lots of courses outside of your major with approximately 12 or so courses in your major. That’s not a lot of music for the student who is looking for an intense musical experience. A BM in music essentially is a professional degree. Within my 120+ credits for my BM, only 36 were liberal arts courses. The remainders were music or degree-related courses: private lessons, conducting classes, music history, music theory, etc.”


Institutions Offering this Major

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