Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts


Effective 1 June 2024 through 31 May 2025

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


Paul Steger, dean

Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts website (external to catalog)

Mission Statement

The mission for the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts at Webster University is to provide students the artistic training, preparation and scholarship necessary to achieve excellence in the arts as professionals. The faculty of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts is composed of working professional artists and scholars who share a passion for teaching and who hold the belief that in a diverse and technologically advancing world, the arts serve as an expression of our culture's deeper value. The College's dedication to continuing its longstanding tradition as a center for quality creative expression, combined with the University's continuing commitment as a home of significant professional arts organizations, create the rich artistic, academic and cultural atmosphere necessary to assure the success of our students in reaching their goals.

This Mission Statement clearly reflects the spirit and atmosphere that permeates the creative atmosphere of the college. The demands placed on students are enormous. In order to succeed, the faculty expect students to be highly disciplined; to be completely focused on the challenges that will be placed in front of them regularly; to be resilient in their spirit to use the talent and instruction available to achieve new levels of excellence and to understand that to be an artist in our community, it is necessary to be a citizen and a leader. The faculty are dedicated to providing the best possible opportunities to develop individual talents within the resources available at the University. It is expected that students will strive to be the best and to set the standards for others to achieve.

In order to ensure that the best opportunities are available to the students, significant partnerships are in place with the outstanding performing and visual arts organizations in the region. The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and The Repertory Theatre St. Louis are housed on campus and perform their seasons in the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts. The Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis (the Muny) as well as Variety Theatre and Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre have partnership programs available to students. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra has curricular programs jointly offered with Webster. The presence of these outstanding arts organizations provides our students with day-by-day opportunities to understand the discipline and the demand for excellence that must be maintained at the highest level of achievement. The professionals working with these organizations are selected to be members of the faculty of artists that is the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts.

It is expected that through the entrance audition process, our students are excellent. It is expected that our students are ready for the daily regime necessary to excel. It is expected that our students will be intellectually curious. It is expected that our students will utilize the resources available to them to prepare themselves for successful careers in the arts discipline of choice. It is expected that the faculty will provide the models of excellence that are required to ensure that the best training is available. It is expected that the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts will be a regional and national leader in the visual and performing arts. Everyone — students, faculty and staff — is dedicated to being a community of artists reaching for excellence. Expect to be challenged and prepare to succeed.

Department of Art, Design and Art History

Noriko Yuasa, chair

Majors and Degrees



Art Education

Students seeking certification to teach art at the elementary and secondary level should combine an art (BA or BFA) with an emphasis in studio art major with the education (BA) with certification in art K-12 education major in the Department of Teacher Education. The Department of Teacher Education offers courses that prepare an individual to teach at either the elementary or secondary level, while the Department of Art, Design and Art History offers courses conveying the requisite studio art and art historical knowledge. For more information, see the School of Education section. To successfully complete the requirements of both departments, students should have advisors in education and in art.

Mission Statement

The Department of Art, Design and Art History (DADAH) at Webster University educates students through the creative practice and intellectual endeavors of art, design, and its history to be thoughtful, visionary individuals. DADAH is a community in which all students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to express their individual voices and in turn rely upon the trust and integrity of their peers to mindfully support and challenge one another in the name of inclusion and the expansion of world views.

Special Study Opportunities

Other special opportunities include:

  • Senior Art and Design Exhibit held at Arcade Contemporary Art Projects
  • Exhibits of professional works throughout the year in the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery and Arcade Contemporary Art Projects
  • Internships at area art institutions
  • Study at any of Webster University's international campuses
  • Annual summer intensive studio trip to Vienna
  • Regular international study trips to Florence and elsewhere


A limited number of talent scholarships are available to qualified students.

  • Talent-based scholarships based upon review of entrance portfolio
  • ArtMart Scholarchip (for students in their senior year)
  • Leon Hicks Scholarship (for students in their senior year)
  • Marilynne Bradley Art Education Scholarship (special consideration given to art education students)
  • Natalie Probstein Scholarship in Art
  • Notion Graphic Design Scholarship (special consideration given to graphic design students)
  • Sister Gabriel Mary Hoare Scholarship (special consideration given to art education students)
  • Other scholarships also available

Special Requirements

Entering students seeking a BA in art, a BFA in art with an emphasis in illustration, a BFA in art with a studio emphasis or a BFA in graphic design must present a portfolio for initial acceptance into the art program. The portfolio is reviewed as a condition of the admission process, by one or more faculty of the Department of Art, Design and Art History. 

Courses completed with a grade of D do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

Transfer Students

Transfer students seeking a BA in art with an emphasis in studio art must take 15 or more studio credit hours at Webster University.

Transfer students seeking a BA in art history and criticism must take a minimum of 12 art history credit hours and 6 studio credit hours at Webster University.

Transfer students seeking a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) must take at least 24 studio credit hours.

Transfer students seeking a BFA in art with a studio emphasis in drawing must take a minimum of 15 credit hours in drawing at Webster University.

Transfer students should expect to complete the departmental requirements in a minimum of two academic years.

Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Gad Guterman, chair

Majors and Degrees


Statement of Purpose

We train our future colleagues to become visionaries, creators, and leaders in the next generation of theatre professionals.

Educational Goals

Sargent Conservatory students will:

  • Realize the potential of their imagination.
  • Demonstrate a holistic, integrated working process that is grounded in theatrical practice.
  • Develop and hone skills within their area of expertise.
  • Create theatre through participating in collaborative ensembles, both in the classroom and in production.
  • Experience theatre production by reading, watching, and doing, in both professional and academic environments.
  • Cultivate a process that is actively antiracist, fully inclusive, and that strives for equity at all times.
  • Prepare to work professionally and contribute to the evolving field of theatre.

Student Assessment

Webster University's Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts offers a sequential, selective and intensive program for training artists. All students are accepted into the program by interview or audition and are enrolled in a particular sequence. Through a carefully monitored grading system using feedback from faculty, students are regularly advised of their progress and status within the Conservatory. Learning outcomes are measured via coursework, semester auditions, interviews and/or portfolio reviews from which students receive individual faculty feedback.

Special Study Opportunities

One of the distinguishing elements of Webster's Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts is its integrated association with professional performing organizations, two of which are located on campus: The Repertory Theatre St. Louis and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Webster also enjoys a one-of-a-kind association with a professional musical theatre, The Muny, and a partnership with St. Louis Shakespeare Festival as well as Variety Theatre and Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. These outstanding performing institutions offer exciting productions, nationally and internationally recognized theatre artists and special opportunities for specific projects.

The Conservatory produces a season of six to eight theatrical productions, including one to three directing capstones. Additionally, it collaborates annually on an opera studio with the Department of Music and on three dance concerts with the Department of Dance. The productions are mounted and designed by students, using each of three performance spaces. A sequence of weekly one-act plays called E.T.s (Every Tuesday) is part of the directing and actor training programs. Further performance and production opportunities are possible when projects of special merit are proposed.

Performance and production majors in the fourth year take part in our annual Showcase, through which they audition and/or exhibit their talents in performances for alumni, agents, casting directors and artistic directors. Designers, stage managers and producers are invited to the students' portfolio reviews.

In recent years, Conservatory students have been placed in internships and practica with The Muny; Walt Disney World; Utah Shakespeare Festival; STAGES St. Louis; the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego; Cirque du Soleil; the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis; Denver Center Theatre Company; Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; The Repertory Theatre St. Louis; Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; Missouri Repertory Theatre; Dance Saint Louis; Grand Center; Circus Flora; Missouri Citizens for the Arts; Washington Opera; Seattle Repertory Theatre; Paramount Theatre, Aurora; the Nebraska Theatre Caravan; St. Louis Regional Arts Council; Intiman Theatre; the Goodspeed Opera House; the Columbus Ballet; San Diego Repertory Theatre; Shakespeare Festival St. Louis; Metro Theater Company; Variety Theatre; Hudson Scenic Studios; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


  • Byron Grant Scholarship
  • David Huffman Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Edward Chase Garvey Memorial Scholarship
  • Emma Lu Middleton Endowed Conservatory Scholarship
  • Jeffrey Struckman Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Jenifer Lewis Endowed Scholarship
  • Jerome Jaymes Lowe Memorial Scholarship
  • Jerry Mitchell Musical Theatre Scholarship
  • John & Christy Nickel Endowed Scholarship
  • John H. Russell Endowed Conservatory Scholarship
  • Judy K. Meyer Scholarship
  • Laura Herring Endowed Conservatory Scholarship
  • Marilyn R. Fox Endowed Conservatory Scholarship
  • Marita Woodruff Scholarship
  • Markus and Barbara Trice Endowed Scholarship
  • Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin Endowed Scholarship
  • Miles Vesich Endowed Scholarship
  • Mueller-Russell Family Endowed Conservatory Scholarship
  • Neal Richardson Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Peter E. Sargent Endowed Scholarship for Lighting Design
  • Peter E. Sargent Endowed Stage Management Scholarship
  • Phyllis Huffman del Vecchio Endowed Musical Theatre Scholarship
  • Robert G. Slowiak Scholarship
  • Rocky Carroll Scholarship
  • Rosemary Boehm Lough Endowed Scholarship
  • Thomas Carter Flueckiger Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Timothy Scott Barker Endowed Cincinnati SCPA Scholarship

Special Requirements

All candidates for admission must complete the audition, portfolio review and/or interview process delineated by the specific majors to be considered for the programs.

Only courses completed with a grade of C- or above will count toward fulfilling the specific requirements of the major.

Department of Dance

Margaret Dueker, chair

Majors and Degrees



The Department of Dance Mission and Values

Webster University's Department of Dance in The Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts educates students to become skilled, creative and compassionate thinking artists for 21st century careers as performers, choreographers, educators and scholars.

Students: Promote the uniqueness and wholeness of the individual artist by sustaining a personalized approach through direct relationships with faculty and staff, and attention to student life.

Learning: Challenge students to strive for depth of expertise in their discipline by joining theory and practice, encouraging rigor in creativity and scholarship, and fostering a lifelong desire to learn.

Diversity and Inclusion: Engage students as performers, choreographers and teachers to be inclusive and compassionate by instilling a culture of respect for diversity and understanding of their own and others’ values.

Global Artist-Citizens: Embrace dance as an art form within a global community by educating a diverse population with an international perspective that acts responsibly and consciously toward social and environmental issues, strengthening the communities we serve.

Special Study Opportunities

BA students are able to dance intensively while also working toward a second major or certification. The BA capstone allows research, an internship, or project with a focus on pedagogy, history, criticism or a topic of the student's choice.

BFA students receive a total of 3 years of choreographic experience. As a capstone project, the BFA candidate culminates their college career by creating works for the senior BFA concert and is expected to complete all aspects of production including costuming, lighting and PR/marketing.


  • The Gary Hubler Scholarship
  • Wells Hobler Family Endowed
  • Bernadette Sieving Endowed
  • Other scholarships also available.

Special Requirements

Acceptance to the Department of Dance as a degree-seeking student, BA or BFA is by audition and consists of the following:

  • An interview to discuss career goals and past history.
  • Submission of résumé.
  • Performance of approximately three minutes of choreography.
  • Participation in a ballet and modern technique class.

There are no limitations on the degree of intensity with which dance work can be pursued. In the second semester of the second year the dance major, assisted by their advisor, prepares a written proposal of specific goals in their intended major. It may be presented in terms of career goals, such as teaching, performing; as a declaration of intended choreographic accomplishments; or as an approach to the study of dance with personal learning goals. The entire dance faculty will evaluate the individual's realistic ability to accomplish those goals.

In the first semester of the final year, the dance major has an exit interview with dance faculty, assessing accomplishments thus far and focusing on individual goals for the major's final year, as well as post graduation.

Courses completed with a grade of D do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

Department of Music

Carla Colletti, chair

Majors and Degrees



Mission Statement

The Department of Music is committed to the education of musicians through transformative experiences that promote versatility and engage the whole person in a collaborative environment fostering lifelong habits of excellence in performance, creativity, scholarship and teaching. We focus on personalized, student-centered learning where developing musicians work closely with their instructors and each other.

We empower our students to achieve academic and artistic excellence by providing a broad, foundational music education that unites theory and practice. This foundation informs the creative process students experience in their individual projects, in the private studio and in a range of solo and ensemble settings. We recognize that the value of effective foundational training is expressed in both its permanence and its adaptability.

Our faculty is a team of committed educators who maintain active careers as performers, scholars and composers. As such, they serve as valuable role models for our students by showcasing the variety of professional paths available to developing musicians and through their ongoing commitment to discovery and renewal. Our faculty embraces a culture of academic freedom and intellectual curiosity which helps sustain our integrity and authenticity.

We are committed to the mission of the University which seeks to transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. In service of this goal, our curriculum and events promote critical thinking, cross-cultural understanding and a deeper appreciation for the role of the arts in the world. Our advocacy for a widely inclusive and transformative culture of education through the arts prepares our students to enrich the community through exceptional teaching, diverse musical performance and engaging creative and scholarly work.

Department of Music Student Learning Outcomes

The Department of Music at Webster University offers the BA, BM and BMEd degrees. Webster University is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), a national specialized accrediting agency.

Graduates from the Department of Music will:

  • Perform and improvise music from a variety of cultures on a primary and secondary instrument at a level appropriate to the student's needs and interests.
  • Articulate through writing, speaking, and other media an understanding of the theoretical, historical, and aesthetic frameworks of a variety of musics and musical cultures.
  • Apply and integrate aural skills, analysis, and sociohistorical knowledge to the study and interpretation of various musics.
  • Demonstrate technological competency necessary to support a career in music.
  • Recognize power relations and biases within the arts and society and work actively to promote equity and justice through music.

Special Study Opportunities

The Department of Music seeks creative students involved in the art of music in the areas of composition, performance, or teaching who value the enrichment afforded them by a liberal arts university.

The Department of Music offers music courses and ensembles to all Webster University students so that they may acquaint themselves with music as one aspect of their culture, either as appreciative listeners or as trained participants. The department offers state-approved curricula for the preparation of teachers of music in the elementary and secondary schools. The primary focus of the department is instruction designed to prepare students for careers in composition, jazz studies, music education, pedagogy and performance. Students are also encouraged to avail themselves of several significant study abroad opportunities and summer workshops offered through the Department of Music.

Complementing the substantial musical environment of St. Louis, a full and varied concert season is offered by the department. The season includes student and faculty recitals, as well as performances by guest artists and student ensembles.

Of special note is the opportunity for a term abroad in Vienna, the musical capital of Europe. Most music department degree programs have a time set aside for study in Vienna, with no required courses during that time at the home campus.

The University supports a number of performing groups including Aurelia, Chamber Singers, Chorale, Jazz Singers, Webster University Orchestra, Webster University Wind Ensemble, Opera Studio, Jazz Collective, Jazz Ensembles, and the New Music Ensemble. The department also provides various chamber music ensembles.

Dual Majors

Students who wish to dual major in composition with an emphasis in concert music and performance with an emphasis in piano may do so. The student must complete the requirement of both degrees, including all recitals and senior projects. 


The Department of Music provides performance scholarships to meritorious students on the basis of audition and also supports returning students through the generosity of many friends who have established endowed scholarship funds.

Endowed Scholarship Fund website (external to catalog)

International Distinction Award

Webster University confers bachelor degrees with an International Distinction Award. This award provides a framework to prepare students for both academic and professional endeavors in a global context. This award demonstrates successful integration of global education into academic pursuits, engages in globally focused co-curricular activities, and allows for rich and long-last learning experience. Students gain a greater awareness of global ideas and cultural diversity, making them a more valuable asset in graduate programs and to employers.

Students pursuing a music degree qualify for the International Distinction Award by:

  • Completing the second-language proficiency requirement
  • Completing a semester of study abroad experience at one of Webster's international campuses
  • Engaging in significant, practical, approved field work in an international location

The International Distinction designation is annotated on both the student's diploma and official transcript. Additional information about the required core components and the application process can be reviewed at

Admission and Audition Requirements

To be admitted as an undergraduate music major or music minor, applicants must complete an audition/interview with the music faculty and complete various diagnostic examinations. Auditions are arranged through the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Specific information on the audition requirements is available from the department's website. Priority consideration for performance scholarships is given to students who complete all admission requirements before February 28 of the application year.

Ensemble Requirements

Each of the undergraduate degree programs in music includes multiple semesters of participation in a major ensemble. Depending upon specific degree requirements, the major ensembles include Chamber Singers, Chorale, Aurelia, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Jazz Singers, Jazz Collective and New Music Ensemble.

Students are placed in ensembles based upon degree requirements and departmental needs. Those students who receive music scholarships will perform in one or more ensembles in their performance areas as designated by the Director of Choral Studies, the Director of Instrumental Studies, the Director of Jazz Studies, or the Department Chair. 

Candidacy Examination

Each undergraduate music major must take a Candidacy Examination in spring of the sophomore year or upon completion of 45 or more credit hours as music majors (whichever comes first). The Candidacy Examination assesses, among other things, a student's success in the first two years of music study and potential for completing the degree in a timely manner.

The examination includes the performance of one or more works, an interview with the faculty, a writing sample and an assessment of musicianship skills. While most students declare their intention from their first semester (BM in performance, BA in music, and so on), no student is actually accepted into the department as a major until the Candidacy Examination is completed successfully.

Piano Proficiency

Each undergraduate music major must demonstrate proficiency on the piano keyboard. Proficiency is demonstrated by passing a) a piano proficiency examination; or b) taking required class piano coursework.

Piano Proficiency requirements are described in the Department of Music Handbook.

Performance Requirements

Much of the music that we make is collaborative in nature, with a mix of keyboard, wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments, and voices. So that performance majors develop an ability to work with others beyond an accompanist, all performance majors presenting junior and senior recitals will include on each recital or in a Thursday student recital at least one three-minute work that includes collaboration with a performer other than or in addition to piano. Works longer than three minutes are encouraged.

Department of Music Handbook

All music major students are responsible for knowing the contents of the Department of Music Handbook, which is issued each academic year. The Handbook contains more detail on various requirements such as piano proficiency, qualifying examinations, ensemble participation, recital attendance and departmental operations. The Handbook is expressly incorporated into the requirements stated in this catalog.

Other Academic Requirements

Students seeking a bachelor of music (BM) degree must complete at least 30 credit hours of courses in the department. Students seeking the bachelor of arts (BA) degree must complete at least 18 credit hours (including at least 2 credit hours of MUSC 3000 Applied Music) in the department.

Courses completed with a grade lower than C do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

Once a student matriculates at Webster University, no music courses required for the music major may be taken outside of Webster, in accordance with stated academic policies.

Music Library Holdings

Books, periodicals, scores, records, compact discs and videos as recommended for music libraries by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) are conveniently housed in the Emerson Library. In addition, the library subscribes to a number of significant online, music-related resources.