Pao Hall

552 West Wood Street, West Lafayette, Indiana


(765) 494-3056


(765) 496-1198

Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts

The home of the Divisions of Art and DesignDanceMusic, and Theatre.

The School of Visual and Performing Arts was formed on September 1, 1966 and is currently composed of four divisions: Art and Design, Dance, Music, and Theatre. It serves other departments and schools through elective course offerings as well as granting Liberal Arts based undergraduate degrees. On the graduate level, the school grants Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Ph.D. degrees. The school has the distinction of being a double faceted program, and it serves a wide-ranging group of students while also serving Purdue University and the Lafayette community as the primary cultural resource for the community.

The school at this time has approximately 600 undergraduate majors and 60 graduate students. Beyond the undergraduate majors and graduate students, several thousand students enroll in practical, theoretical or historical art courses within the school.

The faculty of the school is composed of nationally recognized individuals who continue to practice their arts and do research while still interacting with students in the classrooms. The publications, art shows and performance-related activities bring wide-spread attention to Purdue University and the presence of the arts on our campus. These academic and artistic activities also serve the University by being a prime recruiting tool for improving graduate training programs. These teacher/scholar/arts in many instances also serve the community through leadership and participation in community organizations dedicated to the arts.


Art & Design

Currently, the Art and Design Division offers undergraduate concentrations, majors, and minors in seven areas: Art Education, Art History, Fine Arts, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Photography and Visual Communications Design. The masters of Art degree is offered currently in all areas except Art History and Interior Design, and the Ph.D. program in Art Education offered in conjunction with the School of Education. These degree programs offer students who wish to concentrate in the visual arts at the undergraduate and graduate levels an extensive range of focused investigations into the making, studying and teaching of the visual arts in their various dimensions. Art and Design consistently educates approximately 500 undergraduate majors and 35 full-time graduate students in these programs.

Dance Division

The Dance Division offers courses in modern, ballet, jazz and ethnic dance; the choreography of dance movement; dance performance; and dance appreciation. Students may chose a minor in dance or select courses to fulfill a School of Liberal Arts curriculum requirement. Many students look to dance as a meaningful elective in their education, or take dance to enhance their performing skills if they are involved in related programs. Through their studies, students in the Dance Division gain an appreciation for dance as an art form, of its history, and cultural influences. Each semester culminates with their Purdue Repertory Dance Company Concert, one of the finest productions of dance in the area.

Music Division

The Music Division is committed to providing high quality instruction to a range of Purdue students, broadly distributed across most schools of the University. Course offerings may be grouped in three categories: 1) A course required for the Elementary Education degree which introduces prospective teachers to the skills, resources, methods and repertory for instructing classroom music. 2) A sequence of courses designed to lead progressively through the principles and parameters of Music Theory. The goal of expanding individual skills is complemented by enhanced awareness and understanding of the Western musical tradition. 3) A group of courses focused on the literature of music. The first, introduction survey (appreciation), additionally emphasizes the listening experience itself.

Theatre Division

There are three readily identifiable components of the Theatre Division: the undergraduate program, the graduate program and the production program. The latter also serves as a laboratory for the whole division. Each program has distinct goals, although the objectives of all the programs are inter-related. The undergraduate program supports the broad-based liberal arts education of the bachelor of art degree candidates. The graduate program offers specialized academic training. Productions serve as a major cultural resource for the University as a whole and for the Lafayette-West Lafayette community.