The School of the Arts and Communication provides an outstanding education for more than 700 undergraduate students, offering rigorous, relevant academic programs across art and art history, communication studies, interactive multimedia, journalism and professional writing, and music. Ours is a supportive community of scholars, where faculty, staff, and students work together on creative projects and original research—the kind of action-based education that prepares new generations to lead change and solve problems in our fields.
A Culture of Creativity and Community
Through engagement with the campus and larger community, we cultivate in our students social inclusiveness, intellectual curiosity, technical mastery, disciplinary fluency, and an appreciation for the transformative power of creativity. Our students graduate with a foundation of core skills and a commitment to continuous learning, well prepared to meet the diverse, evolving opportunities of the 21st century. The success of our alumni in global arts and communication environments is grounded in their understanding that the value of creativity lies in its positive impact on others.
As an advocate for the arts and its power to create community, we cultivate a growing network of campus-community partnerships and support an ambitious program of public art, music, and cultural offerings through the TCNJ Center for the Arts. With a calendar of more than 350 events each year, the School of the Arts and Communication is making bold strides toward its vision of becoming a premier resource for arts and culture in the greater Mercer County area and the entire tri-state region.
Wide Opportunity in a Rigorous Academic Environment
At the School of the Arts and Communication, our mission is to connect students with their own potential, as scholars and creators, to contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of society. We offer a challenging undergraduate education through four academic departments: Art and Art History, Communication Studies, Interactive Multimedia, and Music. Students prepare for a wide variety of exciting careers, choosing among many majors and minors as well as concentrations within majors. Interdisciplinary programs and self-designed majors are also available.
All of our students are offered opportunities for close collaboration with faculty mentors who are respected scholars, noted artists, and dedicated teachers. Our professors are widely recognized for their commitment to students, challenging them as scholars and as citizens in the classroom as well as through collaborative research, community initiatives, and creative projects. Both faculty and students are encouraged to break down the traditional barriers between disciplines, pursuing the kind of interdisciplinary study and research that bridges divides and sparks innovation.
Supporting this rich educational experience are excellent facilities, including the Arts and Interactive Multimedia Building, a 70,000-square-foot arts education center, and Kendall Hall, a home base for film and communication studies. Our school offers all the physical spaces students need—art studios, multimedia labs, rehearsal and performance spaces, film production studios, radio and television stations—to learn, create, and communicate in their disciplines. Such practical, hands-on experience—on campus and in the community, through fieldwork, internships, and service—ensures that our students connect their knowledge with the needs of the world around them.
Signature Experiences Support Student Achievement
Our work is grounded in the belief that when students are asked to understand and resolve community needs, they will rise to the challenge by applying their historical, cultural, and discipline-centered perspectives. To this end, we engage students with an intellectually challenging program that bridges disciplines and connects with our larger community. Our students learn to be thinkers and doers, through deep engagement across these five signature experiences:
personalized, collaborative, and rigorous education: Classes are small, and are always taught by faculty, never graduate assistants. Students develop close mentoring relationships with professors, who enthusiastically guide students through the challenges and opportunities of an intellectually rigorous curriculum.
undergraduate research, faculty mentorship, and field experiences: Conceptual knowledge is integrated with practice-based experiences, often in collaboration with a faculty mentor. In recent years, students have helped organize a faculty art exhibition in Paris, contributed essays as co-authors of a professor’s book, and developed music-education curricula for a local school, among others.
community-engaged learning: We connect students with the power of art and media to drive cultural, social, and economic solutions. From designing multimedia platforms for a local farmer’s market to organizing a social justice symposium for high school students, our students learn to direct their creative force toward community empowerment.
global engagement: An increasingly global economy demands that students acquire an international perspective. We provide opportunities right on campus, through art exhibits, cultural performances, visiting artists, and international speakers, and around the world, through faculty-led travel-study courses in Cuba, Greece, South Africa, and more.
leadership development: Students take the lead in creating a vibrant school and campus culture through our many student-led organizations, from musical ensembles to honor societies to student chapters of national professional organizations. Leadership is stressed through scholarly research and creative projects within each program of study.
A Strong Record of Alumni Success
The value of a TCNJ education is reflected in the success of our graduates. They are accepted into top graduate and professional schools and enjoy successful careers in global communication and arts environments. Alumni of our school can be found in nearly every field of endeavor:
- Our art and art history graduates are artists and art educators; they are art historians and curators; they direct museums and manage studios; they design websites, product packaging, and store displays.
- Our communication studies graduates are digital media, public relations, and health communication specialists; they are filmmakers and broadcast journalists; they create messaging for top corporations, major-league sports teams, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and television networks and cable channels.
- Our interactive multimedia graduates are web developers, graphic designers, and software engineers; they create video games, television shows, and social media; they found start-ups and lead marketing and executive teams.
- Our music graduates are professional musicians and composers; they are music historians and scholars; they are music teachers, sound engineers, music therapists, and music lawyers.
Wherever their career paths lead, our graduates take with them foundational skills and conceptual knowledge in their disciplines as well as a lifelong capacity to learn and adapt in a rapidly changing world.