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Understanding Your Student’s Creative Career: A Parents Guide

“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities‌.the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.â€? Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft At least 4 percent of all U.S. businesses are arts-related, involved in the creation or distribution of the arts (Americans For the Arts 2015 data). The creative industries add nearly $700 billion to the U.S. economy (NEA report 2015). Graphic designers, actors, grant writers, composers, art therapists, video game designers. The possibilities are vast and expanding rapidly. The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts arms students with a unique set of skills that prepare them for the workforce.

WHY Within the next five years, Gen Z (born mid 1990s to early 2000s) will become the fastest-growing generation in the workplace and the marketplace. 23mil and growing! They want to change the world! They want jobs that make a positive impact. Most of them would rather be entrepreneurs than employees when they graduate from college and 75 percent want to convert hobbies to full time jobs. Forging their own path through creativity is key to their success. They need business skills. We have classes in financial management and entrepreneurship. They have global aspirations. We have Education Abroad. 81% believe obtaining a college degree is necessary in achieving career goals. The arts are essential to the life of the individual and the community Studies show that arts participation fosters improved academic achievement, selfexpression, development of social capital, and economic growth. Moreso, students who study the liberal arts and humanities are increasingly valued in the workforce because of their creativity, outside the box thinking, problem-solving skills, and ability to work effectively in a team. Unlike many skills, creative thinking cannot be automated; humanity makes our students indispensable in the workforce.



Our alumni are working in institutions including: Indianapolis Museum of Art

Los Angeles Philharmonic Madison Square Garden Entertainment Rutgers University Savannah College of Art and Design United States Army Band United Way Walt Disney World International Community School, Singapore IDEAS xLab Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts The Louisville Orchestra Bellarmine University National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Beijing Wilco Actors Theatre of Louisville Broadway and Off-Broadway Talentworks LA Other alumni are successful independent artists, educators, and consultants. Still others have pursued careers in technology, social services, medicine, law, and more. Visit and get to know our alumni who are successfully - and happily navigating the creative workforce. Our alumni network is an incredible resource whether students are looking for jobs, internships, or just professional advice.


Our students are NOT a number. With about 900 students on a campus of 30,000, we’re the best of both worlds: the resources of a large university with the intimacy of a small college. We have a low student/faculty ratio, making mentorships a pivotal part of the learning experience. Our faculty care about their students; they want them to succeed in college and beyond. They get to know our students, tapping into assets and helping them through challenges. Not only do our students develop long-lasting connections with our faculty; they find lifelong friends within the college, peers who share their values and passion for the arts. These bonds are deep and especially reassuring for students who are far from home. Our students contribute to our diverse community in a meaningful way. They find a sense a sense of belonging, empowerment, and support. On their path of self-discovery, they gain confidence in their talents and explore their curiosity in world.

“This semester, I have become friends with people from every creative art. This has given me an appreciation for art forms other than my own. The LLP also helped me feel safer on campus because I knew that on nights when I had a performance or a concert, someone else would be walking to the same place as me. Being in the LLP made our huge campus seem smaller and more manageable. I had people in my hall that I could study with, even in music classes. Being an LLP member has helped my transition into college go so much smoother than I could have imagined!� Sarah, Music Education sophomore

RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE (LLP) College of Fine Arts students can live, learn, play, and create in one of the newest residential halls on campus, the Creative Arts Living Learning Program (LLP) in Holmes Hall. Creative and performing arts students who live in the LLP have access to facilities and special programs for dance, art, writing, and music, plus a full-service restaurant, all in a secure building accessible via resident ID cards. Students benefit from the support of peer mentors already engaged with the arts at UK. LLP students receive these perks at no additional cost. Holmes is conveniently located just a short walk from most College of Fine Arts classes and facilities and across the street from the new Bill Gatton Student Center. LLP students have been shown to acclimate to campus sooner, perform better in their classes, and progress toward degrees faster than students who do not participate in an LLP. With 130 students, the LLP offers a small community of diverse creative types within a large university.


The Fine Arts Building is home base for our College. Next door, the Singletary Center for the Arts serves as the School of Music concert venue and presents more than 400 campus and community events annually, most of which are free or discounted for students. Housed inside the Singletary Center, the UK Art Museum owns more than 4,000 objects in its permanent collection and presents traveling exhibitions as well as an annual photography lecture series. Admission is free. The School of Music vocal performance area is across the street in the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center. A short walk from our main Fine Arts buildings, the Art and Visual Studies Building is a stunning newly-renovated historic building with open workspaces that foster creative collaborations between undergraduate and graduate students. Inside, the Bolivar Art Gallery is a flexible exhibition space for guest artists.


#7 #2 #5 #6 T O P


Best City for New College Grads (SmartAsset, 2017)

Best Midsized City for New College Grads Starting Careers (, 2016)

Best City for 20-Somethings (, 2016)

Most Inspiring City for Young Artists (, 2016)

5 out of 5 stars, LGBTQ* inclusion and safety (Campus Pride Index)

HIGHLY EDUCATED: Nearly 40% of adults have a bachelor’s degree THINGS TO DO: More than 130 public parks, more than 24 miles of mixed used trails. Horse races, hiking, historic sites, UK sports, biking DOWNTOWN: Less than two miles from central campus. With nearly 50 locations participated in LexArts HOP, a bi monthly gallery hop, and a booming farmer’s market YOUNG: Median age of 34 METRO POPULATION: About 500k UNEMPLOYMENT: Lower than national rate COST OF LIVING: Lower than national average CRIME: Lower than national average


The University of Kentucky is one of only two Research 1 Institutions in the state, with a full range of programs, undergraduate through doctoral, and a firm commitment to research. The fully accredited College of Fine Arts is a prime example of Research 1 status. We are Kentucky’s most comprehensive collection of visual and performing arts academic programs with more than 30 undergraduate degree programs and more than 20 graduate tracks. Visit for examples of creative research by our faculty and students. Our thriving graduate programs include the first online MA in Arts Administration at a public university and a Music Therapy program in partnership with the University of Kentucky Healthcare, a leading medical facility. We recently launched a practice-based MFA in curatorial studies. Access to rigorous graduate programs as well as mentorships with faculty engaged in groundbreaking field research is invaluable for undergraduate students. Our programs are built to promote student success and provide our students skills that employers want. Even with a double major, it is possible for students to graduate on time. Our professional advising team guides students through their major requirements and helps them stay on track throughout their college career. These advisors are located in both the Fine Arts Building and the Art and Visual Studies Building for convenient access for all our students.

CFA NUMBERS: Undergraduates:

750 200

Graduate students:

UK Campus-at-large:

about 30k CFA Faculty:

about 125 Average Student/ Faculty ratio:


CONTINUING EDUCATION OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM Education doesn’t stop in the classroom or on the campus stage. CFA prides ourselves on international opportunities including performance tours, exchange initiatives, education abroad classes, and internships. In 2013, we welcomed more than 20 faculty and students from Inner Mongolia University to our campus for a week of collaborative events. The following year, a dozen of our students visited Inner Mongolia. Our students have performed in China, Greece, Spain, Scotland, to name a few. They have studied under a variety of significant artists, from Lang Lang, piano prodigy, to Atsuyoshi Asano, Japanese Noh drama master. A global experience is integral to a student’s college experience, offering a well-rounded understanding of worldviews and cultures.




Art Education - BA

Art History and Visual Studies - MA

Art Studio

Art History and Visual Studies - BA

Art Studio - MFA


Art Studio - BA, BFA

Arts Administration - MA

Digital Media and Design

Dance - BA*

Music Conducting - MM, DMA

Interdisciplinary Minor in the Arts

Digital Media and Design - BS

Music Composition - MM, DMA

Music Theory and History

Music Education - BM*

Music Education - MM, PhD

Music Performance*

Music (Liberal Arts) - BA*

Music Performance - MM, DMA


Music Performance - BM*

Music Theory - MA, PhD


Theatre - BA

Music Therapy - MM

Visual Studies

Musical Theatre Certificate*

Musicology - MA, PhD

Arts Administration - BA

Art Education - MA

Sacred Music - MM Music Theory Pedagogy Certificate Orff Schulwerk Graduate Certificate *audition required

Graduate Certificate in Eurhythmics

Art History


To apply to the University of Kentucky visit Music majors and dance majors must schedule an audition.


Scholarships and financial aid are available to College of Fine Arts students, both through the College and from the University of Kentucky. The School of Music offers tuition scholarships based on the audition process for admission. The Department of Theatre and Dance offers scholarships and awards to incoming and continuing students. The Department of Arts Administration offers awards to incoming freshmen and continuing students. In addition, the Michael Braun Endowed Fund provides financial assistance for current students to fund an activity that enriches their knowledge of the profession. The Department is also eligible for the Academic Common Market program, which allows outof-state students to pay in-state tuition while studying select programs that are not available in their home state. The School of Art and Visual Studies has scholarship opportunities for incoming and continuing students. SA/VS offers scholarships to incoming freshmen based on high school GPA and application to the University of Kentucky. Incoming students to the College of Fine Arts may also be eligible for additional academic scholarships, including awards for alumni of Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts or Governor's Scholars programs. More details are available on the UK Scholarships website. Information regarding need-based assistance, FAFSA deadlines, and a cost calculator can be found through the Financial Aid Office.


Talk with our recruiter or schedule a visit: 859-218-2487 or UK Parents Association



@ukfinearts #creativetype

The College of Fine Arts values and honors diverse people, experiences and perspectives, and intentionally fosters an environment of diversity and inclusivity. The College promotes equality, fairness and respect for all faculty, staff, and students, their cultural traditions, beliefs, histories and communities.

Profile for UK College of Fine Arts

UK College of Fine Arts Guide for Parents  

This book speaks to parents of prospective undergraduate Fine Arts majors at the University of Kentucky, with information about the city, th...

UK College of Fine Arts Guide for Parents  

This book speaks to parents of prospective undergraduate Fine Arts majors at the University of Kentucky, with information about the city, th...


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