School of Fine and Performing Arts
A division of the Westminster College of the Arts, the School of Fine and Performing Arts is located on the Lawrenceville campus. The school offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees, as well as widespread opportunities for students – regardless of major – to participate in the arts. Exhibitions, plays, concerts, and productions are presented in the 442-seat Yvonne Theater, the 90-seat Spitz Studio Theater, and the recently-expanded 374-seat Bart Luedeke Theater.
Several experiences, including ensembles and classes, are open to all university students. Dramatic plays and musical theatre productions are open to all students by audition. The Rider University Art Gallery showcases leading regional and national artists, as well as selected student work. Artist lectures and gallery performances bring additional opportunities for artistic enrichment. The Arts Administration Center provides a forum for students to work with campus and community organizations on a variety of issues and activities. Rider Dances involves student dancers, choreographers and musicians. Each year, many education majors elect a second second major from the School of Fine & Performing Arts, choosing from tracks in Dance Studies, Popular Music Studies or Theatre Studies.
Westminster College of the Arts
Westminster College of the Arts inspires and empowers innovative artists and leaders to transform communities through the arts.
The School of Fine and Performing Arts
The School of Fine and Performing Arts focuses on dance, music, musical theatre, theatre and arts administration. Through programs that provide a historical, aesthetic, practical and professional perspective, students develop the skills to excel in a professional career while growing intellectually from a broadly based liberal arts curriculum. The school fosters meaningful engagement in the arts to students who wish to become professional artists as well as students who view the arts as an integral part of overall intellectual growth. The school nurtures and challenges the artist within all students and prepares them to contribute to an ever-changing global society.
Health and Safety
Westminster Choir College/Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University, as required by the National Association of Schools of Music, is obligated to inform students and faculty of health and safety issues, hazards, and procedures inherent in practice, performance, teaching, and listening both in general and as applicable to their specific specializations. This includes but is not limited to information regarding hearing, vocal and musculoskeletal health, injury prevention, and the use, proper handling, and operation of potentially dangerous materials, equipment, and technology.
It is important to note that health and safety depends largely on personal decisions made by informed individuals. Rider University has health and safety responsibilities, but fulfillment of these responsibilities cannot and will not ensure any individual’s health and safety. Too many factors beyond the university’s control are involved.
Each individual is personally responsible for avoiding risk and preventing injuries to themselves before, during, and after study or employment at Rider University. The policies, protocols, and operational procedures developed do not alter or cancel any individual’s personal responsibility, or in any way shift personal responsibility for the results of any individual’s personal decisions or actions in any instance or over time to the University.
All members of the WCA community are encouraged to visit the university web site for a series of recommendations and resources designed to help each individual to become aware of attend to various issues. The URL for the page is www.rider.edu/wca_healthsafety www.rider.edu/student-life/health-wellness/student-health-services/health-safety-sfpa-wcc-students
Full-Time Tuition Inclusion
Full-time tuition charges are incurred by students who enroll for credit loads, including credit equivalents for non-credit and audited courses, which fall within the ranges indicated below. Further charges are incurred when full-time students exceed maximum load levels, excluding, for School of Fine and Performing Arts majors, recital credits or participation in auditioned choirs or productions.
Full Undergraduate Tuition Includes
- A minimum of 12 and maximum of 18 credits per semester or the equivalent including non-credit courses.
- Primary applied study to the maximum required credits/semesters. (see below)
- Applied dance study to the maximum required credits/semesters. (see below)
- Once all applied music or dance requirements have been completed, all additional lessons or courses will be billed at the elective rate.
- Music students in double major programs with two different primary instruments will be billed for the second applied lesson at the elective rate.
Applied Music Study
Effective as of the fall 2009 semester for all new or readmitted Rider University students on both campuses: For all students whose major or minor program does not require applied music study, or for those students who have completed applied music requirements, elective fees will apply. All part-time students are charged an applied music fee. Please see below. Registration for applied music study follows this table of suffixes. Students will register for the appropriate course number and suffix, as indicated in the curriculum pages later in this section.
Maximum enrollment under full-time tuition: In B.A.- Popular Music Studies, one half-hour per week of applied music instruction for three semesters; in B.F.A.- Musical Theatre, one hour per week of applied music instruction for six semesters, and one half-hour lesson per week for two semesters; in B.M.- Music Theatre/Piano Track, one hour per week of applied music instruction for eight semesters.
Suffix A – One-hour, 2-credit required lesson. Included in tuition – no extra charge. Example: Musical Theatre major in first six semesters.
Suffix B – Half-hour, 1-credit required lesson. Included in tuition – no extra charge. Example: B.F.A/Musical Theatre/Voice majors in semesters 7 and 8.
Suffix C – One-hour, 2-credit elective lesson. Not included in tuition – $1500 extra per semester. Examples: Student who has completed all required lessons in their major or a student whose major does not require lessons.
Suffix D – Half-hour, 1-credit elective lesson. Not included in tuition – $740 extra per semester. Examples: Student who has completed all required lessons in their major, or student whose major does not require lessons.
Suffix G – One-hour, 2-credit required/elective lesson. Half-hour is required and is included in tuition. The second half-hour is elective – fee of $740 per semester. Example: Popular Music Studies majors up to 3 semesters.
(all students, both campuses, regardless of major or requirements)
Suffix E – One-hour, 2-credit required or elective lesson – $2,090 per semester.
Suffix F – Half-hour, 1-credit required or elective lesson – $1,050 per semester.
Effective as of the fall 2014 semester for all new or readmitted Rider University students on both campuses: For all students whose major or minor program does not require applied dance study under the DAN prefix, or for those students who have completed dance requirements, elective fees will apply. All part-time students are charged a dance fee. Please see below. Registration for applied dance study follows this table of courses. Students will register for the appropriate course number, as indicated in the curriculum pages later in this section.
Maximum enrollment under full-time tuition: In B.A.-Dance/Performance Track, a total of 15 credits of applied dance instruction, including all dance courses taken at Rider University and at Princeton Ballet School (PBS); in B.A.- Dance/Dance Studies Track, a total of 14 credits of applied dance instruction, including all dance courses taken at Rider University and at Princeton Ballet School; in Dance Minor, a total of 8 credits of applied dance instruction, including all dance courses taken at Rider University and at Princeton Ballet School.
- DAN-100-01 – 1-credit required course taken at PBS. Included in tuition – no extra charge. Example: B.A./Dance majors and minors up to the maximum stated above.
- DAN-100-01F – 1-credit elective course taken at PBS. Not included in tuition – $740 extra per semester. Examples: Student who has completed all required applied dance study in their major, student who has completed all required applied dance study in their minor, or student whose major or minor does not require lessons.
DAN 151 Pilates and Modern – 1-credit course taken at Lawrenceville campus. Included in tuition – no extra charge. Course counts toward the maximum stated above.
DAN 152 World Dance & Improvisation – 1-credit course taken at Lawrenceville campus. Included in tuition – no extra charge. Course counts toward the maximum stated above.
- DAN-300-01 – 2-credit required course taken at PBS. Included in tuition – no extra charge. Example: B.A./Dance majors and minors up to the maximum stated above.
- DAN-300-01F – 2-credit elective course taken at PBS. Not included in tuition – $1,500 extra per semester. Examples: Student who has completed all required applied dance study in their major, student who has completed all required applied dance study in their minor, or student whose major or minor does not require lessons.
Note: Students choosing to register for both DAN 100-01F and DAN 300-01F as elective study in the same semester will be charged a total fee of $2,000.00.
(all students, both campuses, regardless of major or requirements)
- DAN-100-01P – 1-credit course taken at PBS. Not included in tuition – $1,050 extra per semester. For majors and minors, course counts toward the maximum stated above.
- DAN-300-01P – 2-credit course taken at PBS. Not included in tuition – $2,090 extra per semester. For majors and minors, course counts toward the maximum stated above.
Note: Part-time students choosing to register for both DAN-100-01P and DAN-300-01P in the same semester will be charged a total fee of $3,050.00.
Admission as a Freshman
Students may apply for admission to undergraduate study for the fall or spring term. Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process late in the junior or early in the senior year of high school. Westminster College of the Arts uses a rolling admissions policy. Completed applications are reviewed on a regular basis and students are notified of decisions. Students initiate the application process by first completing the Rider University application. All items must be in the Admissions Office before a decision can be reached. The following are necessary for admission:
Students may request application forms by contacting the Admissions Office, or through the Rider University Web site.
Certain majors and minors require either an audition or an interview. Please see individual program requirements below. Audition requirements may be found on our Web site.
Applicants for admission to the School of Fine and Performing Arts should be graduates or prospective graduates of accredited secondary schools where they have pursued college preparatory courses. Four secondary school credits must be presented in English as well as other credits in disciplines such as natural sciences, history and social studies, mathematics, and foreign languages. It is each student’s responsibility to have an official and final high school transcript sent to the Admissions Office in order to document high school diploma conferral. Applicants who hold high school equivalency diplomas and high school graduates who have pursued business courses will be considered. Two letters of recommendation and an essay are required. Transfer applicants must submit both an official high school transcript and an official transcript from any and all colleges or universities attended.
Standardized Test Scores
Beginning with the freshman class entering in the fall of 2019, Rider University has established a test-optional admission policy. Some restrictions apply. For more information, please see this link: https://www.rider.edu/admissions/undergraduate/how-to-apply/test-optional-admission
Entering freshmen may be required to complete various placement examinations, in accordance with university policies listed elsewhere in this catalog. Students exempted from any graduation requirement as a result of those examinations must replace those credits with free electives, as appropriate, in order to meet the minimum number of credits required for graduation.
Music Theory Placement
All students in the B.A.- Popular Music Studies, B.M.- Music Theater/Music Theatre Direction, and B.F.A.- Musical Theatre degree programs must take the music theory placement examination. Students placed into MUS 109S Basic Music Theory will be graded on a pass (“Y”) or fail (“Z”) basis. A passing grade must be earned before the student will be permitted to enroll in MUS 110 Music Theory I. MUS 109S does not count toward graduation credits for students in these majors.
Musical Theatre majors will be required to take an exam in music theory. Successful completion of the exam with a passing grade will result in credit-by-exam, granting the student credit for the course in lieu of taking the course. Placement exams for sight singing and piano will be given at the student's request after they have started their studies at Rider, but prior to the semester in which they would normally take these classes.
Minimum Grades Needed
For all majors offered in the Theatre & Dance Department students must earn a minimum grade of "C" in those courses required in the major area in order to make satisfactory progress. If a grade of "C-" or lower is earned, the student must repeat the course.
B.F.A.– Musical Theatre majors must earn a minimum grade of “B-” each semester in the primary applied music field in order to make satisfactory progress. If a grade of “C+” or lower is earned, the student must repeat the course.
At the graduate level, the grade of "D" is not awarded. The lowest passing grade in a graduate course is a "C-."
Course Repeat Policy
All undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in a major or minor offered by the Westminster College of the Arts may enroll for a second or subsequent time in any non-repeatable WCA course from which they have withdrawn, in which they have earned an “F,” or in which they have failed to earn the required minimum grade* according to the following rules:
1) Students who have withdrawn from, failed, or failed to achieve the required minimum grade in a required course* in their first attempt at the course may enroll for a 2nd time without permission. All other students must have the permission of the Associate Dean.
2) Permission of the dean or associate dean of the college (FPA or WCC) offering the course in question is required in order to enroll in a course for the 3rd time.
3) Permission of the Academic Standing Committee of the college (FPA or WCC) offering the course in question is required in order to enroll in a course for the 4th time. Permission for a 4th enrollment will be granted only in rare, extenuating, and documented circumstances.
In all instances, the most recent grade is calculated into the grade point average, and all listings and grades will remain on the transcript.
* Examples include: a minimum grade of “B-“ is required in Piano Secondary, a minimum grade of “C” is required in foreign language study in order to progress to the next level in that language.
Academic Dismissal/Conditional Academic Standing
In the Westminster College of the Arts, decisions regarding academic conditional standing and dismissal for poor scholarship are the responsibility of the School of Fine and Performing Arts Academic Standing Committee, the Westminster Choir College Academic Standing Committee, and the Westminster Choir College Graduate Committee. These committees review the academic progress of students, and may recommend a letter of concern, placement on Conditional Academic Standing, or dismissal.
Because a 2.0 cumulative average is required for graduation a student is expected to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average while enrolled at Rider. Students who fail to maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative average will be reviewed by an academic standing committee and may be dismissed or placed on conditional standing.
Students who have not done satisfactory work may be dismissed from the University for poor scholarship at the end of any semester, after an appropriate review of their scholastic records by the academic standing committee of their college. An academic standing committee may require any student who does unsatisfactory work to pursue a specific course of study during a particular academic session. There must be substantial evidence of proper motivation and a capacity for doing college level work to warrant maintaining a student in school with a record of continued conditional status.
Any student who fails to pursue a course of study prescribed by an academic standing committee, or who does unsatisfactory work in the prescribed course of study, may be dismissed without right of further appeal.
Students may also be subject to academic dismissals if their cumulative grade point averages fall below the required minimum for two or more consecutive semesters, or the grade points fall below the required averages established at the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior levels. Academic dismissal at the end of the fall semester is effective prior to the beginning of the spring semester.
The School of Fine and Performing Arts Academic Standing Committee has the sole authority to dismiss students for academic reasons. Students may be placed on conditional academic standing or dismissed from the Westminster College of the Arts upon failure to meet academic standards. In the School of Fine and Performing Arts, the Academic Standing Committee will review the academic record of undergraduate students who fail to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or a 2.5 cumulative grade point average in courses required for the major.
Students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a minimum of 2.5 in the major. Students dropped from a major because of failure to maintain the minimum grade point average may apply for readmission. Readmission will depend on various criteria, including the GPA, current academic progress, and the student’s general standing.
A dismissed student may appeal in writing to the appropriate committee for immediate rescission of a dismissal decision. Evidence should be submitted to suggest that it is in the interests of both the student and the college for the dismissal to be rescinded. However, any student who fails to pursue a course of study prescribed by an academic standing committee, or who does unsatisfactory work in the prescribed course of study, may be dismissed without right of further appeal.
Students dismissed by the university may not enroll for courses nor participate in university-sponsored activities or ensembles at either campus of Rider University for a period of one year following their dismissal. Students dismissed by the School of Fine and Performing Arts but not Rider University may apply for enrollment in other colleges of the university. Students dismissed by the School of Fine and Performing Arts but not Rider University may not enroll in SFPA courses, ensembles, or activities until they have been readmitted to SFPA. Before permission to enroll in the School of Fine and Performing Arts or Rider University, as appropriate, will be granted, students must follow the process for readmission.
Dismissal from a Major
Following notification that their standing in the major is in jeopardy and the passage of a suitable amount of time permitted to address stated issues, typically one semester, academic departments reserve the right to dismiss a student from a major. Such dismissal may be based upon any of the following conditions: failure to maintain a satisfactory or minimum GPA; failure to sustain academic progress in the courses of the major; conduct in violation of the standards of the department or profession; failure to meet conditions or requirements as stated in University catalogs; or the student’s general standing at Rider University. Such dismissal will become effective at the end of the semester in which the decision is reached.
If more than one year has elapsed since the date of last enrollment, students may be required to reapply and/or re-audition or re-interview for the program. Students must meet all requirements of the application process in order to be readmitted.
In addition to the information given here and on the following pages, students are referred to individual department handbooks for additional information and requirements.
Students in any School of Fine and Performing Arts degree must earn a minimum of 120 credits.