Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts | Webster University

Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts


Effective 1 June 2020 through 31 May 2021

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Undergraduate Courses for Spring 2020

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

Ryan E. Gregg, 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 offers a wide variety of courses that seek to prepare students to successfully encounter the contemporary art world. The program encourages students to understand and synthesize traditions, and to confront challenging ideas and emerging technologies. The learning environment in the department emphasizes personal expression, alternative approaches and experimentation. At the same time, the department stresses fundamental concepts that unify all art and yet allow infinite variation. The Department of Art, Design and Art History shares the belief that intensive work, study and involvement in art prepare the student for professional art training or personal career goals.

Special Study Opportunities

Other special opportunities include:

  • Annual Cecille R. Hunt Undergraduate Juried Art Show
  • Cecille R. Hunt Senior Art Awards
  • BA exhibit in the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery
  • BFA exhibit held at Arcade Contemporary Art Projects
  • Exhibits of professional works throughout the year in the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery
  • Internships at area art institutions such as Laumeier Sculpture Park, White Flag projects and more
  • Study at any of Webster University’s international campuses
  • Annual summer intensive studio trip to Vienna
  • Biennial international study trips to Florence and to Venice


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

  • Leon Hicks Scholarship
  • ArtMart Scholarship
    For students in their senior year
  • Sister Gabriel Mary Hoare Scholarship
    Special consideration given to art education students
  • Natalie Probstein Scholarship in Art
  • Other scholarships also available

Special Requirements

Entering students seeking a BA in art with an emphasis in studio, 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. Appointments for portfolio interviews can be scheduled through the Office of Admission.

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 (a minimum of 6 credit hours must be in drawing).

Transfer students seeking a BFA in art with a studio emphasis in drawing must take a minimum of 18 credit hours in drawing at Webster University. Transfer students should expect to complete the departmental requirements in a minimum of two academic years.

Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Gad Guterman, chair

Majors and Degrees


Statement of Purpose

It is our mission to train our future colleagues to become visionaries, creators and leaders in the next generation of American professional theatre.

Educational Goals

Graduates of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts will:

  • Possess skills within their area of expertise.
  • Demonstrate an effective working process.
  • Be disciplined theatre practitioners.
  • Understand the value of the ensemble.
  • Realize the potential of their imagination.
  • Have experience in theatre production in professional and learning environments.
  • Be prepared to get work.

Student Assessment

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University offers a sequential, selective and intensive program for training young artists for theatre. 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 written comment sheets from all 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 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 Shakespeare Festival St. Louis 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 a trip to New York City, where they audition and/or exhibit their talents in performances for alumni, agents, casting directors and artistic directors. Designers, stage managers and producers in New York 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; 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
  • Jerry Mitchell Musical Theatre Scholarship
  • John & Christy Nichol 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
  • Peter E. Sargent Endowed Scholarship for Lighting Design
  • Peter E. Sargent Endowed Stage Management Scholarship
  • Phyllis Huffman Delvecchio 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 his/her 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 Familly 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 his or her advisor, prepares a written proposal of specific goals in his or her 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

Jeffrey Richard Carter, 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.

Outcomes Statements of the Department of Music

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, a national specialized accrediting agency.

A graduate of the Webster University Department of Music will be able to:

  • Access, navigate and use appropriate music literature and music technologies for composition, instruction, performance and research. 
  • Describe the main characteristics of significant genres of music and identify representative works and composers associated with each genre.
  • Compare, contrast and communicate the significant aesthetic principles of the major historical eras using representative works and composers. 
  • Relate the socio-political contexts of the major historical eras to the composition and performance of music in each period. 
  • Explain how compositional processes and aesthetic/stylistic properties shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces.
  • Analyze music using methods applicable to specific genre/style period and use those analytical findings to enhance musical performance.
  • Critique existing and original compositions using structural analysis and aesthetic attributes.
  • Perform diverse repertoire, from memory and at-sight, on a primary and secondary instrument at a level appropriate to the student's needs and interests, meeting departmental and degree standards.
  • Collaborate with a variety of musical ensembles, and organize rehearsals and performances.
  • Improvise within a defined structural framework.

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 opportunities in Europe and Asia, 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 Concert Choir, Jazz Singers, Chamber Singers, Aurelia, Webster University Orchestra, Opera Studio, Jazz Collective, Jazz Ensembles, Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble and the New Music Ensemble. The department also provides various chamber music ensembles.


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 www.webster.edu/ida/.

Admission and Audition Requirements

To be admitted as an undergraduate music major or music minor, applicants must complete an in-person 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 for each music degree program 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, Concert Choir, Aurelia, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble (combo), Jazz Singers, Jazz Collective and New Music Ensemble.

Music scholarship students are expected to participate in performing ensembles in addition to those for which they receive credit and are assigned to ensembles by faculty. In general, music majors are expected to participate in at least two ensembles per semester.

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; b) MUSC 0791 Piano Proficiency; or c) MUSC 1791 Piano Proficiency.

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 3-minute work that includes collaboration with a performer other than or in addition to piano. Works longer than 3 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 at the beginning of 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 are conveniently housed in the Emerson Library. In addition, the library subscribes to a number of significant online, music-related resources.