University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

The Integrated Fine Arts Program (IFA) - A "Dean's Signature" Program

"Teaching in the IFA program is particularly exciting. Working with highly motivated students as they cross the boundaries of art forms and explore connections between the arts has been exhilarating for all of us. The students while working intensely as a group and living in a creative community have had a unique opportunity to integrate work from differing arts classes and workshops. Their own work, their bravery about their work, and their ability to supportively and honestly critique work have grown far beyond that of the normal first-year class. To teach in this program is a gift."-Dr. Lynda McIntyre

IFA, one of four College of Arts and Sciences full-year Teacher-Advisor Programs, is designed for adventurous students who seek to broaden their understanding of the creative process by working in a variety of artistic media: film and television, music, theatre, creative writing, visual art, and dance. IFA has been designated a "Dean's Signature" program because it is designed for highly motivated first-year students with strong academic records.

IFA enrolls students in a special "suite" of four courses-two each semester. At least three are small classes reserved exclusively for IFA students. The courses, chosen from art, music, theatre, film and television studies, dance, and creative writing, dynamically complement one another and relate to an overarching annual theme, such as "Breaking Boundaries: The Experimental Spirit in the Arts." Course work is both studio-based and scholarly, giving students hands-on experience as well as the opportunity to collaborate and examine the history, practice, theory, criticism, integration, social relevance, and connectivity of varied creative forms.

IFA students will become leaders in creating, showcasing, and cultivating the arts, both within the university (utilizing the fine arts, humanities, and sciences), and within the greater community (through exhibits, performances, and other events). During the spring semester, students may elect to design their own creative and scholarly projects. Community outlets may include Burlington City Arts, local museums, the Flynn Center, Waterfront Theater, the Vermont International Film Festival, Vermont Stage Company, local music groups, and other arts organizations and venues.

IFA courses have included:

  • Movement and Improvisation
  • Musical Avant-Gardes: Sun Ra, John Cage, and Beyond
  • Creative Writing: Writing Experimental World Poetry
  • Film and Television Studies: Film 1930-1960
  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • Archive Fever: Film Begets Film

Additional benefits of the program include the option to live with other IFA students in one of the Residential Learning Communities and to be advised and mentored by an IFA faculty member during the first year.

"I really liked the idea of living with other people with similar interests. Everyone here just clicked really well, more so than if we had a normal dorm."-Wes D., music major

Admission is by online application.

For further information, contact:

Prof. Deb Ellis