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ASU’s Herberger College of Fine Arts among top schools nationwide


April 23, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - One of the nation’s top visual arts programs is offered by the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University, says U.S.News & World Report.

In its recently released “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2004,” U.S. News ranks the masters of fine arts program at the Herberger College School of Art 13th in the country and eighth among public universities.

Three of the school’s specialty programs are singled out for additional recognition. The graduate printmaking program ranks third nationwide, the photography program ranks fifth (second among public colleges) and ceramics ranks 14th (11th among public colleges).

“These rankings further distinguish Herberger College as one of the nation’s leading centers for the study, practice and development of the arts,” said Dean J. Robert Wills. “This is a reflection of our accomplished faculty and outstanding programs in these areas, as well as the college’s momentum in recent years.”

U.S. News evaluated 213 visual arts programs. All of the Herberger programs are administered by the School of Art, one of four academic and two research units housed in the Herberger College of Fine Arts.

Professor Kathryn Maxwell said ASU’s printmaking program - which has been ranked in the top 10 nationally since 1997 - has produced alumni who now guide other high-ranking print programs throughout the country.

“We offer students one of the most diverse printmaking educations in the United States,” she said.

The Herberger College’s printmaking program combines extensive facilities with unusual study options such as photogravure, collotype and bookmaking, as well as the major printmaking forms of intaglio, lithography, silkscreen and photo processing. The result is a rare combination of study options not available anywhere else in the country.

The fifth-ranked photography program is closely linked with printmaking, particularly in the area of photogravure, a rare archaic 19th-century photographic and printing process. The program embraces the latest digital processes, utilized by national- and world-renowned faculty who incorporate them in coursework as well as their own cutting edge art, explains photography professor William Jenkins.

Randy Schmidt, a professor in the 14th ranked ceramics program, said that the recognition validates what he and other ceramic faculty had seen building for years.

“We have been drawing graduate applications and students from some of the best ceramic schools in the country since the 1980s,” Schmidt said. “Schools such as Alfred University in New York send their students here and a high percentage of our graduate students also get teaching jobs.”

The broad-based ceramics program at the Herberger College draws from all over the world for its guest artist schedule and was enhanced by the recent opening of the Ceramics Research Center at the ASU Art Museum, one of only a handful of research and study facilities of its type in the nation.

Visual arts was the only fine arts area evaluated by U.S. News this cycle. Still in effect for Herberger College are the School of Music’s ranking as 19th nationwide and the Department of Theatre’s as 35th, with playwriting recognized as 20th. 

Summary -- All Herberger Rankings

School of Art
· MFA Program - 13th (8th among public institutions) -- U.S.News & World Report
· Art Education - 7th -- Art Education Review
· Ceramics - 14th (11th among public institutions) -- U.S.News & World Report
· Photography - 5th (2nd among public institutions) -- U.S.News & World Report
· Printmaking - 3rd -- U.S.News & World Report

School of Music 
· Masters Programs - 19th (11th among public institutions) -- U.S.News & World Report

Department of Dance
· Undergraduate Programs - 9th -- Dance Teacher Now
· Graduate Programs - 5th -- Dance Teacher Now
· One of the “most highly recognized programs in the country” -- ARCO Performance Arts College Guide

Department of Theatre 
· MFA Program - 35th (23rd among public institutions) -- U.S.News & World Report
· Creative Writing/Playwriting - 20th (15th among public institutions) -- U.S.News & World Report
· Theatre for Youth program - Top 3 -- National Association of Schools of Theatre’s Accreditation Review

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle
480-965-8795
jennifer.pringle@asu.edu