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Program Description

Unlike the situation found at most large research universities, The J. Sanford Miller Family Arts Scholars are part of a small group of undergraduate students who have increased access to resources in the arts at the University of Virginia including personal introductions to our most distinguished arts faculty. In the spring semester of a student's first or second year, those involved in and interested in the arts submit applications to receive the Arts Scholars designation, which is awarded in early May. Upon their return in the fall of the second year, all designated scholars attend the Miller Arts Scholars Seminar, where they meet internationally-renowned arts faculty from each of the participating departments, hear talks on issues in the forefront of arts, visit arts facilities, etc. During the spring semester, scholars enroll in our discussion group and participate in exclusive events and work on building art portfolios. This deep engagement in the arts results in intimate connections with some of the most gifted fellow artists on Grounds. Our scholars benefit from priority enrollment, increased engagement with the arts, community, Miller Arts Scholars advising, and access to research support funds during the third and fourth year of study. The J. Sanford Miller Family Arts Scholars is overseen by the departments of Studio Art, Drama, Music, and Dance.


The Miller Arts Scholars program provides its participants with priority enrollment by academic year for course enrollment beginning in the fall.  Participants may elect to have the program's director serve as their lower-division advisor during the second year of study until a major field of study is selected. ¬†Arts Scholars show commitment to participating in the arts at the University and in setting an example for other students involved in our programs.

Participants of the Miller Arts Scholars program are expected to meet certain requirements during their first year of participation to be eligible for third and fourth-year research support.  During their second year of study in the College (first year of Miller Arts Scholars participation), students must attend the weekly Miller Art Scholars Seminar (CASS 1010, Wednesdays, 2-2:50) where they are personally introduced to a cross-section of our faculty.  Participants are also expected to attend our spring discussion meetings, Miller Arts Scholars Discussion (CASS 1011). After that, participants are expected to attend one seminar or discussion course each year. Our scholars should prove measurable engagement with the arts at the University and within their discipline throughout their academic career. Participants will attend outcome presentations and/or performances by fellow third and fourth-year Miller Arts Scholars each April. Additionally, Arts Scholars are required to enroll in a minimum of four, credit-bearing art courses within their respective nominating department between their second and fourth year of study and remain in the College to apply for future support.  A minimum GPA of 3.4 in all arts classes is required.

Students remaining in good standing are encouraged to continue participation through applying for rising-third and fourth year, Arts Awards to support research for arts related projects. These projects may be single research projects or collaborations.  Formal written proposals are required to apply for this support.  All projects require identification of a discipline specific faculty advisor.  Funding for projects is selected by our faculty advisory committee (MASFAC) and recipients of these awards will complete work through the following academic year when the outcomes of these projects will be presented before the public.  Those receiving awards will have both their original written proposal and outcome report, complete with examples and/or links to media published on our website.

Choosing a Major

J. Sanford Miller Family Arts Scholars are strongly encouraged to major in the arts. Regardless of the major ultimately chosen, deep engagement with our program will secure a place within the Arts Scholar community.