This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Phyllis M. Paul, Dean

Joy Christiansen Erb, Special Assistant to the Dean

The Cliffe College of Creative Arts consists of the following departments:


The Department of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the Dana School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Academic Programs

The college holds as its primary goal the highest quality of instruction, including pre-professional training in areas such as studio art, applied music, and theatre & dance; the training of teachers1; and the offering of a wide variety of courses to non-majors from all areas of the University.

The major programs in the college constitute an outstanding basis for an education in the visual and performing arts. Students not pursuing degrees in the Cliffe College of Creative Arts are welcomed and encouraged to participate in special opportunities in art, music, or theatre & dance as a means of broadening and complementing their university experience.

Another important goal of the college is to provide the University and surrounding community optimal opportunities for experiencing the visual and performing arts.

Degrees, Majors and Minors

The degrees granted are the Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and Bachelor of Music (BM).

Majors are offered in:

Minors are offered in:

State-of-the-Art Learning Facilities

The activities of the college are conducted primarily in Bliss Hall, which houses the administrative offices of the college as well as over 150,000 square feet of specialized classrooms, studios, laboratories, and performance areas serving most of the curricular and co-curricular programs in art, music, and theatre & dance. Additional activities are held in the John J. McDonough Museum of Art, The Butler Institute of American Art, Beecher Center, Stambaugh Auditorium, and the DeYor Performing Arts Center.

Student Experiences

Our innovative academic experiences empower our students to succeed in their educational and professional endeavors. Students in Cliffe College have the opportunity to participate in national and international performance venues; numerous study abroad programs, including those in Scotland, Brazil and the United Kingdom; and internships with regional and national businesses, including the Youngstown Business Incubator, Cafaro Company, Pittsburgh Ballet Company, and Time Warner Cable.

Community Engagement

Cliffe College is a vital cultural asset to the YSU campus, the Mahoning Valley, and the state of Ohio, hosting more than 400 events every year. Over 40,000 patrons attend lectures, exhibits, performances, the Pipino Performing Arts Series, and the Summer Festival of the Arts annually, contributing more than $25 million to our community’s economy.

Alumni Success

Graduates of Cliffe College enjoy fulfilling and broadly diverse careers as visual and performing artists, as well as employment with entities such as the Metropolitan Opera, NBC, Talon International, the Opry Band, Disney, ABC, multiple military ensembles, and in hundreds of university and school classrooms across the country. Our highly accomplished alumni have received Grammy Awards, Purchase Prize (Sculpture), Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame induction, ASCAP awards, and others.

Degree Requirements

High School Preparation

In the Undergraduate Catalog under Admissions, please refer to the "New Freshman Applicants" page.

All incoming music majors need sufficient musical performance ability to undertake college-level music courses. Voice majors will benefit from taking French, German, and/or Italian in high school.