School of Contemporary Arts (CA)



Message from the Dean10614199_10153162856254782_6286246615020116486_n

The School of Contemporary Arts (CA), established in 1971, is an interdisciplinary arts program providing an understanding of the fundamental traditions of the Fine and Communication Arts while simultaneously preparing students to embrace new means of expression.

Students are afforded the opportunity to develop and communicate ideas in many arts-related disciplines. Excellent instruction as well experiential activities outside the classroom environment provide practical experience. Public presentation and reflection are integrated into the educational process via internships and cooperative learning assignments. Fields include:

  • Visual Arts
  • Communication Arts
  • Theatrical Arts
  • Musical Arts

Experienced Faculty

The School’s faculty, known for their professional achievements and scholarly work, include distinguished artists, designers, filmmakers, screenwriters, journalists, authors, and scholars. They have been honored with awards from major art funding sources such as:

  • The National Endowment for the Arts
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
  • The Kellogg Foundation

All faculty have terminal degrees in their fields and have graduated from prestigious institutions including Columbia University, Yale University, New York University, School of Visual Arts, Tyler School of Art, Brown University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Berklee College of Music, California Institute of the Arts, and Art Institute of Chicago. With faculty support, students have won numerous accolades for theater and music performances, design awards, presented scholarly papers at major conferences and screened their films at film festivals.

Degree Programs

We want our students to understand the traditions of the past but also to explore new means of expression and communication. We help them develop their individual voices and strengthen them through active learning situations that result in produced work – learning by doing. We encourage students to move freely across the disciplines of the school to more fully experience the creative process and to build upon knowledge gained in areas outside their majors. And, of course, we take full advantage of our proximity to New York City with its unlimited opportunities in the arts and media.

The School of Contemporary Arts is committed to providing students with an outstanding education in the visual, performing, and communication arts with a strong emphasis on the Ramapo College pillars: interdisciplinary curriculum, international education, intercultural understanding and experiential learning opportunities.

The School of Contemporary Arts offers five majors:

  • Communication Arts (with concentrations in Digital Filmmaking, Global Communication and Media, Journalism, Visual Communication Design, and Writing)
  • Contemporary Arts Contract Major (an interdisciplinary major that enables students to develop individualized programs that correspond to their special interests and career goals)
  • Music (with concentrations in: Music Industry, Music Performance, Music Production, and Music Studies)
  • Theater (with concentrations in: Acting, Directing/Stage Management, Design/Technical Theater, and Theater Studies)
  • Visual Arts (with concentrations in: Art History, Drawing and Painting, Sculpture, Art and Technology, and Photography)

All programs lead to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Minors are available in Music and Theater.

Steven Perry, Dean
School of Contemporary Arts

State-of-the-art Facilities in Four Locations

The main CA facility is in The Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts, featuring two state-of-the-art theaters, rehearsal and dance studio, scenery and costume shops, music, photography, and visual arts facilities, and art galleries. There is also a separate sculpture studio complex and the H and C wings, which feature high-end labs for graphic design, film, and sound design, a TV studio, a convergence journalism studio, and private video editing suites.


The School of Contemporary Arts encourages students to engage in Internships and Cooperative Education experiences. External placements are facilitated in graphic and web design, print journalism, radio, television, professional theater, art galleries and museums, etc. Organizations where our students have been placed include:

  • Minolta
  • Sharp Electronics
  • Sony
  • MTV
  • VH1
  • CNN
  • FOX News
  • Sundance Channel
  • North Jersey Media Group
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Roundabout Theater Company
  • The Joseph Papp Public Theater

In addition to hands-on training, students receive degree credits for their experiences.


CA is aligned with a variety of co-curricular activities, including:

  • Visual Artists Society
  • Creative Media Club
  • RCTV (college television station)
  • National Communication Arts Honor Society
  • Alpha Psi Omega National
  • Theater Honor Society
  • The Ramapo News (college newspaper)
  • WRPR 90.3 FM (college radio station)
  • Ramapo Chorale
  • Gospel Chorus

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School of Contemporary Arts Contact Information:

Office: BC236
Hours: Mon. – Fri., 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Phone: (201) 684-7365
Fax: (201) 684-7481