The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design curricula include general studies in liberal arts and science, and experiential learning in studio, lab, and classroom settings within the disciplines.

Mission Statement

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design trains students in the fields of media, entertainment, design, the visual and performing arts, and the management of creative industry. Westphal offers 18 undergraduate and nine graduate majors, housed in award-winning facilities that encourage collaboration across creative disciplines. Academic programs challenge students to center sustainability, access, diversity, equity, inclusion, and interdisciplinary studies in their approaches to art, fashion, architecture, gaming, entertainment, and scholarship. Through experiential learning, studio-based curriculum, and Drexel’s innovative Cooperative Education program (co-op), Westphal students are uniquely positioned to face the world’s challenges and define the creative careers of the 21st century.

The academic programs are rigorous and provide the appropriate balance of a solid foundation with individual creative direction, cultural awareness, strong technical skills, and an understanding of management and professional practice. Westphal is committed to continual review of curricula, processes, and outcomes to make those improvements and refinements necessary to further enrich our students’ education, and to continue to foster independent thinkers, astute leaders, and creative problem solvers. Westphal’s vision is to shape the future of interdisciplinary creative practices, equitable partnerships, and inclusive engagement to enrich our campus, our communities, and our world.

Undergraduate Co-operative Education

Westphal students spend a minimum of six months (two terms) applying classroom and studio skills in positions within their chosen professions. Often referred to as "The Ultimate Internship," a co-op is a valuable, direct way to learn about a career, work with other professionals, and gain skills and experience that set Drexel graduates apart from students who complete their professional education in more traditional academic settings. While co-op opportunities may be either paid and unpaid, students who participate in the co-op program typically receive higher starting salaries post-graduation than graduates of other schools.

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Special Programs

The Westphal College offers a number of special programs including Study Abroad, Accelerated Dual Degree, Accelerated Summer Courses, Enrichment Programs, and Dance for Professionals.

Study Abroad

Many students in the College participate in study abroad ranging from ten days to two terms. Some of the more popular programs are in Australia, Rome, France, Korea, Germany, Prague, Japan, and Cuba, as well as Drexel in London and Fashion in London. Students interested in study abroad should consult with their program director, academic advisor, and the Study Abroad Office, 215-895-1704.

Enrichment Programs

The Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism runs Intensive Courses Abroad to cities around the world including recent trips to Spain, Italy, Korea and Australia. These programs focus the travel portion into two-week periods between summer and fall terms and are open to all students. The Department of Cinema & Television offers a summer term Drexel in Los Angeles program for Film & Television, Screenwriting & Playwriting, and other Westphal majors. The Entertainment & Arts Management program offers a study abroad program at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

Accelerated Dual Degree Programs

Dual degree programs enable academically qualified students to earn both a bachelor's and an advanced degree in five years. The following Accelerated Degree programs are available to qualified high school students entering their freshman year in the Westphal College:

  • BS in Design & Merchandising/MBA: This program combines study in the area of fashion retail merchandising with the MBA degree. The program is available to qualified Design and Merchandising majors.         
  • BS Entertainment & Arts Management/MBA: This program allows high-achieving students preparing for leadership roles in media companies and arts organizations the opportunity to earn their MBA degree. The program is available to qualified Entertainment & Arts management majors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • BS Music Industry/MBA: This program offers the highly motivated and musically focused student an opportunity to combine music theory and technology with the MBA degree. The program is available to qualified Music Industry majors.

The following Accelerated Degree programs are available to qualified matriculated students in the Westphal College:

  • BS Animation and Visual Effects/MS Digital Media: This program allows highly motivated students to complete the BS in Animation & Visual Effects and MS degree in Digital Media programs in five years.

  • BS Dance/MS in Elementary Education: This career focus, dance in education prepares students for jobs as elementary school teachers (grades pre-kindergarten through 4) who may also serve as school dance specialists. Students choosing this option will earn a BS degree in Dance through the Department of Performing Arts and may elect to continue for a fifth year of study to earn an MS in the Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Teacher Certification through the School of Education.

  • BS Game Design and Production/MS in Digital Media: This program allows highly motivated students to complete both the BS in Game Design & Production and MS degree in Digital Media programs in five years.

  • BS User Experience and Interaction Design/MS in Digital Media: This program allows highly motivated students to complete both the BS in User Experience and Interaction Design and MS degree in Digital Media in five years.

  • BS Interior Design/MS in Design Research: This five-year path allows students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, enhanced by a Master of Science in Design Research, preparing them for a human-centered technology-driven professional career.

  • BS Interior Design/MS in Interior Architecture: This program combines the Interior Design undergraduate and the graduate Interior Architecture degrees in an intensive five-year program that provides an opportunity for the student to focus on an area of specialization.

  • BS Interior Design/MS in Urban Strategy: This five-year path allows students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, enhanced by a Master of Science in Urban Strategy, preparing them to collaboratively and creatively solve complex multifaceted urban challenges on all levels: locally, nationally, and globally.

  • BS Digital Media & Virtual Production/MS in Digital Media: This program allows highly motivated students to complete both the BS in Virtual Reality and MS degree in Digital Media in five years.

Accelerated Summer Courses

With departmental permission, students may enroll in Visual Studies accelerated courses over the summer. These typically include courses in Accelerated Design I, II, III, Introductory Drawing, and Figure Drawing I. These courses primarily are offered so that new undergraduate transfer students and pre-graduate students can complete their future programs in an economical time frame. Students with some experience in studio coursework may be eligible to take accelerated courses. A portfolio review is required to determine eligibility.

Dance Part-time Professionals

The Part-time Professionals option of the Dance Major is designed for professional dancers interested in pursuing a BS degree in Dance while continuing their performance careers or at the conclusion of their performing careers. This program grants “professional life experience” credits and an extended period of time to fulfill the remaining required courses.


Choral Ensembles

University Chorus (MUSC 101 )Dr. Daniel Spratlan, Director
As auditioned, 60-voice group which performs concert choir literature, both a cappella and with instrumental accompaniment.

Chamber Singers (MUSC 102) Dr. Daniel Spratlan, Director
A select group of 18 singers chosen by audition from the University Chorus. They perform secular music from the Renaissance period (Madrigals).

Vocal Jazz Ensemble (MUSC 103)Dr. Daniel Spratlan, Director
A select group of 16 singers chosen by audition from the University Chorus. They perform "anything that swings," doing a variety of pieces from the 20's to the 10's with a three-piece back-up band.

All College Choir (MUSC 104)/Scott Bacon, Director
A large un-auditioned choir that performs a varied repertoire including light classics, spirituals, and popular music.

Instrumental Ensembles

Concert Band (MUSC 105) Patrick Bailey, Director
Students who are proficient on woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments may become members of this large instrumental ensemble by auditioning for the director. Membership is based on the student's ability and the instrumental needs of the ensemble.

The Basketball Pep Band (MUSC 116)Dr. Domenic Pisano, Director
This band is made up of brass players, saxophone players, and trap drummers drawn from the membership of the Concert Band.

Jazz Orchestra (MUSC 107) Brent White, Director
Performs music which is associated with and/or inspired by acknowledged masters of the jazz tradition such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Thad Jones, and others.

The Jazztet (MUSC 108 )Brent White, Director
This ensemble performs small group masterpieces such as literature associated with Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, and others.

University Orchestra (MUSC 109)Rosalind Erwin, Director
This is a full orchestra that performs concert repertoire of various periods from the 18th century to the present day. Wind, brass, and percussionists must be in the Concert Band in order to participate.

Fusion Band (MUSC 112)Lynn Riley, Director
A small combo utilizing a rhythm section and any varying combination of saxes and brass. The repertoire includes music of the styles of jazz, Latin, funk, and rock.

Percussion Ensemble (MUSC 113) Mark Beecher, Director
Students in this group will have the opportunity to play, improve and perform on many instruments of the percussion family including: snare drum, bass drum, xylophone, marimba, timpani- and even hands and feet. 

Mediterranean Ensemble (MUSC 114)/Bruce Kaminsky, Director
Students perform traditional music from Southeastern Europe, the Middle East  and Northern Africa. All traditional and Western instruments are welcomed including oud, bouzouki and saz along with guitar, violin and sax. Percussionists can play Drexel's wide assortment of traditional drums including doumbek, riq and djimbe. Students will have the opportunity to perform 7/8 and 9/8 rhythms from Greece, 10/8 rhythms from Turkey, learn songs in Greek, Turkish, Arabic and Hebrew..

Rock Ensemble (MUSC 117) Greg Wright, Director
A small combo of vocalists, guitarists, bassists, keyboardist, and drummers who perform repertoire ranging from classic rock to alternative.

Drexel University Dance Program

Elegant, exciting, sophisticated, sleek are all words commonly used to describe the Drexel Dance Ensemble. Performing ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance, the Drexel Dancers are both versatile and original.

The Drexel Dance Ensemble (DANC 131), Olive Prince, Director
A professional caliber dance company presenting two fully-produced concerts in the Mandell Theater each year. Students participating in the 60 member ensemble are given the opportunity to explore their artistry through working with professional choreographers, both faculty and guests artists, as well as a selection of student choreographers. The diversity of choreographic talent promises a show with dimension and unique perspectives on contemporary and classical dance forms. Entrance into this company is open to any dancers beyond their freshman year by audition twice yearly.

The FreshDance Ensemble (DANC 131 ), Olive Prince, Director
Dance company open exclusively to freshmen at Drexel. The 30 dancers in the ensemble perform two fully produced concerts at the Mandell Theater each year. Works by both professional and student choreographers are performed in a variety of genres including ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop. Entrance into the company is open twice yearly by audition.

The Youth Performance Exchange Touring Ensemble (DANC 131)Valerie Ifill, Director
This 8-10 member dance troupe performs assembly style lecture demonstration programs introducing student K-8 to the art of dance. Students learn the program each fall and perform for 15-20 elementary and middle school each Friday morning in winter and spring terms. Open by audition each fall term.

Drexel University Theatre Program

Mr. Nick Anselmo, Director of Theatre Programs

Introduction to Theater Production Practicum (THTR 130)
An introduction to the tools, basic skills and safety procedures that students must know in order to work on Theater Program shows.

Theatre Performance Practicum (THTR 131)
Students perform in Mainstage productions in the URBN Annex Black Box Theater or the Mandell Theater. An audition is required to participate in this ensemble.

Theatre Production Practicum (THTR 132)
Students serve as the stage crew for all theatrical productions at the URBN Annex Black Box Theater or the Mandell Theater and build all the sets, costumes, hang lights and run sound for all the shows.

Theatre Management Practicum  (THTR 133)
Students work as stage managers, production managers, and in administrative positions of Drexel's Co-op Theater Company.

Open Mic Management Practicum (THTR 134)
Students manage and run all aspects of The Late Night Series, a free weekly open mic that strives to both champion and nuture performing artists with Philadelphia and the Drexel community.

Theatre Performance Ensemble (THTR 141)
The Theatre Performance Ensemble focuses on a specific area of performance training, creation, and research to supplement the standard theatre curriculum in performance.

Director's Lab Practicum (THTR 142)
Practical experience in acting for the stage through participation in a student directed one-act play in conjunction with the Play Directing Class. An audition is required to participate in this ensemble.

Musical Theatre Cabaret (THTR 143)
Practical experience preparing a song for performance with an emphasis on applying acting techniques to the delivery, it concludes with a public Cabaret performance.

New Works Festival Performance Practicum (THTR 144)
Practical experience in acting and dramaturgy for the stage through participation, development, and performance of student written plays in conjunction with the Page-to-Stage class.

Students participate in all aspects of theatre performance and production, including; acting, directing, design, costumes, lighting, sets, sound, publicity, and box office.


Designed to be an incubator for tomorrow’s creative leaders, The URBN Center is the award-winning home for many of the programs in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, providing students with rigorous, studio intensive instruction and the latest technological resources. Majors that share this space include Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Design & Merchandising, Entertainment & Arts Management, Fashion Design, Game Design & Production, Graphic Design, Interactive Digital Media, Interior Design, Music Industry, and Product Design.

The URBN Center also provides a black box theater for our performing arts, a 3,500-square-foot Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, a Motion Capture studio, a Hybrid Making Lab featuring Universal Laser Cutters and 3-D printing and prototyping, Shima Seki high-tech knitting machines, the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, the Charles Evans Fashion Design Library, a multi-use screening and lecture room, and offices for the College’s administrative functions.

The Academic Building is home to our Photography major and Department of Art & Art History. Within this facility, the Westphal College occupies a 10,000-square-foot photography lab, lighting studios, and digital imaging labs, as well as six lecture/ laboratory spaces for our Visual Studies courses.

In University Crossings, a 25,000-square-foot space houses offices for the Department of Cinema & Television. Also in this building are two state-of-the-art digital editing facilities, a shooting studio with special effects capability, two screening rooms, a digital audio post production studio, several multimedia classrooms, and a well-stocked equipment room, featuring state of the art cameras ARRIFLEX (Arri) Alexa XT Plus and the Amira Premiere 4K.

MacAlister Hall serves students in the Westphal College with digital audio labs and recording studios for Music Industry; the Mandell Theater, a 420-seat proscenium theater with scene shop and dressing rooms; the Ellen Forman Memorial Dance Studio; and a high-definition studio space for our college-operated television station, DUTV, which reaches over 400,000 households.

The Music Industry program has a state-of-the-art recording studio and other music production facilities in One Drexel Plaza. These newly opened facilities were designed by noted acoustician Walter Storyk. Additionally, the Music Industry program has six recording studios located in University Crossings and MacAlister Hall.

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