New Student Advising and Orientation Overview

Congratulations! You're coming to Western!

We're excited to have you, and, like many students headed here, you might not have declared a major - or maybe you have, and you're asking "what's next?"

Students often come to Western hoping to explore their passions in the arts, performance, and music - or you have decided to pursue another major, but don't want to put down your instrument, give up your canvas, or miss out on the backstage and onstage camaraderie you've grown to love.

If you can't locate an answer to a question from the list below, please reach out to us.

Advising questions contact

Strategic National Arts Alumni Project

Answers to these questions and more can be found at Indiana University's Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) website.

Can I take art, dance, design, music, and theatre classes as a non-major?

There are many classes you can take in our departments. However, if you have a strong interest in a certain area, we urge you to speak to an advisor in that area and consider a minor (if available), since it will improve your chances of getting into certain classes.

If I’m not a major, can I audition for:

Music Ensembles?

Yes! Please! Auditions for music ensembles are in September just before the start of classes. Learn more about the music ensemble auditions.

Theatre productions?

Yes! Please! The first productions of the season (October) are already cast. Subsequent auditions will be advertised on the call boards outside PAC 395 (Theatre/Dance Dept. Office) and on the Theatre/Dance website and Facebook page. Technical volunteers are also welcome. Inquire at the Theatre/Dance office (PAC 395).


There are a variety of options to audition for dance productions as a major or non-major, including the twice-annual Cabaret variety show. Dance classes require a level placement audition on Monday or Tuesday before the classes begin.

Learn more about level placement.

Please contact Cher Carnell or Ashley VanCurler for this year's dates.

Can I take studio art classes as a non-major?

Typically, no. The studio resources are limited, and the discipline is resource intensive. A minor is offered in Art History. A STEAM minor is offered.

Can I take Design classes as a non-major?

Design 111 and 211 are open to non-majors because they are also GURs. All other courses require major status. There is a User Experience (UX) Design Minor via the Engineering Technology Department.

Classes for non-majors

Art & Art History

Art 101 (Glass Blowing I); Art 109 (Visual Dialogue); Art History 220 (Visual Culture in Ancient Greece/Rome); 221 (Visual Culture in Medieval Europe); 230 (Visual Culture in Western Europe 1400-1550); 231(Visual Culture Western Europe 1500-1700); 240 (Visual Culture Western Europe 19th Century); 241 (Visual Culture Western Europe/America 20th Century); 270 (Visual Culture in South and Southeast Asia); 271 (Visual Culture in East Asia)


Some courses are available on a space-available basis. Others, such as DNC 232 (Movement and Culture), fulfill a GUR requirement.  Courses such as “open ballet” and “open modern” do not require any previous experience. See advisor.


Design 111 and 211 are open to non-majors because they are also GURs. All other courses require major status.


101, Fundamentals of Music (priority given to music majors); 104, The Art of Listening to Music; 105, Survey of Popular and Rock Music; 202, Jazz: Genesis and Evolution; 205, Survey of Non-Western Cultures; ensembles (via audition)

Private music lessons

If someone is not a music major or minor, private lessons are available on a space-available basis, and with an audition. Please speak with the instructor or area coordinator well in advance. Note that there is an applied lesson fee for these courses.

It may also be possible to take lessons on a more informal basis (not for-credit) from a music student. Rates are variable.


Many Theatre courses at the 100 and 200 level are open to non-majors. Please contact advisor for more details.

What other opportunities are there for me to participate in the arts at Western?

Associated Students Clubs has more than 40 clubs for “Arts, Music & Dance.”

There are also clubs for Stage Combat, Dramatic Writing, and Capoeira Club (to name a few) sometimes not listed in that category.