Dean's Message

Dean Shannon Miller

Welcome to the College of the Humanities and the Arts at San José State University. Our college educates students in a range of fields through our eight departments and one school: Art and Art History; Design; English and Comparative Literature; Film and Theater; Humanities; Linguistics and Language Development; Philosophy; World Languages; and the School of Music and Dance. Our art, music, dance, film, and theater programs provide our region with talented artists, performers, and entertainers who re-envision the world through beautiful design, movement, and sound while providing alternate modes of understanding our world. Our humanities and arts programs produce graduates with critical thinking skills that businesses in the region rely upon in the fast-paced world of the Silicon Valley. We are practical and inspiring, and we shape the future of the arts and humanities. We send our graduates to Pixar, Google, and Apple, as well as into the creative fields of performing arts. Our college’s graduates pursue J.D.s and enter Ph.D. and M.F.A. programs across the country to explore emerging ideas and continue to create art that challenges and delights.

As educators, the faculty of the College of the Humanities and the Arts is committed to our students’ success and to the values of the public university as an avenue to social mobility, a core tenet of the California State University. A recent CollegeNET Social Mobility Study ranked San José State University 7 th in the country at raising graduates’ standard of living. Affordable Colleges Online ranked our English Department 8 th in the country for return on investment (ROI). We are proud of our diverse student body, their talents, and their ambition to succeed. Our students are our point of pride. We strive to enable their success, whether that is improving our students’ ability to draw, play an instrument, write a poem or novel, speak a new language, or engage a philosophical concept. As a college, we are committed to creating and understanding the arts and supporting traditional humanistic lines of inquiry. We prepare our students to be creators, thinkers, and innovators; we produce citizens who are ethical, informed, and engaged.

As creators and supporters of the arts, we are the college at San José State University that most directly reaches out to the university, City of San José, and the larger Silicon Valley communities that it serves through the arts. Programs, which are open to the public, are offered in theater, music, dance, creative writing, and the arts through our departments occur at on-campus venues as well as at the artistically beautiful, world-class Hammer Theatre located near the university in downtown San José.

The Hammer Theater, a city-owned venue operated by the university, positions San José State University in a rare class for university performing arts and quality educational programming as it offers a professional venue for our best students in theater, music and dance to perform. It also provides our university centers, such as the Center for the Literary Arts and Ira Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, a wonderful place to host outstanding university and college cultural events. With a world-class Constellation system sound, a state-of-the-art lighting system, an intimate 532 seat main theatre, a 150 seat black box theatre, plus several lounges, including a rooftop terrace with a view of the San José skyline, the Hammer Theater’s dynamic, diversified performing arts, educational, and technology-related programming represents the college’s investment in our diverse student body as well as our interdisciplinary, boundary-crossing understanding of the power of the arts.

We invite you to explore all that our programming and our talented students have to offer!

Shannon Miller
Interim Dean
College of the Humanities and the Arts