The College of Fine Arts is part of the University of Florida — a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant public educational institution based in Gainesville, Florida — that enrolls about 50,000 students annually. The arts program began in the 1920s to serve the state of Florida's needs. Meeting these needs over the past 90 years has propelled the college to excel on a national and international level and has defined its mission.
Since its establishment in 1975, the College of Fine Arts has become an increasingly vital unit of the University of Florida community. The College of Fine Arts mission is to provide instruction for students who seek professional careers in the arts, educate complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society, and provide creative and cultural opportunities for all students at the university and members of the community, nation and world.
The primary mission of the college to its undergraduate majors and graduate students is to produce artists, performers, scholars, teachers, and practitioners who combine the qualities of academic and professional excellence. The faculty works to meet the mission by providing a dynamic education, engaging creative skills, and producing students who can empathize, innovate and communicate.
In addition to providing rich educational experiences and programs in the arts, the college brings national and international recognition to the university through the high-level professionalism associated with the faculty and alumni, and the competence of students and graduates. This mirrors the aspirations the administration has set for the University of Florida in its mission statement of 2007, “No university can aspire to recognition as one of the country's great public universities without recognition as a leading center of research and teaching in the arts and humanities.” (UF Strategic Work Plan, 2007).
In keeping with the mission and concept of a doctoral research university, another goal is to provide comprehensive programs at both the graduate and advanced graduate levels. The College also offers substantial general education and service courses to non-arts majors and intends to continue this service in the coming years. Of the 16 colleges at the University of Florida, the College of Fine Arts is second only to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in providing courses for General Education. The College provides a number of minors for students in other colleges who wish to study one or more art disciplines. Consequently, the goal is to educate non-arts majors in ways that will enlighten, enrich, and help them develop avenues for creative and artistic expression.
In addition to providing arts courses for students enrolled at this institution, the College of Fine Arts maintains strong programs in arts education courses for teachers, and pursues cooperative endeavors with other colleges and the public schools in research and development in a variety of activities and disciplines.