Visual Communication and Musical Theatre new academic programs

June 15, 2018

Luther College has added Visual Communication and Musical Theatre to their 2019-20 academic lineup. Considered the fastest growing form of marketing communication, visual communication is expected to account for 84 percent of all marketing communication by the end of 2018. After unanimous approval from Luther's Board of Regents, Visual Communication has been added as a major and minor to the college's curriculum.

In addition, Musical Theatre, which has experienced a huge resurgence in popular culture, was unanimously approved as the college's newest minor.

"The Visual Communication program at Luther confronts the challenges and opportunities that arise in a world that uploads nearly two billion digital images to the internet every day," said Richard Merritt, Luther professor of art. Through learning how images influence and persuade, students in the program will become informed consumers and producers of visual media, enabling them to create and distribute effective visual communication strategies.

With more students preparing to enter careers in graphic design, web design and media production, Luther's Visual Communication program will offer a variety of courses across disciplines so students can direct their studies to pursue their own unique interests. The program will include faculty in Visual and Performing Arts, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Data Science, Management and English.

"Increasingly, fields like graphic design, advertising, media and film require a broad knowledge base. Studying the liberal arts at Luther College affords students the opportunity to be well grounded as they pursue their respective careers," said Merritt, adding that he is excited to see the ways students "find connections and innovate between their other areas of interest and study across the many disciplines we offer at Luther."

Musical theatre, a longtime staple of live entertainment, has recently recaptured the national spotlight, including at colleges and universities nationwide. Responding to this renewed interest, Luther College is finding the balance between traditional forms and new ones, diversifying the mediums in which musical theatre lives.

"We are in a unique position to set Luther apart, appealing to a new demographic of prospective students. Nationally, the main option for Musical Theatre majors is large academic institutions. Among small liberal arts colleges, a minor or major in Musical Theatre is rare," said Jeff Dintaman, Luther professor of theatre.

The Musical Theatre minor is intended for Luther students of any major interested in studying the intersections of dance, music and theatre. It emphasizes the performer as creator by providing a broad foundation through performance-related coursework as well as the study of the art form's historical underpinnings and current trends in musical theatre.

 A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: