WHO WE ARE
Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, comprises a vibrant community of nearly 1,200 creators—dancers, filmmakers, musicians, theater artists, visual artists, and designers unafraid to take risks as they collaborate with our renowned faculty of professional working artists.
Mason Gross graduates emerge not merely with a degree but with a commitment to making innovative and purposeful contributions to the wider community—onstage, backstage, in the gallery, the classroom, the studio, and beyond.
The goal: to cultivate thoughtful, engaged, committed artists embracing art as an ever-changing field of possibility.
The school, just 45 minutes from the crackling energy of New York City’s arts scene, serves as the flagship public arts conservatory at Rutgers, a Big Ten research university serving more than 66,000 students. Rutgers is the nation’s eighth-oldest institution of higher learning and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.
- Location: the city of New Brunswick, a short train ride from New York City and Philadelphia. The campus is an urban/suburban hybrid, with downtown art galleries and studios; two performing arts centers, featuring student productions and concerts, and rehearsal space in a tranquil setting
- Founded in 1976
- Student body: 843 undergraduate students and 240 graduate students from 21 countries (fall 2021)
- 370 faculty
- Challenging and rewarding training under the tutelage of professional working artists
- Close student-faculty engagement and intimate class size
- Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe program in London
- Annual performances and exhibits in major New York City venues
Engaging the Community
We offer numerous courses to the wider university population, some in person and some online through Rutgers Arts Online. Rutgers Community Arts seeks to expand access to the arts through youth and adult programming, including community-engaged arts programs.
The School of Creative and Performing Arts is founded at Rutgers University at the request of Rutgers University’s 17th president, Edward J. Bloustein. Theater actor, director, and playwright Jack Bettenbender serves as first dean of the school.
The school is renamed the Mason Gross School of the Arts in honor of Mason Welch Gross (1911–1977), beloved professor of philosophy, 16th president of Rutgers University, and staunch advocate of the arts in New Brunswick. The school initially consists of master’s degree programs in music, theater, and visual arts, with a total of 90 graduate students. Undergraduate programs in dance, music, theater, and visual arts are soon added and enrollment grows rapidly.
Nicholas Music Center, designed by the renowned Italian architect Pietro Belluschi, the architect of Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, is completed.
The Blanche and Irving Laurie Music Library is dedicated as part of the Mabel B. Smith Douglass Library on the Douglass campus.
New Theater (now Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater) is completed.
Rutgers Community Arts (formerly the Mason Gross Extension Division) is founded, offering year-round educational opportunities for precollege and adult students.
Mason Gross begins offering online courses--an initiative that soon grows to the largest at the university.
The Rutgers Filmmaking Center (formerly Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking) is founded, producing narrative and documentary films in collaboration with other units of the university. The program launches a BFA degree in film in 2015.
The school celebrates its 40th anniversary with a schoolwide collaborative, multidisciplinary performance of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale at Nicholas Music Center involving all five of our departments. A repeat performance is held at New York City's (Le) Poisson Rouge (LPR).
Mason Gross makes its debut at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art venue downtown. The $172 million redevelopment project, in which Mason Gross is a 28 percent owner, provides new performance and professional opportunities for students.
within Rutgers University
MINUTES FROM NYC
who are award-winning artists and professionals in their fields