Beyond the Curriculum

Learning Outside the Box

While SMTD’s robust academic offerings sustain artistic and scholarly traditions, complementary experiential programs encourage students to grow beyond them. Immersed in this world of possibility, our exceptional students challenge and encourage each other to re-envision the future. SMTD students take full advantage of our abundant resources and opportunities to enhance their educational experiences, and to ensure that they are prepared for a fulfilling and successful future.

Student Organizations and Activities

The University of Michigan offers a wide variety of unique experiences for students on campus and in the community. Browse all U-M organizations and events.


The Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Career Empowerment & Leadership (EXCEL) Lab is SMTD’s home base for performing arts entrepreneurship, leadership, and career services. We take a personalized, collaborative approach to professional development by first exploring students’ individual visions and goals, and then connecting them with the resources they need to thrive.

Global Experiences with SMTD

SMTD is committed to creating opportunities for students to perform and study around the globe. Through strategic relationships with arts organizations around the world, students have access to opportunities around the world. From performance tours, to collaborations with teachers, artists, and other students, to semester-long study abroad, students advance professional and life skills while also jump-starting their burgeoning careers.

Community Outreach

As a public institution, the University of Michigan has a mission to serve our community—a mission SMTD embraces and supports. Not only do we present hundreds of performances that are free and open to the public, we also offer extensive programs that allow the deep expertise residing within our school to be shared with both adult and youth learners.

SMTD strives to make the transformative power of the performing arts accessible to populations and communities throughout Michigan while preparing SMTD students to become highly engaged artist-citizens, including public schools, senior living facilities, hospitals and community centers.


  • Michigan Artist Citizens (MAC): Become an arts ambassadors on campus and in Michigan communities
  • Michigan’s Success Through Artistry & Readiness program (M-STARs): Build a college-going culture for young artists underrepresented in arts higher education
  • PEERs (Performance Outreach Educational Residencies): Provides mentorship and mini grants to help create educational performance residencies with underserved communities throughout Michigan
  • Performance Outreach: Each year, dozens of SMTD students perform in a wide variety of venues, including hospitals, senior centers, schools and community centers