Bachelor of Arts

Culture, Literature and the Arts (CLA)

   What is Culture, Literature and the Arts?

What is culture? How do literature and the visual and performing arts travel across cultures?

CLA addresses these questions by seeking to understand the production and reception of literature, film, and the visual and performing arts through aesthetic, theoretical, historical, and sociological methods. Faculty who teach in CLA draw on a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields, including art history, literature, film, environmental studies, creative writing, performance studies, cultural and media studies, disability studies, history, gender and race studies, and philosophy. CLA students learn to appreciate and think critically about how cultural practices vary across diverse social systems, and are strongly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to participate in public and community-based arts projects.

CLA graduates are well equipped to pursue graduate education in a range of programs related to the interdisciplinary arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences, as well as professional fields such as law, policy, education, and journalism. CLA also provides excellent preparation for careers in publishing, public relations, and public service, especially in the context of community and public arts organizations.  For more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school please click here.

CLA Major Requirements


While there are no official prerequisites beyond the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, students choosing this major will find it helpful to be able to write an analytical paper and should have at least two courses in literature, the visual arts, or performance. Historical knowledge and competency in foreign languages is also highly desirable.

Degree Requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* (5 credits)
  • CLA Core (5 credits)
  • CLA Courses (35 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)
  • General Electives (22 credits)

TOTAL = 90 Credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment. 

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Within the above-listed 90 credits, students must complete the IPR requirement.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. At least 10 credits in each Area must be completed in courses offered by UW Bothell. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an CLA major requirement.

Lower Division Credit Policy

Up to 35 credits of lower division (100-200 level) coursework taken at UW Bothell may be applied toward designated requirements within the 90 program credits. Please contact an IAS advisor for details.

Matriculated status

With the exception of the General Electives, courses taken to satisfy CLA major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2012?

Students admitted to the CLA major prior to Autumn 2012 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. Students with questions about their major requirements should contact an IAS advisor.

Culture, Literature, and the Arts Learning Objectives

The Culture, Literature, and the Arts curriculum advances the four core IAS learning objectives. Students taking courses and/or majoring in Culture, Literature, and the Arts:

1) Engage the complex question of what cultures are and do;

2) Analyze diverse forms of cultural production and consumption, including literature and language, film and media, music and sound, visual arts and images, performing arts and kinesthetics;

3) Appreciate the richness and complexity of artistic communication, language, and imagination;

4) Investigate the importance of form, design, and genre across the arts;

5) Understand how creativity and artistic expression are embedded within larger social and cultural contexts;

6) Understand how artistic practices and cultural production vary across time and space.

Core and Affiliate Faculty and Staff

GoldbergHeuving, & Watts

(Faculty Co-coordinators)










Kochhar-Lindgren, G.





DeSmet Nixon





 Please contact the CLA

Faculty Coordinator if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about the Culture, Literature and the Arts major. To declare the CLA major, please contact the CUSP office.

CLA Resources

Learning to read complex texts is the cornerstone of CLA. Of all the things I've taken from my education at UW Bothell, learning to look at every thing from every angle is the most valuable. CLA taught me not only how to experience texts of all sorts, but also how to create a richer understanding of the world. Kathryn Afruma Class of 2007