Bachelor of Arts

Culture, Literature and the Arts (CLA)

  1. Culture, Literature and the Arts
  2. Requirements
  3. Learning Objectives

   What is Culture, Literature and the Arts?

The Culture, Literature and the Arts major (CLA) inquires into the make-up of diverse cultures and societies, and their literatures and arts. Students in the major study written and visual texts, interactive and performative modes of practice, and philosophical and theoretical accounts of those texts and practices.  They gain an understanding of the complex relations among lived, represented, and speculated existence.  CLA courses focus on the historical, social, and aesthetic dimensions of arts and culture, with special attention to the intersections among gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, disability, and other vectors of power and privilege.

CLA majors graduate with an ability to pursue inquiry across a broad range of endeavors and to become engaged, reflective, and productive global citizens.  The major is excellent for careers that demand strong written and verbal communication capabilities, such as law, publishing, public relations, journalism, web content production, museum and bookstore management, and teaching.   CLA majors may also advance their studies by pursuing graduate degrees in a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields that engage the humanities.

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 have some coursework in history, philosophy, or aesthetics.  At UW Bothell, students may benefit from taking one of the 200-level gateway courses for the major: BIS 206 Engaging Literary Arts; BIS 209 Engaging Visual and Media Arts; BIS 212 Engaging Performing Arts; and/or BIS 215 Literature into Film

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.
























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