Bachelor of Arts

Interdisciplinary Arts (IA)

  1. Interdisciplinary Arts
  2. Major Requirements
  3. Learning Objectives

   What is Interdisciplinary Arts?

Interdisciplinary Arts (IA) gives students the opportunity to develop expertise in areas spanning written, visual, performance, sound and video, internet, and publication arts as they respond to the constantly evolving world of contemporary arts practice.

The IA major is built on the belief that advanced contributions to art can be made by anyone from any class, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, and background. IA faculty implement the most current and relevant thinking and practices in art in order to inspire students to push towards new advancements and achievements.

The degree focuses on helping students learn how to think in innovative and experimental ways while developing independent projects of a high artistic standard.  Coursework in the IA major includes a core class on interdisciplinary arts theory and practice (BISIA 319) and studio-based workshops classes.  It enables students to develop do-it-yourself strategies for artistic practice and take part in artist-run initiatives.

Students in the IA major explore the many ways in which artists and their art publicly address complex cultural, philosophical and political phenomena. The curriculum emphasizes research-based art production, while addressing questions of media and genre as these are being transformed through current art practices.  In each of these settings students gain production skills and develop their critical thinking, historical and aesthetic awareness, and digital literacy. Taught by faculty who are practicing artists with national and international public profiles, the curriculum actively engages in current discourses about conceptual art, post-studio production, curation, and installation, communicative and material languages.

Interdisciplinary Arts graduates become independent artists, build careers in arts and cultural industries as curators and administrators, and develop arts-based projects in a range of employment sectors, including health, media, and education. They are also prepared for graduate education in the arts and humanities, cultural studies, and are qualified to enter Master of Fine Arts programs. For more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school please click here. For information about arts minors in Creative Writing and Visual & Media Arts please click here.

IA Major Requirements


There are no formal prerequisites for Interdisciplinary Arts beyond the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Useful preparation for this major includes formal and informal training in visual, written, digital, and/or performing arts.  Students will need strong skills in collaborative and creative problem-solving.

Degree Requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry*(5 credits)
  • BISIA 319 Interdisciplinary Arts (5 credits)
  • Art Studios and Art Workshops (15 credits)
  • IA Courses (20 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.

Note: Classes in this major are offered primarily during day-time hours.

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 IA 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 IA major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2012?

Students admitted to the IA 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.

Interdisciplinary Arts Learning Objectives

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

1)  Explore relationships among art, creativity, and imagination.
2)  Learn how to create art utilizing diverse media and forms.
3)  Discover  how art engages perception, emotion, cognition, and kinetics.
4)  Study relationships among past artistic accomplishments and innovation.
5)  Learn what is meant by art practice and how art practices evolve.
6)  Engage in collaborative endeavors through the arts.
7)  Understand how arts contribute to diverse communities and knowledge formations.
8)  Study multiple approaches for evaluating art.
9)  Provide foundations for success in art careers and graduate programs.














Please contact the IA Faculty Coordinator if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about the Interdisciplinary Arts major. To declare the IA major, please contact the First Year and Pre-major Program.

IA Resources

Artists don't work in a vacuum. The Interdisciplinary Arts degree ensures that students can draw from multiple disciplines and fields of knowledge. The courses I have taken have allowed me to understand and create art that reflects the complexity, multiple meanings, and interdisciplinary nature of real life. Sandra Penney Class of 2008