Interdisciplinary Arts


On this page: Major Description | Requirements | Learning Objectives | Faculty & Staff | Courses

Use your creativity, imagination, and passion for innovation to develop or express meaning across audiences!
Do courses like Photography & Digital ArtCreative Writing, and Performing Arts Technique sound exciting to you?
Do you want to explore a career as an independent artist, curator, arts activist, or educator?

Students drawing with charcoal on an easel

The Interdisciplinary Arts major at the University of Washington Bothell offers students the opportunity to develop expertise in areas spanning written, visual, performance, sound and video, digital, and publication arts as they respond to the constantly evolving world of contemporary arts practice. The IA major is built on the belief that meaningful contributions to art can be made by anyone from any class, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, ability, and background. IA faculty implement critical and relevant thinking and practices in art in order to inspire students to push towards new engagements and achievements.


Students in the Interdisciplinary Arts major are passionate about developing projects that address cultural, philosophical and political phenomena. Students interested in cultivating artistic skills through independent and collaborative projects thrive in this major.


Courses in the Interdisciplinary Arts major focus on helping students to think in innovative and experimental ways. Classes include drawing, painting, experimental writing, installation, internet art, performance, photography, video, and more.


Using their background in Interdisciplinary Arts, graduates in this major become creative and innovative thinkers. Students in the IA major end up working as independent artists, activists, curators, and develop arts-based projects in a range of employment sectors, including health, media, and education.

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Major requirements

Recommended Preparation

Interested in exploring this major, but not ready to commit? Consider taking one of the below courses! Any of these selections will help familiarize you with the academic program and prepare you for advanced coursework in the major.

  • BIS 121 Introduction to Drawing
  • BIS 131 Introduction to Arts Practice
  • BIS 132 Introduction to Photography
  • BIS 134 Introduction to Dance
  • BIS 135 Introduction to Painting
  • BISIA 207 Introduction to Creative Writing: Words, Stories, Dialogues


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* – min. 2.0 grade (5 credits)
  • BISIA 319 Interdisciplinary Arts (5 credits)
  • Art Studios and Art Workshops (15 credits)
  • IA Courses (20 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone – min. 2.5 grade (5 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)

TOTAL = 70 Credits
*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.
Note: Classes in this major are offered primarily during day-time hours.

Learning objectives

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

  1. Learn how to create and experiment across diverse artistic forms and media.
  2. Locate artistic practices within positional, social, political, and historical situations.
  3. Consider creative practice as a means to generate critical thinking, collaboration, and community response.
  4. Attend to questions of difference and challenge the structural power relations inherent in creative production.
  5. Develop a foundation for sustainable arts practice beyond the academy—in community, career, and/or graduate study—through an emphasis on critical reflection.



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A. IA Core Courses (IA:CORE)

  • BISIA 319 Interdisciplinary Arts

B. Art Studios and Art Workshops (IA:SW)

  • BISIA 207 Introduction to Creative Writing: Words, Stories, Dialogues
  • BISIA 230 Performing Arts Techniques
  • BISIA 240 Visual and Media Arts Techniques
  • BISIA 250 Photography as Art
  • BISIA 283 Interdisciplinary Art Techniques
  • BISIA 310 Creative Writing: Poetry
  • BISIA 311 Creative Writing: Prose
  • BISIA 330 Performing Arts Workshop
  • BISIA 340 Visual and Media Arts Workshop
  • BISIA 344 Video Art
  • BISIA 350 Photography and Digital Art
  • BISIA 383 Interdisciplinary Arts Workshop
  • BISIA 410 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop
  • BISIA 440 Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop
  • BISIA 450 Image & Imagination
  • BISIA 483 Advanced Interdisciplinary Arts Workshop
  • BISIA 484 Arts Learning in the Community

C. Interdisciplinary Arts Courses (IA)

  • BIS 206 Engaging Literary Arts
  • BIS 208 Experimenting With the Arts
  • BIS 209 Engaging Visual and Media Arts
  • BIS 212 Engaging Performing Arts
  • BIS 322 Topics in Performance Study
  • BIS 323 History of Photography
  • BIS 347 History of American Documentary Films
  • BIS 378 Languages of Poetry
  • BIS 385 Art and Climate Change
  • BIS 431 Sexual Politics and Cultures
  • BIS 460 Topics in Critical Theory
  • BIS 464 Topics in Advanced Cinema Studies
  • BIS 470 Art, Politics, and Social Change
  • BIS 471 Women in Art
  • BIS 486 Studies in Women and Literature
  • BISAES 367 Exploring American Culture: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
  • BISCLA 318 Performance, Identity, Community, and Everyday Life
  • BISCLA 380 Art and its Context
  • BISCLA 384 Literature and Popular Genres
  • BISIA 401 Literary & Arts Journal
  • BISPSY 348 Cultural Psychology
  • BISMCS 333 Media and Communication Studies
  • B IMD 233 Fundamentals of the Web Media Technology


IAS also offers arts minors in Creative Writing; Performance; and Visual & Media Arts.

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