Bachelor of Arts

Interdisciplinary Arts (IA)

On this page: Major Description | Requirements | Learning Objectives

The Interdisciplinary Arts Major

Interdisciplinary Arts (IA) gives 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.

The degree focuses on helping students to think in innovative and experimental ways while developing independent and collaborative projects that cultivate artistic skills .  Coursework in the IA major includes a core class on interdisciplinary arts theory and practice (BISIA 319) and studio-based workshops.  It enables students to develop strategies for artistic and social practice.

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 cultural and digital literacy. Taught by faculty who are practicing artists with national and international public profiles, the curriculum actively engages in current discourses about embodiment and performance, conceptual and post-studio production, curation and installation, and spoken and material languages.

Students take classes in acting, collage, dance, drawing, experimental writing, improvisation, installation, internet art, painting, performance, photography, poetry, prose, public art, publishing, video, and hybrid and interdisciplinary arts.

Career Focus

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. Here is more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school.


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

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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.

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

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

The IPR requirement can be completed through elective credits or it can overlap with major coursework.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. 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.

Upper Division Credit Policy

Of the credits applying to IA major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Matriculated status

Courses taken to satisfy IA major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?

Students admitted to the IA major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.

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Interdisciplinary Arts 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:


Learn how to create and experiment across diverse artistic forms and media.


Locate artistic practices within positional, social, political, and historical situations.


Consider creative practice as a means to generate critical thinking, collaboration, and community response.


Attend to questions of difference and challenge the structural power relations inherent in creative production.


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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