Interdisciplinary Arts is an exciting major that includes courses in visual arts, music, film / theater, and language studies. As well as the chance to study creative practice across these four main areas, you will also gain valuable cultural experience through our study abroad program and by being immersed in Japanese culture and society.
Interdisciplinary arts is about crossing boundaries, exploring ideas and having new experiences. To facilitate this you can build your degree from a wide selection of courses that best reflect your interests and support your ambitions. You will gain a rich understanding of your chosen subjects and the creative process by exploring these disciplines from practical, theoretical and historical perspectives.
One of the major strengths of iCLA is that you have the freedom to design your degree to suit your own interests and ambitions. You can focus your studies on one area of arts, or ‘mix and match’ across disciplines. Students interested in Japanese art can even focus on specifically Japanese subjects (for example, courses in anime and manga, Japanese art history, Noh and Kabuki theater, classic and modern Japanese literature, and Japanese music, supplemented with studies in ikebana, calligraphy, martial arts and the tea ceremony), to give a unique window into the culture of this extraordinary country.
Having knowledge in various disciplines allowed me to analyze problems or issues with a different perspective; and having that diverse view is essential in ideation of great ideas which any technology or artificial intelligence cannot take over soon. With my major, I have been able to involve myself in projects that sparked my creative growth, while also understanding more about different cultures and concepts and how these [things] should be reflected in any creative work.”
Why study Interdisciplinary Arts?
The Interdisciplinary Arts major at iCLA enables you to deepen your artistic skills and broaden your creative options. After laying the foundations during the first half of your studies, you will have maximum freedom to discover new fields and cultivate your interests. You are encouraged to supplement your core arts studies with courses from other areas to tailor your degree towards your chosen career. The unique blend of courses offered at iCLA gives you the opportunity to develop your own area of practice while gaining inspiration from related disciplines.
What will I study?
Students who choose the major will study across artistic subjects to gain experience of collaboration and wider creative practice, and draw inspiration from multiple disciplines. During the first two years of study students take courses from our common curriculum, and are also encouraged to explore at least three different fields within Interdisciplinary Arts:
- Visual Arts (Fine Art, Graphic Design)
- Music (Audio Engineering, and Digital & Sonic Art)
- Performing Arts and Film (Western and Japanese film and theater)
- Language Arts (Creative Writing, Literary Analysis, and Linguistics)
- Japanese Culture
The final two years of study give students the freedom to take elective courses and focus on the areas of study which are of most interest and relevance to their own development. These courses are then supplemented by electives from our other majors or subject areas such as Data Science, Quantitative Reasoning, Psychology or Sociology.
Academic Reading Across Disciplines
Expository Research Writing
Omnibus Themes (Spring) or (Fall)
Elementary Japanese 1
Elementary Japanese 2
Elementary Japanese 3
Career Design 1
Calligraphy and Kanji Culture
Workshop: Drawing I
Workshop: Traditional Japanese Culture
Workshop: Painting and Sculpting I
Workshop: Graphic Design I
Introduction to Language Concepts
English for Specific Purposes
Fundamentals of Sound and Music
Workshop: Interactive Art
Workshop: Japanese Koto
Japanese Society and Culture
Workshop: Acting I
History of Art
Japanese Art and Aesthetics
Workshop: Drawing II
Workshop: Painting and Sculpting II
Workshop: Graphic Design II
Rhetorical Analysis and Composition
Contemporary Japanese Literature
Japanese Traditional Music
Workshop: Interpretative Dance
Manga & Anime Studies
Samurai Code and Culture
Workshop: Acting II
Modern Japanese Society and Culture Through Literature
Contemporary Literature, Politics, and Economy
Japanese Cinema History
Japanese Traditional Theater
Workshop: Noh Theater
Art & Communication
Comparative Literature Studies
Graduate Research Project
Math for Liberal Arts
Mathematics for Data Science
Introduction to Computer Science
Methods of Social Research
Non Profit/Social Enterprise Management
*Each student should complete the compulsory courses of the common curriculum within their first year and a half of studies, and can take major courses simultaneously. In addition to the courses listed above, iCLA students can choose from a wide variety of electives from the other majors, or from our courses in Data Science, Quantitative Reasoning, Psychology and Sociology, Japanese Language and Health and Physical Education.
Students will need to pass Elementary Japanese 3 or pass an exemption test demonstrating equivalent Japanese language ability in order to graduate.
Study Abroad Partners
All students are eligible to apply for either one or two semesters of study abroad at one of iCLA’s 70+ partner universities. The study abroad program does not extend the length of your degree as most credits earned can be transferred towards your graduation requirement. All of our exchange partnerships are based on mutual tuition fee waiver. Below are some of the partners most suited to our Interdisciplinary Arts major students.
Curtin University – Australia
Aalborg University (Faculty of Humanities) – Denmark
Malmö Academy of Music at Lund University (MAM) – Sweden
University of Sussex – UK
State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego – USA
What can I do next?
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the major, students can work in a variety of fields; fine art, illustration, graphic design, web, music composition for film or game, audio engineering, written content creation, proofreading and translation, acting, directing and dance. In addition, combining art courses with those from other iCLA areas such as Political Science, Economics and Business or Psychology creates a strong foundation for careers like journalism, arts curation and management, and art or music therapy.
Our Interdisciplinary Arts Faculty
Message from the Program Director, Professor Mike Blow:
“By majoring in Interdisciplinary Arts at iCLA, students can explore not only classic western ideas and techniques, but also Japanese aesthetic principles, traditional crafts and instruments, anime and manga, classic and modern literature, kabuki theatre, and more. With dedicated courses in both western and Japanese arts, and Tokyo on our doorstep, students who study at iCLA can immerse themselves in an inspirational culture where ancient Shinto shrines sit next to modern corporate skyscrapers, where technology and tradition go hand in hand, and where design and attention to detail are a way of life.”