Interdisciplinary Arts


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.

“I chose to study Interdisciplinary Arts because I believe that creativity is the skill of the future. Creativity not just in the sense of producing visual artworks, but also in problem-solving and critical thinking.

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.

Course structure

  • Academic Reading Across Disciplines

  • Composition 1

  • Composition 2

  • Expository Research Writing

  • Foundation for College Success

  • Modern World History

  • Japanese Language 1

  • Japanese Language 2

  • Internship (optional)

  • Interdisciplinary Arts

  • Art Appreciation

  • Calligraphy and Kanji Culture

  • Workshop: Drawing I

  • Workshop: Painting and Sculpting I

  • Workshop: Graphic Design I

  • Introduction to Language Concepts

  • English for Specific Purposes

  • Literature Appreciation

  • Fundamentals of Sound and Music

  • Workshop: Guitar

  • Workshop: Japanese Koto

  • Introduction to Filmmaking

  • Workshop: Acting I

  • Workshop: Directing

  • History of Art

  • Workshop: Drawing II

  • Workshop: Painting and Sculpting II

  • Workshop: Graphic Design II

  • Sociolinguistics

  • Semantics

  • Rhetorical Analysis and Composition

  • Japan: Lost in Adaptation and Representation

  • Early Modern Japanese Literature

  • Workshop: Archeolinguistics

  • Japanese Traditional Music

  • Music of the 20th Century

  • Music Technology

  • Samurai Code and Culture

  • Workshop: Acting II

  • Graphic Design Studio

  • World Englishes

  • East Asian Tales of the Supernatural

  • Creative Nonfiction

  • Contemporary Science Fiction

  • Second Language Acquisition

  • Audio Engineering

  • Performance Strategies

  • Film and Animation Studio

  • Folklore and Archeology of Yamanashi

  • Japanese Traditional Theater

  • Art Portfolio

  • Comparative Literature Studies

  • Seminar(Interdisciplinary Arts)

  • Graduate Research Project

  • Statistics

  • College Algebra

  • 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 Japanese Language 2 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.

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 Vahid Rafieyan:

“At iCLA, we’re proud to offer an innovative Interdisciplinary Arts program that allows students to explore their passions and develop a broad range of skills. By majoring in Interdisciplinary Arts, students can immerse themselves in a variety of areas, including language arts, performing arts, visual arts, and music. Through hands-on coursework and collaboration with faculty and peers, students will have the opportunity to develop their creativity, expand their perspectives, and hone their critical thinking skills.

Whether students are interested in creating their own short films, designing art installations, exploring the intricacies of language and linguistics, analyzing literary works, or composing original music, our program offers a diverse array of projects and coursework to suit their interests. And with our experienced faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, students will have the resources they need to achieve their goals.

If you’re looking for an exciting and enriching academic experience that can prepare you for a variety of careers in the arts and beyond, then we invite you to consider the Interdisciplinary Arts program at iCLA. We’re confident that you’ll find a supportive and stimulating community that will help you thrive.”