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Innovative Creativity: Unique Majors in the Arts

Lara Poulios April 22, 2021

Innovative Creativity_ Unique Majors in the Arts

This year I had the joy of working with Sara, a senior who excelled in physics and calculus but also created the most breath-taking self-portraits of herself in isolation.  While earning A’s in AP science and math classes, she was winning awards in juried art shows.  As we explored her interests and strengths and how they connected to college majors, we sought out programs that blended STEM and artistic fields.  There were wonderful options for Sara to choose from, and she ultimately committed to the University of Connecticut’s Krenicki Arts & Engineering Institute.  This ground-breaking new initiative at UConn is creating multi-disciplinary majors that combine coursework in engineering and artistic curriculums.

This got me wondering…what other colleges have innovative programs with a different spin on traditional artistic majors?  I checked in with the college admissions community, and there was no shortage of responses!  If you know a student with an interest in the performing or visual arts, here are ten exciting, alternative programs that are available to undergraduate students:

Carnegie Mellon University: BXA Intercollege Degrees
Students can integrate several academic fields with their Fine Arts concentration.  Programs such as “Engineering and Arts” expand traditional engineering coursework with arts classes, an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurial inventors.

Georgia Tech: Industrial Design
Future designers learn to connect people and technology, developing thoughtful solutions to the problems of the 21st century.

Loyola University New Orleans: Urban and Electronic Music Production 
State-of-the-art facilities allow students to explore the worlds of modern Hip-Hop, R&B, and EDM.

Oberlin College: Music and Cognition
This minor explores how music gets into our heads and influences our thoughts and feelings.

Northeastern University: Design and Mathematics 
Students integrate the study of mathematical reasoning with the design of data visualizations, messages, interactions, and experiences.

University of California Merced: Global Arts Studies
Students analyze how artistic practices have been affected by industrialization, colonialism, commercialism, and globalization.

University of California San Diego: Speculative Design
Engage in the transformation of communities, ecologies, technology, and geopolitics through design, emphasizing new ideas and solutions for the present that involve thinking through the future.

University of Delaware: Art Conservation 
Originally drawing from art history and chemistry, this program prepares students for graduate-level study in the conservation of fields such as historic preservation and museum studies.

University of Georgia:
Scientific Illustration 
Artwork is used as visual tools of communication in the service of education, specifically in the field of biological and medical illustration.

University of Southern California: Iovine and Young Academy
Named for Jimmy Iovine, the founder of Interscope Records and Andre Young (aka Dr. Dre), the hip-hop mogul and entrepreneur, the Academy promotes unbridled creativity at the intersection of four areas: arts and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communication. 

This list is just a small sample of programs at many colleges that recognize the value of integrating creative, artistic interests with fields that are traditionally rooted in business and STEM studies.  Students who have blended interests should carefully research the academic offerings at the colleges on their list to learn about more innovative programs.

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Tagged: performing arts, visual and performing arts, performing and visual arts, unique majors

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