Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4 years
Credit Hours:

From websites to television to public art, gain a better understanding of the visuals that surround us every day.
The B.A. in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies is an interdisciplinary course of study of art and design offering you the opportunity to explore diverse fields such as anthropology, film, communications, psychology, art history and sociology. You're given the freedom to pursue interdisciplinary design as a field of academic inquiry, which allows you to discover the diverse cultural discourse communities and opportunities for creative inquiry specific to your professional pursuits.

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Why Earn an Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies Degree?

You'll have the flexibility to chart your own course within the degree to explore aspects of art and design that interest you. You'll also be provided advising, mentorship, and professional guidance on career pathways that align with your professional goals.

The curriculum provides a broad overview of material culture and examines images for their visual properties, history and function. Courses are taught by multiple academic departments across campus and provide you different perspectives on:

  • How images communicate to viewers
  • The physical, technical, social and historical value of images
  • The social, philosophical and psychological reasons why humans make and need images
Marketable Skills
  • Oral and written communication
  • Design/media content creation
  • Teamwork
  • Multicultural/diversity competencies
  • Program Management

Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies Degree Highlights

The College of Visual Arts and Design is one of the nation's most comprehensive visual arts schools and is considered one of the best in the Southwest.
The college brings numerous renowned artists, designers and scholars to campus each year to enrich your educational experience.
The program is divided into three tracks. While the Arts Management Track and the Design Management Track are geared to specific areas of interest, the Open Track provides maximum flexibility for students seeking to chart their own course for careers in design, creative marketing, studio art, art law, art therapy, art history or other fields.
A Living-Learning Community brings together art majors who live on campus to enhance academic and social experiences.
Our facilities include three computer labs, ample studios and workshops, study areas, and galleries offering exciting, avant-garde exhibitions.
Our students frequently complete internships as part of the degree program, putting learning into practice while gaining valuable hands-on work experience.

Career Outlook

This degree program provides you with the skills to pursue careers and advanced study in a variety of different fields. Many of our alumni work in design firms, galleries and arts organizations. Others have enrolled in graduate school to study art history, anthropology, marketing and other disciplines.

Potential career paths include the following.

  • Art Law: The IADS Open Track with a minor in political science.
  • Art Therapy: The IADS Open Track with a minor in psychology.
  • Fashion: The IADS Open Track with a minor in fashion merchandising.
  • Graphic Design: The IADS Open Track with a minor in strategic communications, advertising.

Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies Degree Courses You Could Take

Art and Business (3 hrs)
Introduction to how art, business and economics intersect in a variety of settings, both for-profit (galleries, auction houses, artists’ studios) and non-profit (museums, municipalities, universities and arts organizations). Following an introduction to basic terms and concepts, topics include art markets, philanthropy, legal and management issues related to the visual arts, branding and marketing in the arts, and art business models.
Digital Tools and Technologies for Creative Practice (3 hrs)
Introductory course exposing students to the language and application of digital media and resources for art and design practice. Introduces students to digital art-making and communication for art environments, social media, interactive media, and 2D/3D digital fabrication technology through the use of digital tools, including Adobe Creative Cloud applications, iMovie, and open source software.
Digital Communication for Art and Creative Entrepreneurship (3 hrs)
Investigation in the conceptual, technical and practical uses of digital tools for communication and promotion in the art and design fields. Students learn a diversity of techniques applied in art studio practice, social media practice, arts administration, design management, museology, and the creative economy at large using digital applications, computer programs and technology.
World Cultures Through Film (3 hrs)
Through the use of ethnographic and documentary film, as well as lecture/discussion, this web-based course illustrates the life ways, values and beliefs of human societies throughout the world.
Advertising Art Direction (3 hrs)Introduction to tools and techniques for the visual expression of advertising. Covers visualization for advertising in a variety of media
print, outdoor, television, ambient and interactive.
Topics in Interdisciplinary Arts and Design Studies (3 hrs)
Special topics course for interdisciplinary art design studies majors. Advanced interdisciplinary study of art and design. Specific topics vary. Delivered as seminar consisting of assigned readings, class discussion, research, and projects.

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