May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Critical Studies

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Emily Mattingly, Director



Critical Studies is where creative practice and critical reflection intersect. Our experiences connect you with other students from all fields of study to enrich your artistic practices and professional development. Home to one of the largest menus of classes with diversity, inclusion, and accessibility at the core, our award-winning curriculum delivers a range of interdisciplinary experiences encouraging you to follow your curiosity as you deepen your communication, research and collaboration skills. Critical Studies is also home to the UArts business minor, a launchpad for success in the business of art and the art of business.

About the Curriculum 

Critical Dialogues (9 credits)

Critical Dialogues (CRIT) courses offer collaborative spaces for exploring topics central to creative endeavors and contemporary society. 

Critical Studies Electives (15-18 credits – varies by major)

These electives encourage you to follow your curiosity and choose your own adventure outside your major. Learn a new language, build your business skill sets, go on a study away trip, or explore psychology, communication for a variety of creative fields, history, and more. 

Writing (6-12 credits – varies by student support needs)

Artists write — and artists in the 21st century need to write well. Our writing — or, WRIT — classes will help you develop your ability to communicate effectively while expanding your critical and creative thinking horizons. We offer a range of customized support options designed to help your writing and ideas shine. The program won a prestigious Library of Congress grant to develop a cutting-edge digital writing project for students, which serves as a capstone for the WRIT class sequence.

Program Objectives 

Critical Studies delivers its curriculum through 3 core learning goals focused on creative and professional development. 

  • Writing: Students will engage a process to develop and finalize writing that addresses context-based considerations and communicates ideas with a sense of purpose, focus, development and clarity. 

  • Rearching: Students will engage diverse, exploratory research processes centered on systematically evaluating information and purposefully presenting details from source materials

  • Thinking Critically: Students will apply an analytical toolkit to formulate purposeful questions about and responses to information through multiple lenses of consideration.

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