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Academics . Liberal Arts . Overview

Liberal Arts

At the Cleveland Institute of Art, we cultivate the intellectual development of our students as they move through their studio programs. In order to create, you need not only art and design skills, but also the ideas behind them. So woven throughout each semester at CIA are courses in the humanities and social sciences—art history, English, philosophy, anthropology, psychology. At CIA you will graduate with a breadth of knowledge that is the hallmark of the baccalaureate degree.

A singular feature of the College's Liberal Arts curriculum is our approach to studying a subject by connecting it to other disciplines in our program. For example, in your first-year Foundation year at CIA, you may read about ancient and medieval philosophy and culture in English class while also taking Ancient and Medieval History of Art. This carefully calibrated educational experience creates a comprehensive perspective on a subject that will give you a broad sense of the trajectory of world history itself.

Our Liberal Arts curriculum is designed to develop your understanding of world cultures—both past and present—and to discover the importance of these ideas to the growth of your artistic life. Coursework centers on the ideas of culture as a generator of creative ideas and of students as makers within their cultures.

Reading and composition are crucial to the development of your own artistic ideas. By completing rigorous assignments in analytical essays and research papers, you will become a stronger writer, able to convey your point of view in tandem with understanding diverse perspectives.

For those who excel in these areas, you also may choose to add concentrated Liberal Arts coursework to your studies. Complete a minor in Visual Culture to enjoy extensive training in art history, theory, and criticism. Or opt for a Creative Writing minor if you want a career advantage in fields like illustration or film (or if you just love to write).

Sharpe joins CIA following prestigious Getty fellowship

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Sharpe joins CIA following prestigious Getty fellowship


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Scott Lax TP6K6uxYxTw.jpg38499663237196987383078057344975084691674405n3.jpg

Scott Lax

Senior Professor of Practice

SCOTT LAX is an award-winning novelist, journalist, and filmmaker, as well as a produced playwright. He works ...more

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