Columbia College Chicago

Graduate Programs

The Interdisciplinary Arts Department offers students access to equipment, laboratories, and spaces for exploration that are designed to expand their technical and creative skills. They have tools that I as a student could only dream of. Their teachers are experienced masters of their craft, expertly able to guide and support the students, teaching them how to bring their inner vision into the world.
–Bill Viola

Artists who seek to deepen and expand their practices and pursue a truly contemporary, interdisciplinary course of study will thrive in one of our three innovative graduate programs:

These three programs combine discipline-based training with cross-disciplinary experiences, advanced studio practice with historical and theoretical perspectives, and a rigorous portfolio or thesis process with professional development. Students are supported in their studies by sophisticated facilities and a dedicated staff of practicing artist-professors. Small class sizes allow for deep engagement and personal interaction between students and their faculty.

MA in Interdisciplinary Arts

Fall 2013 Contact: Acting Program Director Michelle Citron. mcitron@colum.edu
Contact: Program Director Jeff Abell. jabell@colum.edu | (312) 369-7270



The MA in Interdisciplinary Arts guides and supports artists and educators who wish to expand their creative practices and deepen their understanding of interdisciplinary art theory, history, and technique. Students are immersed in an innovative curriculum focused on building connections among visual art, movement, sound, writing, and drama. Graduates of the Interdisciplinary Arts MA program emerge with a broader and more coherent understanding of contemporary art practice, new and expanded technical skills, and a professional portfolio that will accelerate their creative careers. Designed to be completed in one calendar year, this energizing and transformative program is organized as an accessible and viable option for working professionals.

The MA Intensive Summer is a new option for completing the Interdisciplinary Arts MA as a low-residency initiative of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department of Columbia College Chicago. This program plan offers the same innovative curriculum as the current one-year MA degree, but is scheduled across two consecutive summer sessions. Students following this track attend nine-week summer sessions for two summers, and work independently under the advising guidance of the InterArts faculty in the interim year. This structure is intended for those who have more concentrated time in the summer to attend classes, but who also want to produce work during the focus reflection year. The vigorous pace of the summer immersion sessions is balanced with independent art practice and research, allowing for total engagement with faculty and a cohort of classmates from around the country and world. Generating ideas, networking, and collaboration, the Intensive Summer program offers the creation of a contemporary interdisciplinary body of work.

Degree Requirements

Interdisciplinary Core Credits
Sound: Theory & Practice 3
Movement: Theory & Practice 3
Visual Art: Theory & Practice 3
Word: Theory & Practice 3
Drama: Theory & Practice 3
Other Requirements
History of Interdisciplinary Art 3
Connected Images 3
Art as Discourse 3
Art as Practice 3
Electives
Graduate Electives 3
Total Credits 30

MFA Programs

Our two MFA programs encourage students to create a body of work that reflects the complexity of their world. Students are asked to consider the context for that work—who is the audience, where will it be seen, how will it be presented? The emphasis on both creative practice and professional practice gives students an advantage—they become not only innovative practitioners, but sophisticated professionals who understand how to position themselves in the contemporary art landscape. In three years of focused study, students explore the history, theory, tools and techniques of numerous creative disciplines, learn to effectively integrate those methodologies around a conceptual framework, and ultimately shape their ideas into radically new art forms made manifest in a significant body of work. During the development of their thesis, students work closely with a committee of their selection, whose composition includes faculty mentors and artists from outside the department. Additionally, each year, the department invites prominent arts professionals from outside the college to meet with candidates several times during the thesis process for additional critique. Recent external reviewers include: Joline Blais, Melissa Ragona, Amy Youngs, Betty Bright, and Gail Deery.

MFA in Interdisciplinary Book + Paper Arts

Contact: Program Director Melissa Potter, mpotter@colum.edu | (312) 369-6633


Combat Paper Project by Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts MFA Drew Matott, 2008

The Interdisciplinary MFA in Book and Paper enables students to participate in the contemporary art world by encouraging them to consider book and paper as a site for interdisciplinary practice. We promote the understanding of hand papermaking and the book arts as artistic media with applications in cultural discourse, community building, and collaborative practice. We seek students who want to pursue a course of study that integrates experimentation with both technical and conceptual considerations in these media. With access to some of the finest bindery, papermaking, and printing equipment and facilities in the country, students pursue their course work in collaboration with new media, performance, and installation.

Degree Requirements

Departmental Core
Art as Discourse 3 Credits
Art as Practice 3 Credits
Connected Studio Practices 3 Credits
History Requirement 6 Credits
Theory/Practice 6 Credits
Thesis One and Thesis Two 6 Credits
Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Core
Thinking Through Making 6 Credits
Electives
Graduate Electives 27 Credits
Total Credits 60 Credits


MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts + Media

Contact: Program Director Paul Catanese, pcatanese@colum.edu | (312) 369-8785


Waking the Invisible by Interdisciplinary Arts and Media MFA Candidate Nicholas Sagan, 2009

The MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts & Media fosters innovative dialog between the fine, performing, and media arts. Students incorporate emerging technologies with traditional materials and art processes in a diverse array of creative outcomes that include embodied experiences, participatory artifacts, interactive environments, movement / performance-based instruments, experimental multi-channel audio works, augmented reality, networked practices, public media art interventions, and hybrid installations. Students are empowered to interrogate the value systems embedded in our media tools, deploy design thinking as a tactical disruption of studio practice, and develop command of creative languages: computational, material, gestural, natural & visual.

Degree Requirements

Departmental Core
Art as Discourse 3 Credits
Art as Practice 3 Credits
Connected Studio Practices 3 Credits
History Requirement 6 Credits
Theory/Practice 6 Credits
Thesis One and Thesis Two 6 Credits
Interdisciplinary Arts and Media Core
Silence/Sonorous Objects 2 Credits
Excavating the Image 2 Credits
Code/Language 2 Credits
Shaping Solid Light 2 Credits
Media Performance 3 Credits
Space & Place or Visual Environments 3 Credits
Electives
Graduate Electives 19 Credits
Total Credits 60 Credits