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Last updated on Mar 11, 2022

Humanities + Sciences: Critical Studies

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Critical Studies, part of our college-wide humanities and sciences curriculum, teaches you to think critically and imaginatively about the world around you. Taught by a dynamic interdisciplinary faculty of academic experts in the fields of performance art, ecology, robotics, anthropology, queer studies, history, philosophy, new media and more, these seminars challenge you to investigate a broad range of perspectives and values.

Critical Studies offers the skills needed to approach your own work within a larger cultural context and to develop strategies needed to re-envision, rethink, and remake our world.

Summer 2022


Pair research and writing with hands-on making.

Queer Worlding Course

Critical Studies seminars are designed to speak to your creativity. Many courses combine traditional learning activities, such as close readings and written responses, with hands-on making and visual assignments. You’ll discover how to connect your creative interests to major themes and events in contemporary life.

Harness critical thinking to creative practice.

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The world needs you to tell its stories.

Graduation Grace

A special guest speaker series brings renowned experts into our classrooms to help broaden your critical capacities.

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Foundations in Critical Studies / CRTSD 1500

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Foundation in Critical Studies explores the provocative
Foundation in Critical Studies teaches students how to actively engage with complex nonfiction texts and how contemporary art and design practitioners grapple with core ethical issues in modern social life.
To fulfill your first-year Foundation in Critical Studies requirement, you can choose from several course options with different themes.
These courses are designed by faculty from different academic disciplines to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on shared topics and explore how intellectual scholarship can manifest real-world applications.

Spring 2020 CRTSD 1500 Courses

Philosophy & Critical Theory

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Philosophy and critical theory cultivate curiosity and ethical reflection

Courses in Philosophy and Critical Theory examine how meaning is made. They explore core claims, contradictions and contexts of cultural and personal values, of imagination and invention, and will ask you to consider how your creative practice engages with some of the major themes, concerns, and events of our times.

Spring 2020 PHCRT Courses

Science & Math

CogSci Class Time

Science and math courses teach skills in experimentation, modeling, and observation

Recent courses such as Ecological history, Gaming Science, Global Carbon/ Local Fiber, and Dynamic Anatomy, allow you to explore the scope, power, and appeal of math & science and to focus on connecting these fields to your areas of creative practice.

Spring 2020 SCIMA Courses

Social Science & History

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Social science and history cover essential research techniques while emphasizing cultural literacy and diverse perspectives

Courses in Social Science and History develop students’ critical thinking skills of your identity and society. This includes the ways that people and communities interact through persistent formations of culture politics, institutions, economies, and systems of power, privilege, and domination.

Spring 2020 SSHIS Courses

Ecological Practices Minor

Environmental Science

Spring 2020 Ecological Practices Courses

The Ecological Practices minor provides students the opportunity to meld environmental knowledge with studio practice as they develop and explore the possibilities of applying deep ecological understanding to their work as artists and designers.

Visit the Ecological Practices minor page to learn more or declare your minor.

Computational Practices Minor.

The minor in Computational Practices is an opportunity to supplement your BA, BFA, or BArch degree with coursework focused on new computational technologies.

Learn more about the Computational Practices Minor here.

We offer a range of 2000-level and 3000-level Critical Studies, all designed to meet humanities and sciences requirements for graduation (51 units total).

Please note that some programs (including Architecture, Fashion Design, and Interaction Design, require specific Science/Math and/or Social Science/History courses.

Many of our courses also fulfill requirements for different minors as well.