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Last updated on Aug 29, 2022

Fine Arts: Individualized Studies, BFA



(Now She Dances, by Natalie Palms)

Individualized Studies (INDI) at CCA provides an opportunity for students to design and follow a personalized program of study. Students must write and present a proposal (e.g., "What I want to do and why I want to do it"), which must be approved.

Students also must be prepared to demonstrate that they have begun one or more bodies of interdisciplinary work, and that they are motivated and capable of working outside departmental structures.

Individualized Studies exists specifically for students whose work bridges media and disciplines that fall outside regular program and department structures. Students who are working in two or three closely related areas, such as drawing/printmaking/bookmaking or sculpture/wood/ceramics, do not always need to work within the INDI process. In this case, students are advised to work with departmental or area advisors.

Individualized Studies is meant to serve students who are truly involved with interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary work; or conceptually based work that transcends specific media; or who are working in combinations of 2D, 3D, time-based and writing-based forms.

Before applying to Individualized Studies, students should talk to their advisor and discuss the options of pursuing interdisciplinary work within an existing major. For most students working within an existing major is the best choice.

It is the student's responsibility to:

  • design and propose a personal course of study
  • follow through in a mature self-guided manner
  • monitor their own progress for graduation

Proposal & Approval Process / New Courses

To give structure to Individualized Studies, as well as support and guidance to the students, three courses are now required, one at each of the following levels: sophomore, junior, and senior.

Preparation and Approval: 2000 Level, Individualized Mentorship

This class provides the groundwork for interdisciplinary study and allows each student to evaluate if Individualized Studies is the appropriate study program.

Students are guided to balance their workloads across disciplines, build basic skill sets in multiple media, and develop critical skills for their process. The emphasis is on students defining and writing their INDI proposals, which include a proposed curriculum and a type of contract for their junior and senior years.

Also required: students develop a web portfolio that will be maintained throughout their individualized program.

At the completion this course, students will either be approved as Individualized Studies or will be directed into an alternative existing major at the college.

This course requirement must be completed by the end of the student's sophomore year (after the first semester for advanced transfer students). No student will be admitted into Individualized Studies without completing the approval process.

Development: 3000 Level: Junior Tutorial: Individualized Critique

This required course is open only to INDI majors who have taken the Individualized Mentorship class and have reached junior standing.

Individualized Critique expands on the goals of considered studio practice in combined mediums as begun in Individualized Mentorship and promotes the development of presentational and critical skills.

Coursework includes how to make oral and visual presentations, prepare and present portfolio documentation in multiple formats, write a statement and résumé, and assemble a senior project proposal.

Completion: 4000 Level: Individualized Senior Project

Senior project is the culmination of the individualized course of study. Students will present a final project/exhibition and work with faculty to realize their proposal. Classwork is composed of group and individual presentations, as well as lectures from visiting artists.

Students may take senior project classes in specific departments, but must take the Individualized Senior Project class in their final semester. Senior project exhibits must be viewed and approved by INDI advisors and faculty before graduation is authorized.

How to Apply

Preliminary requirements: have a discussion with your current advisor, as well as with an individualized advisor; and register for the Individualized Mentorship class.

To apply to the Individualized Studies Program, a student must be currently enrolled at CCA and have completed the core curriculum. (Transfer students must have completed at least one semester of CCA studio work.) Details about the application process are available from the Individualized Studies advisor in the Advising Office.

To Apply:

Have a discussion with your current advisor, as well as with an individualized advisor, and if it's mutually agreed, register for the Individualized Mentorship class.

Individualized Studies majors may base their work in two or more studio areas.