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Dynamic creative arts degrees in North America

creative arts
Source: Penn State University

The global market for creative goods – encompassing design, fashion and film – grew from US$208 billion to US$509 billion between 2002 and 2015. With more information, media and creative content converging in the digital space, ideas and information are globalising quickly, spurring the creative economy further.

Its commercial prowess is matched by its green impact. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Creative Economy Outlook report 2018 said: “The creative economy has the power to influence and inspire present and future generations, to protect our planet, people, cultures and natural resources and therefore contribute to a more sustainable development path.”

These two factors explain why creative arts graduates remain in demand, despite and in the middle of a pandemic. Central to this is the arsenal of soft skills these graduates possess.

Neuroscientist Roger Beaty and his team found the more original people’s ideas were, the stronger the connections were in the “high-creative” brain network. “Our results suggest creative people are better able to co-activate brain networks that usually work separately,” he said, in an article in The Conversation.

If you envision an inspiring education followed by a fulfilling career in the creative arts, consider the US universities below:

Pennsylvania State University

If you seek a Master of Fine Arts that covers all tuition, fees, and medical insurance, provides a monthly stipend, with access to studio space and highly qualified faculty who are active within their interdisciplinary approach, head to the School of Visual Arts at the Pennsylvania State University.

creative arts

Source: Penn State University

Located within four hours of several major urban centres — including New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh — Penn State’s SoVA is home to creative and critical thinkers, makers, and educators who shape awareness and change the way our world is seen, experienced, and understood.

Here, you’ll amplify your artistic voice. The nationally-ranked MFA in Art offers specialised resources and faculty in its various concentration areas, such as Ceramics, Graphic Design, New Media, Photography, and Sculpture. In the US News and World Report, “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2020-21” list, Penn State’s SoVA was ranked #6 in Ceramics.

The MFA is ideal for candidates who are mature and have previous training and study. A  minimum of 12 credits of art history at the undergraduate level is a big plus. All applicants must submit a digital portfolio of his/her work — featuring a selection of no fewer than 20 examples in the area of the applicant’s interest — to illustrate his/her preparation for graduate study. You can find the full list of requirements here.

University of California, Berkeley

There’s one word to describe UC Berkeley’s Arts + Design landscape: rich. Classes here lead to certificates or degrees that come with multiple opportunities to engage with research, explore venues on campus, join various student clubs, and attend exciting events.

creative arts

At UC Berkeley Arts + Design, studies span the visual arts, performing arts, literature, film/media, and design. Source: UC Berkeley

Programmes span the visual arts, performing arts, literature, film/media, and design. The Art Practice Department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree that prepares students for productive careers in the visual arts.

While most enrollees focus on pursuing fine art careers with these qualifications, others use them as a means to develop their creative voices. Many use this platform as a golden ticket into the field of arts management, education, fashion, game design, graphic design, UI/UX, and much more.

Meanwhile, the university’s Department of Music gives students the opportunity to learn from a renowned group of composers, scholars, and performers. To do so, every music major will complete the Musicianship Placement Exam before beginning their journey. The Department grants a BA degree in music and a minor in music.

Those keen on taking the stage could opt to join the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies instead, where performance is seen as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression, and public engagement. Students here are developing their confidence through BAs or minors in Dance and Performance Studies or Theatre and Performance Studies.

Baylor University

Baylor University’s Department of Art and Art History offers students the finest undergraduate education with an exceptional faculty, formative curriculum, and outstanding facilities.

creative arts

Virtually all aspects of music and performance programmes are offered here, including Strings, Orchestras, Voice, Opera, Choirs, as well as Piano and Organ. Source: Baylor University

Three programmes lead the way: the BA in Art History, the BA in Studio Art, and the AFA in Studio Art. Various disciplines are covered such as ceramics, fabric design, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Minors are also available in both art history and studio art.

Regardless of chosen paths, every student gets to enjoy an interactive experience thanks to their university’s efforts. This includes rubbing shoulders with internationally-known artists and speakers that love to frequent Baylor’s picturesque campus. When they are unable to, conversations are held over Zoom. Thanks to their presence, virtually or physically, every student body member gets to converse and mingle with scholars and professional artists who are practising their craft across the globe.

The Creative Arts Experience is an added bonus, providing students with enriching programmes of art, music, theatre, film, and literature. Through a wide variety of fine arts events, they witness an additional focus on how these arts are seen through a culturally rich global lens.

Those in search of an inspiring music education of the highest quality in a tight-knit, caring community can consider the School of Music as well. Virtually all aspects of music and performance programmes are offered here, including Strings, Orchestras, Voice, Opera, Choirs, as well as Piano and Organ.

York University

Over 8,200+ participants in Experiential Education opportunities last year. More than 55,000 students. Around 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programmes.Scholarships

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At York University, you get to study the many dimensions of theatre or visual art with award-winning and internationally-renowned faculty members. Source: York University Facebook

awarded for a total of 74,903,183 Canadian dollars. 94% of York grads get jobs within two years.

Suffice to say, a York education is vibrant, diverse and rich. It is also impactful. In 2021, York ranked 11th in Canada and 67th overall against 1,115 post-secondary institutions from 94 different countries in the Times Higher Education (THE) global Impact Ranking, which ranks universities on their work towards the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

If you seek an artistic education that benefits from the above features, consider Glendon’s new programme in Drama and Creative Arts. You will be able to study the many dimensions of theatre or visual art under the tutelage of professors who are recognised in their field. These include Marc Audette, an award-winning visual artist who has exhibited across Canada and Guillaume Bernardi, an internationally-renowned theatre director who works in four languages.

You’ll also get to combine classroom study and studio/performance opportunities. Your classroom assignments will include Toronto performances and art gallery visits, making full use of the city’s theatrical and artistic scenes.

At Theatre Glendon, you’ll find a home. Here, Drama students hone their skills with professional grade lighting, sound, and multimedia technologies, as they take on roles from set construction to stage-management to costumes and props. Meanwhile, Visual Arts students have full access to the Glendon Visual Arts Studios and the Glendon Digital Media Lab.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International