At some schools you can’t take sculpture unless you’re an art major, or calculus if you’re an artist. At COA, we think art is an essential part of understanding the world around us. Since all students design their own courses of study, it’s common for someone to focus in one area, take courses in another, and find the links between them in moments of illumination, synergy, and wonder. COA faculty are talented artists who work in a variety of media. Students can take courses in Museum Studies and Printmaking, Painting and Drawing, Sculpture and Filmmaking, Architectural and Landscape Design.

How do you harness creativity?  

Become a disciplined observer who looks carefully and empathetically at your surroundings. Calibrate your mind’s eye to receive information beyond what you can touch or see. While your surroundings may appear chaotic, if you look with care and intention, you will find patterns where there used to be chaos, or vice versa.

The study of art history teaches you that you’re probably not the first person to think about what you’re thinking about. Art history helps you situate your ideas and creative impulses in a conversation that extends across space and time.

Foundational courses, and more

Foundational courses include Four-Dimensional Studio, Introduction to Photography, Three-Dimensional Design, and Graphic Design. There are also courses in puppetry and animation, video and printmaking as well as architecture and architectural design. The Dorr Natural History Museum offers students opportunities to design museum exhibits, and the Blum Gallery is an exhibition space for student work.


  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Reminder</strong>: Areas of Study at COA aren’t majors or formal concentrations. All COA students design their own <a href="/academics/human-ecology-degree/">major in human ecology</a> and are free to chart their own path. Your major is defined by you, not us.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Reminder</strong>: ‘Areas of Study’ aren’t the only way to think about courses.  Browse and explore <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>