Interdisciplinary Arts

Why Study Interdisciplinary Arts

Interdisciplinary arts is an ideal major for students with diverse interests and skills who want an all-inclusive education in the arts and who like to “think outside of the box” by studying other disciplines that suit their career goals, such as courses in education, business, and the social sciences. As a result, IA majors gain both a comprehensive understanding of the arts and the critical and communicative skills necessary to succeed in their chosen professions. As a student with a passion for the arts, you will have a unique opportunity to create an individualized program of study.

Why Study Interdisciplinary Arts at Ship

The Interdisciplinary Arts (IA) Program at Shippensburg University features courses in both performance and criticism across a broad range of media, including:

  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Theater
  • Film
  • Photography
  • Creative writing

The IA Program at Shippensburg focuses primarily on the arts, and it is the only major of its kind among the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Departments participating in the program provide students with the latest technology, and individualized instruction from professors who are among the most creative and innovative members of the Shippensburg faculty. Our students have access to a wide variety of outstanding performances at the university’s fifteen thousand-seat Luhrs Performing Arts Center.

You can deepen your understanding of the art of a certain culture by studying abroad. There are regular opportunities to join field trips to museums and theaters in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. In short, you are able to engage creatively with others and acquire the skills you want in an exciting, multifaceted environment where the emphasis is on participatory learning and close student-faculty interaction.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

The rapid growth in multimedia technology has created a large market for people with a comprehensive foundation in the arts. By combining courses in art history and theory with courses featuring hands-on learning and marketable business skills, our graduates enter the job market with a broad-based perspective and a unique combination of professional assets. The program provides majors with a foundation for careers such as:

  • Performing arts
  • Arts education
  • Journalistic criticism
  • Media production services
  • Museum programming and exhibition
  • Arts management and fundraising
  • Government and community arts administration

Since it offers an opportunity to select courses in several disciplines, the major is adaptable to a wide variety of career goals, and it is often elected as a double major with art, English, communication/journalism, or majors in business, education, and the social sciences.

The average salary for multimedia technology jobs in PA is $66,000.

Major and Minor Requirements

Five foundation courses, including Introduction to Interdisciplinary Arts, expose IA majors to the richness and diversity of the arts, and course selections from a curriculum track provide grounding in four categories of knowledge: History and Culture, Theory and Criticism, Arts Praxis, and Professional Skills. These and additional course selections, made in consultation with the program director and the student’s advisors, determine a primary area of study (6 courses, totaling 18 credits) and two secondary areas of study (4 courses each, totaling 24 credits) that reflect the student’s particular interests, skills, and personal aspirations. A student interested in a career in art criticism, for example, might choose art as a primary area and English and communication/journalism as secondary areas, while another student interested in musical theater performance might choose music as a primary area and dance and theatre as secondary areas.

Although coursework in at least 2 different art forms is required for the major, course selection is not limited to the arts alone. The IA program offers its majors a considerable amount of flexibility in fashioning plans of study to suit their individual research interests and career goals, and it encourages working across traditional academic boundaries. The program not only embraces traditional connections among the arts as exemplified in theatrical design and production, performance art, or graphic fiction, but also more contemporary methods of integrating the arts such as multimedia installation, film or video production, and digital and web-based art forms.

See the Undergraduate Catalog for specific course requirements. 

Student Groups

The various departments that participate in the IA program offer a broad range of extra-curricular activities, depending on the student’s personal interests. Among them are student publications such as the Reflector (creative writing), Visivio (art and photography), and the Slate (weekly campus newspaper); both a student-run television station (SUTV) and a radio station (WSYC); Act V Theatre, a student drama group; Orchesis, a modern dance troupe at Wilson College, which participates in the IA program; and a number of Shippensburg University bands, choirs, and music ensembles. Students can also take a hand in programming major arts events on campus by joining the Activities Programming Board

Contact Info

Dauphin Humanities Center 109, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1135
Department Website