Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies
Track 1: Arts Management
Track 2: Design Management
Track 3: Open Track
About Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies
We live in a world of images and the impact of the visual on art and society grows greater every day. Websites, magazines, films, television and public art surround us.
- What impulses drive us to make and desire these images?
- How do we understand them?
- What do they do?
- What cultural spaces and sites allow us to stop and investigate them?
- How do these images and cultural experiences make meaning in a diverse world?
The B.A. in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies is an interdisciplinary study of art and design offering students the opportunity to explore coursework in diverse fields such as anthropology, film, communications, psychology, art history and sociology. Through the IADS degree, students are given the freedom to pursue “interdisciplinarity” as a field of academic inquiry, which allows students to discover the diverse cultural discourse communities and opportunities for creative inquiry specific to their professional pursuits. Each student has the flexibility to chart their own course within the degree to explore aspects of art and design that interest you and are provided advising, mentorship, and professional guidance on career pathways that align with your professional goals.
The program is divided into three tracks. Two of these are geared to specific areas of interest: the Arts Management Track provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to work within arts organizations including galleries and museums while the Design Management Track prepares students to work with design firms as project managers. The Open Track provides maximum flexibility for students seeking to chart their own course for careers in design, creative marketing, studio art, art law, art therapy, art history or other fields.
Which track? Having trouble deciding which track is right for you? Request an appointment with Professor Heidi Strobel, IADS program coordinator, to discuss your career interests. Then, check out the IADS Career Information web page to see how other IADS students have used their program emphasis to pursue professional goals.
IADS: Arts Management Track
Track 1: The B.A. in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies: Arts Management Track is designed for students wishing to pursue a career in galleries, museums, auction houses, cultural centers, community arts centers, or other similar organizations.
The Arts Management Track pairs courses in art, design, art business, and art history with a minor in either Management or Leadership of Community or Non-Profit Organizations. This array of classes provides students with a solid grounding in the art and management sides of arts businesses and the cultural sector.
This track consists of 120 semester credit hours. All students complete the College of Visual Arts and Design Foundations program, acquiring general skills in art, design and art history. Students then select from a menu of introductory courses in specific studio art and design disciplines to gain more specific knowledge of two of these fields.
During the next stage of the degree, students take courses inside and outside the College of Visual Arts and Design. Within the college, they take classes in digital communications, art and business, and modern and contemporary art history courses. Outside of CVAD, students complete minor coursework in management or leadership of community or non-profit organizations emphasizing organizations and their management. Since internships in cultural institutions are often the gateway to careers in arts administration, Arts Management Track students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship or at least volunteer within an art gallery or cultural institution during their programs of study.
IADS: Design Management Track
Track 2: The B.A. in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies: Design Management Track is the ideal choice for students interested in organizing, supervising, and managing design-oriented projects. This degree is particularly suited for students who are knowledgeable of the stages of the design process and who are particularly interested in overseeing the business and implementation of design strategies from start to finish. Students pursuing the Design Management Track tend to go on to become art/creative directors and design managers for businesses and organizations.
The Design Management Track pairs courses in art, design, art business, and design management with a minor in either management or marketing. For more information about these minors, visit the Management or Marketing pages in the UNT Catalog. This array of classes provides students with competencies in the management and business of design work.
This track consists of 120 semester credit hours. All students complete the CVAD Foundations program, acquiring general skills in art, design and art history. Students then select from a menu of introductory courses in the history and practice of specific design fields and/or merchandising to gain more targeted knowledge.
During the next stage of the degree, students take courses inside and outside the College of Visual Arts and Design. Within the college, they take classes in computers and art and/or digital communications, art and business, design management, and, close to the end of their time at UNT, a research capstone class. Outside CVAD, students complete minor coursework in management or marketing. Design Management Track students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship in design, marketing, graphic/creative production, or art direction during their programs of study.
IADS: Open Track
Track 3: The B.A. in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies: Open Track is the most flexible and allows students the most freedom in charting their path through the major. This track is particularly useful for students wishing to concentrate on advertising, marketing and communications, e.g., print, web, and social media, photojournalism, merchandising, art or design professions that intersect with other professional fields, such as art law and art therapy, social enterprise, or operating a creative art or design-oriented business.
Here are some examples: Students who intend to pursue a career in art law may pair the IADS Open Track with a minor in political science. Someone interested in art therapy may pair IADS Open Track with a psychology minor. For a career in the fashion world, put the IADS Open Track together with a minor in fashion merchandising. To work in the world of graphic design, major in IADS Open Track and minor in strategic communications and advertising.
The IADS: Open Track program consists of 120 semester credit hours. All students complete the College of Visual Arts and Design Foundations program, acquiring general skills in art, design and art history. Students then select from a menu of introductory courses in specific studio art and design disciplines to gain more specific knowledge of two of these fields.
During the next stage of the degree, students take courses inside and outside the College of Visual Arts and Design. Within the college, they take courses in digital communications, art and business, and, close to the end of their time at UNT, a research capstone class. Outside of CVAD, students select from various classes that address images and visual communication from different perspectives. They also complete a broad selection of advanced art or art history courses to gain a deeper understanding of the creation of art and design, the history of images from around the globe, and the analytical tools used to study them.
As part of the 120-hour program, students complete a minor outside of the College of Visual Arts and Design. The minor is intended to complement the major degree program and offer a different perspective on using art and design. Open Track students are strongly advised to choose a minor that furthers their career goals, complete a professional internship, and engage in volunteer work that enhances their knowledge of career-related interests.
Steps to Declare Your Major
Currently enrolled students: To declare Arts Management, Design Management or the Open Track as your major for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies, set up an appointment with your assigned CVAD Advisor to confirm your degree choice. Next, proceed to map out your degree plan according to your career interests by setting up an appointment with Professor Heidi Strobel.
Future students: Apply to UNT; your application and enrollment process will include advising sessions to help you navigate your path to a major.
Undergraduate Program Coordinator, IADS
Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs
Office of the Dean
Professor, Art History
940-565-4777 | Heidi.Strobel@unt.edu
Art Building, Room 101L
Students who have not applied to UNT or enrolled yet, please visit the CVAD Curriculum Guides for Undergraduates and Minors web page or contact us by sending an email to Kevin Contreras.
College Recruiter, Student Success Center
Office of the Dean
Art Building, Room 220C