Bachelor of Arts

Culture, Literature & the Arts (CLA)

On this page: Major Description | Requirements | Learning Objectives

The CLA Major

The Culture, Literature & the Arts major (CLA) inquires into the make-up of diverse cultures and societies, and their literatures and arts.

Students in the major study written and visual texts, interactive and performative modes of practice, and philosophical and theoretical accounts of those texts and practices.

Students gain an understanding of the complex relations among lived, represented, and speculated existence.  CLA courses focus on the historical, social, and aesthetic dimensions of arts and culture, with special attention to the intersections among gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, disability, and other vectors of power and privilege.

Career Focus

CLA majors graduate with an ability to pursue inquiry across a broad range of endeavors and to become engaged, reflective, and productive global citizens. The major is excellent for careers that demand strong written and verbal communication capabilities, such as law, publishing, public relations, journalism, web content production, museum and bookstore management, and teaching.   CLA majors may also advance their studies by pursuing graduate degrees in a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields that engage the humanities. Here is more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school.

Back to top

CLA Major Requirements


While there are no official prerequisites beyond the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, students choosing this major will find it helpful to be able to write an analytical paper and should have at least two courses in literature, the visual arts, or performance. Historical knowledge and competency in foreign languages is also highly desirable. At UW Bothell, students may benefit from taking one of the 200-level gateway courses for the major: BIS 206 Engaging Literary Arts; BIS 209 Engaging Visual and Media Arts; BIS 212 Engaging Performing Arts; and/or BIS 215 Literature into Film

Degree Requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry*- min. 2.0 grade (5 credits)
  • CLA Core (5 credits)
  • CLA Courses (35 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone - min. 2.5 grade (5 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)

TOTAL = 70 Credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment. 

School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

The IPR requirement can be completed through elective credits or it can overlap with major coursework.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an CLA major requirement.

Upper Division Credit Policy

Of the credits applying to CLA major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Matriculated status

Courses taken to satisfy CLA major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?

Students admitted to the CLA major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.

Back to top

Culture, Literature & the Arts Learning Objectives

The Culture, Literature & the Arts curriculum advances the five core IAS learning objectives. Students taking courses and/or majoring in Culture, Literature & the Arts:

  1. Engage the complex question of what cultures are and do;
  2. Analyze diverse forms of cultural production and consumption, including literature and language, film and media, music and sound, visual arts and images, performing arts and kinesthetics;
  3. Appreciate the richness and complexity of artistic communication, language, and imagination;
  4. Investigate the importance of form, design, and genre across the arts;
  5. Understand how creativity and artistic expression are embedded within larger social and cultural contexts;
  6. Understand how artistic practices and cultural production vary across time and space.

Back to top