A graphic image of a singer, videographer, lighting designer, drawer and dancer with red, black and grey hues

Critical Studies

Critical Studies is where creative practice and critical reflection intersect. Our experiences connect you with other students from all fields of study to enrich your artistic practices and professional development. Home to one of the largest menus of classes with a special diversity, inclusion and accessibility designation, our award-winning curriculum delivers a range of interdisciplinary experiences encouraging you to follow your curiosity as you deepen your communication, research and collaboration skills. Critical Studies is also home to the UArts business minor, a launchpad for success in the business of art and the art of business that highlights the overall curriculum's investments in professional development and skill building.

About the Curriculum 


Critical Dialogues (CRIT) courses are artist idea incubators, offering collaborative spaces for exploring topics central to creativity and contemporary society.

These electives encourage you to follow your curiosity and choose your own adventure outside your major. Learn a new language, build your business skill sets, explore psychology, develop communication expertise for a variety of creative fields, or go on a study away trip and more.

Artists write — and artists in the 21st century need to write well. Our writing — or, WRIT — classes will help you develop your ability to communicate effectively while expanding your critical and creative thinking horizons. In addition to offering a range of customized support options designed to help your writing and ideas shine, we explore the core theme of creativity while using both the UArts campus and Philadelphia as sites for collaborative exploration. The program won a prestigious Library of Congress grant to develop a cutting-edge digital writing project for students, which serves as a capstone for the WRIT class sequence.

Meet Your Faculty

Diverse researchers, artists and business leaders will support your growth and goals. Click the images below to meet some faculty.

Dr. Emily Mattingly smiling and wearing glasses in front of a blue background.
Emily Mattingly

A closeup of Jonathan Gonzalez looking away from the camera contemplatively and wearing a black shirt and sitting in front of greenery
Jonathan González

Monna Morton stands on a porch with her hands folded in a red turtle neck sweater, earrings and a brooch.
Monna Morton

Bradley Philbert, a bearded man in a black shirt and heather grey blazer, smiles and sits for a professional portrait against a marbled grey backdrop. He wears translucent purple glasses and a calavera pin in his lapel.
Bradley Philbert

Adjunct Professor

Business Minor


This flexible minor offers a launchpad for success in the business of art and the art of business. Centered on essential business skills for creative professions, the minor brings together a variety of collaborative experiences from across UArts so students can explore and build professional networks.

At the heart of the minor’s approach to these skills: inclusion and positive social impact in the context of business best practices and innovation. Our faculty, who include diverse business leaders and professional artists, set the stage for this approach both in the classroom and beyond to support future creative changemakers.

Pathway areas within the minor – branding, communications, entrepreneurship, finance, and leadership – connect students to customizable opportunities aligned with their interests and professional goals.

Select one of the following courses:

And choose from diverse course options here. Some highlights of options: