The arts are an excellent entry through which other cultures may be studied. The study of visual arts, performing arts, built environments, and literature is inherently cross-cultural and international. This interdisciplinary minor is designed for students in any major who wish to supplement their knowledge of other cultures through the arts.
The International Arts Minor is open to any Penn State student regardless of major. It requires foreign language proficiency, a study abroad experience, and completion of approved international arts courses related to a geographical, chronological, or thematic concentration. Courses used to fulfill the requirements of the minor may also count toward other degree requirements.
“The visual arts must communicate to the human spirit, forcing individuals to reflect on themselves and their existence beyond their own self-interest.”-- Dean Mitchell, artist
“As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.” -- Margaret Mead, anthropologist
Twelfth credit level proficiency in one foreign language
(this requirement can be satisfied through course work or examinations)
A study abroad experience of at least four weeks in duration.
A&A 100 (GA, IL) An introduction to International Arts (3 credits) introducesstudents to arts from a variety of cultures and demonstrates how the arts reflect their culture of origin. This course's primary goal is to increase students' appreciation of the arts in general, especially arts from other countries. As the foundation course for the minor, it should be taken early in the program. It also may fulfill the General Education Arts and the International Cultures requirements.
A&A 401 Final Project (1-3 credits) is an independent project arranged with the coordinator of the minor. As the capstone course for the minor, it should be taken last and consists of a project that combines aspects of the course taken for the minor. The A&A 401 project may be an exhibition, a performance, a script, a musical composition or a research paper.
Additional International Arts Courses (15 credits)
Courses offered by a number of departments in the College of Arts and Architecture and the College of the Liberal Arts qualify as international arts courses. For the purpose of this minor, "international arts courses" are courses in which the arts and/or culture of countries other than the United States represent the majority of the course content. The arts are broadly defined to include the visual, performance, design and literary arts. Foreign language courses offered by foreign language departments may qualify. Studio, performance or practicum courses may qualify if they contribute to a better understanding of another country or countries. Studio, performance and practicum courses taken while abroad also qualify.
Only nine credits may be taken in a single discipline. A minimum of six credits must be taken in the College of Arts and Architecture. At least six credits must be at the 400 level and a grade of C or better is required for all courses applied toward the minor.
Students applying for entrance to the International Arts Minor should meet with Jonathan Colón, coordinator of the minor. Planning for the minor should reflect a coherent course of study constructed around a geographical, chronological or thematic concentration. Final approval of completion of the minor lies with the coordinator.
“Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favors no race, and it acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal, and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible.” -- Richard Kamler, artist
“The world is a great book, but those who never stir from home read only one page.” -- St. Augustine (354–430)
University-wide, Penn State sponsors nearly 150 study abroad programs that satisfy the study abroad requirements for the International Arts Minor. Many of these programs offer courses that can count toward this minor. For a representative list of the study abroad programs that offer courses in the arts, click here.
College Academic Advisor
College of Arts and Architecture
The Pennsylvania State University
104 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16803