The Critical Studies Program is part of a substantial curriculum in the humanities and sciences, based on the belief that the visual arts are guided as much by the mind as by the hand.

Artists, designers, and architects work in the context of a larger culture that is shaped by literature, history, philosophy, politics, economics, and technology, and CCA stresses the importance of a liberal arts education for understanding this context.

The college offers a broad, integrated curriculum that seeks to produce informed citizens and artists who will engage both critically and imaginatively with the world around them. In addition to creative practice, students acquire oral and written communication skills and the tools of critical thinking and argumentation.

The Critical Studies program includes courses in cultural history, social science, philosophy, mathematics, and science, as well as interdisciplinary methods of knowledge.