Two people engaging with fluid-filled vessels at an exhibition at Hubbell Street Galleries.

BFAIndividualized Studies

Apply for a self-directed course of study that combines multiple disciplines, critical thinking, and research during your second year at CCA.


Personalize your experience at CCA

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Channel diverse interests into your work

The Individualized Studies (INDI) program is specifically for students whose work bridges media and disciplines that fall outside regular program structures. Open to students during their second year, INDI is self-directed. You’ll combine disciplines and develop unique pathways of inquiry as you navigate the many disciplines offered at the college, from architecture and design to fine arts and writing. Four required courses, an evolving artist statement, a rationale of study, and a self-managed graduation plan form the backbone of your INDI experience.

Complement core areas of focus with outside influences

Complement core areas of focus with outside influences

If you’re interested in one of CCA’s minors or studying abroad, the INDI program is especially useful. You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with academic advisors and faculty mentors to incorporate a range of methodologies and skills into your personalized curricula. Getting involved with both local and global communities will also help you shape a thoughtful practice grounded in critical thinking, research, and social impact.

Focus on multidisciplinary expression

As an Individualized Studies major, you can focus your work in two or more studio areas listed below, or in one or more of these studio areas plus writing and literature.

Individualized Studies studio area options

  • Animation
  • Ceramics
  • Fashion Design
  • Film
  • Furniture
  • Game Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Industrial Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Interior Design
  • Jewelry and Metal Arts
  • Painting and Drawing
  • Photography
  • Printmedia
  • Sculpture
  • Textiles

Studios & Shops

Studios and campus resources

Positioned within a top art and design college, the Individualized Studies program has access to state-of-the-art studios, shops, labs, and our special collection at the Simpson library, including photographic archives and historical objects. You’ll get to work with traditional craft-based methods as well as cutting-edge digital tools, exploring new possibilities for your chosen studio practice.


Meet the chair

Portrait of Taro Hattori.

Taro Hattori, Chair of Individualized Studies

Chair Taro Hattori creates socially engaged installations that bridge “we” and “they,” the inside and the outside, through creative and generative actions such as singing and conversing. Hattori often focuses on personal and social challenges such as refugee experiences in the United States. Hattori’s work often incorporates music and conversations to balance social conflicts and harmonies, transform and explore human desire, and vulnerability and connections. Hattori has been a recent recipient of a grant from Creative Work Fund, Phyllis C Wattis Foundation, California Arts Council, Art Matters Foundation, and others. He has been awarded a residency fellowship from MacDowell, Headlands Center for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the de Young Art Museum, Kuandu Art Museum in Taiwan, and others.


Think with your hands in First Year Experience

Transcend specific media

The Individualized Studies curriculum is designed for students working in two or three closely related areas, especially for those who explore combinations of 2D, 3D, time-based, and writing-based forms. You’ll have the freedom to choose studio courses and studio electives to develop an aesthetically mature and context-driven practice. Art and media history, critical theory, and additional humanities and sciences seminars will help you merge formal studio skills with social and political concerns. View sample courses.

Investigate ideas through every dimension

Before diving into their chosen major, every undergraduate participates in the First Year Experience. Students explore a wide range of materials and tools over the course of two semesters. Faculty from different disciplines guide studio projects, group critiques, and theoretical discussions, setting students up for success throughout their major coursework.

BFA Individualized Studies

Core Studio

Drawing 1
3.0 units
2D, 3D, and 4D
9.0 units

Individualized Studies Major Requirements

Individualized Mentorship Tutorial
3.0 units
Approved Studio Classes (2000 or 3000 level)
12.0 units
Individualized Critique
3.0 units
Approved Studio Classes (3000 or 4000 level)
15.0 units
Senior Project
3.0 units
Individualized Senior Project
3.0 units
Junior Review
0.0 units

Additional Studio Requirements

Interdisciplinary Studio
3.0 units
Critical Ethnic Studies Studio
3.0 units
Studio Electives
15.0 units

Humanities & Sciences Requirements

Writing 1
3.0 units
Writing 2
3.0 units
Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern
3.0 units
Introduction to the Modern Arts
3.0 units
Foundation in Critical Studies
3.0 units
Media History: Individualized
3.0 units
Critical Ethnic Studies (2000 level)
3.0 units
Literary and Performing Arts Studies (2000 level)
3.0 units
Philosophy and Critical Theory (2000 level)
3.0 units
Social Science/History (2000 level)
3.0 units
Science/Math (2000 level)
3.0 units
History of Visual Arts and Culture (2000 level)
3.0 units
Humanities and Sciences Electives (2000 or 3000 level, at least 6 units must be 3000 level)
12.0 units

Total 120.0 units


Shape your own future

Individualized Studies majors graduate with experience identifying and following their own passions and talents and a deep understanding of more than one field. Our alumni bring this powerful self-knowledge and courage to forge their own paths to their artistic or design practices and to careers as educators, curators, fabricators, web developers, entrepreneurs, exhibition designers, and more.

Potential career paths

  • Designer 
  • Crafts designer
  • Fashion designer 
  • Film production 
  • New media innovator
  • Entrepreneur
  • Studio artist
  • Fabricator
  • Curator
  • Exhibition designer
  • Small business owner
  • Cultural innovator
  • Educator
  • Web developer

News & Events

What’s happening in our community?

How to Apply

Preliminary requirements and approval process

A student sitting at a desk in their dorm room.

Start mapping your own arts education

Before beginning the proposal and approval process for Individualized Studies, you must meet with your academic advisor, an INDI expert, and current INDI students at CCA. Once you’ve gathered information about the program structure and expectations, you can register for the Individualized Mentorship course during your sophomore year.

Please note that to become an Individualized Studies major, you must have completed CCA’s core curriculum. If you’re a transfer student, you must have completed at least one semester of CCA studio work. Details about the application process are available from the Individualized Major advisor in the Advising office.

Design and propose your course of study

During your second year, you’ll have the opportunity to apply to become an Individualized Studies major. We look for students who are motivated and capable of working across disciplines and who have demonstrated the following:

  • One or more bodies of in-progress interdisciplinary work
  • Mature artist’s statement that describes the work and process
  • Rationale/proposal that describes why and how Individualized Studies is the preferred course of study

The artist’s statement and rationale/proposal will continue to evolve during your required Individualized Mentorship course. When it comes to building your confidence and independence, we provide you with the guidance you need through four required courses at the sophomore, junior, and senior levels. These courses, explained below, are part of the approval process and must be taken in sequence.

Learn about the required sequence of courses

Preparation and approval: 2000 level, Individualized Mentorship

This course lays the groundwork for interdisciplinary study and helps you determine if the INDI major is right for you. You must take Individualized Mentorship in order to join the INDI program. This course teaches you to balance your studies across disciplines, build foundational skill sets in multiple media, and develop critical skills for your process. You’re responsible for defining and presenting your INDI program proposals, which include an initial curriculum, website, and advanced curriculum for your junior and senior years.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll either be approved as an Individualized Studies major or you’ll be guided into an alternative program at the college. Individualized Mentorship is a 2000-level studio and will count as an elective for students who don’t end up pursuing this degree.

This course requirement must be completed by the end of your sophomore year (after the first semester for advanced transfer students). No student will be admitted into Individualized Studies without completing the approval process.

Development: 3000 level, Individualized Critique

This required course is open to INDI majors who have taken the Individualized Mentorship course and have reached junior standing. Individualized Critique expands upon the goals of your studio practice by combining mediums that you explored during Individualized Mentorship and promoting your development of presentational and critical skills.

Coursework includes oral and visual presentations, preparation for Junior Review, portfolio documentation in multiple formats, ongoing statement and rationale development, resume, and a senior exhibition proposal and application.

Development: 3000 level, Media History Utopian Impulses

This required course explores the cultural nexus points that instigate innovative, creative strategies in the visual and performing arts, paying particular attention to folk traditions of out-there utopian legends. You’ll develop research and presentation skills to promote innovative responses to class assignments and encourage multidisciplinary approaches in the development of studio thesis work through investigation and synaesthetic experience. The course, which should be taken during your junior or senior year, helps you contextualize your work in relation to history and contemporary practice.

Completion: 4000 level, Individualized Senior Project

The Individualized Senior Project course is the culmination of the individualized course of study. You’ll present a final project/exhibition and work with faculty to realize your proposal. INDI majors who are seniors are required to give a public presentation synthesizing their work as a presentation/performance. Coursework is composed of group and individual presentations, as well as field trips and lectures from visiting artists.

INDI students are required to take two senior project courses during their senior year. One of the courses must be in a specific area of study and the other must be this Individualized Senior Project course. Senior project exhibits must be viewed and approved by INDI advisors and faculty before graduation can be authorized.

Find your creative community at CCA

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