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Contemporary Arts (B.A.)

Website: School of Contemporary Arts


About the Major

The Contemporary Arts major is an interdisciplinary contract major that allows students to design their own major to reflect their particular interests and career goals across diverse disciplines. Contract major examples include Theater/Film, Animation/ Digital Filmmaking, Environmental Science/ Journalism, Global Communication and Media/ Business, Music Industry/ Film, among others. Working in consultation with a faculty advisor, students select courses from the School of Contemporary Arts and across the whole college.  For example, a student interested in pursuing a career in Animation may elect to take courses from the Visual Arts program and Communication Arts Visual Design and Media Concentration and Filmmaking. or, a student interested in Business Communications may combine Communication Arts courses with courses from the Anisfield School of Business.

This major is rigorous, requiring self-motivation and serious planning. It can be especially rewarding for the student who has specific goals that cannot be met pursing a single major at the College. After an initial consultation with the Convener of the major, each student will develop a course of study with a faculty advisor who is most knowledgeable in the area of the student’s interest.

This major leads to a B.A. degree in Contemporary Arts.  It requires a minimum of 48 credits in the Contemporary Arts major, at least 16 of which must be upper-level, (300 or 400 level)courses, in addition to the School of Contemporary Arts Core.

Declaring the Major

A first year student entering the College may declare the Contemporary Arts major in provisional status.  Upon the completion of 32 credits, the student may declare the major in permanent status through the following process:

After an initial consultation with the Convener of the major, each student will be assigned to work in developing a course of study with a faculty member who is most knowledgeable in the area of the student’s interest.

Students are required to complete the major proposal process, explaining their academic interests, career goals and giving their major a title.

This includes submitting to the Convener:

  1. One-page written summary that answers the following questions: Statement of goals– What skills do you want to graduate with? What would you like to be prepared to accomplish? Relationship of Interdisciplinary Studies- Explain how you will synthesize your different disciplines. Provide examples of how you will apply skills and ideas from one area of study to another to meet your academic and future career goals.
  2. Preliminary list of courses- This list should include all courses that are related to your field of study. The list should be longer than the number of courses you will actually take.

In consultation with an advisor, students will create an advisor agreement, laying out a tentative cycle of courses, learning outcomes, and advisement schedule.

Schedule an appointment and meet with the Convener of the major to discuss these and to review the requirements of the major.

Complete the change of major form with the Convener.

Upon reaching a threshold of 96 credits, students will be asked to write a one-page reflection on their experience in the major.

Transfer students should follow the same process, but should plan to meet with the Convener before they attend an orientation on campus in order to select appropriate first semester courses at Ramapo.

Note: Students may not declare the Contemporary Arts major if they will have completed 96 credits by the end of the current semester. At least six of the “open choice” courses must be within the School of Contemporary Arts.

A minimum overall GPA of 2.5 is required to transfer into the major from another major.

Advisement: Once you have declared the major, you will be assigned to work with a faculty advisor to develop a course sequencing plan that will serve to guide your course selection. You are expected to meet with your faculty advisor at least once every semester. Your course sequencing plan will remain flexible until you apply for graduation. At least half of the credits applied to your major must be earned from courses taken in the School of Contemporary Arts.

Outcomes for the Major

Programmatic Goals:

  1. Understand the interdisciplinary role of the arts in contemporary global society.
  2. Create an individualized and rigorous learning plan integrating multiple disciplines.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the discipline or inter-disciplines identified as part of their learning agreement developed in consultation with their academic advisor.
  2. Apply creative thinking in the work they produce.
  3. Be able to write appropriately to their curricular goals.
  4. Produce advanced work that demonstrates skills relevant to their discipline.
Requirements of the Major
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (five):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing II and Humanities, the other three courses are taken in the major.
  4. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  5. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Visit the Cahill Career Center.