Creativity is a vital human resource that exists in all populations, ethnicities, and cultures. Although cultures influence the expression of creativity by what is valued, supported, or suppressed, humans continue to create, even in the most dire of circumstances. All culture, in its many varied forms, is the result of accumulated acts of creativity and the urge to create may be one the defining characteristics of humanity. Students in the Creativity Studies concentration will explore major theories of the source, nature, and development of creativity from ancient Greece to the present. The creative person, the creative process, and the creative product will be examined from multiple perspectives. The study of creativity is inherently interdisciplinary with major contributions from the fields of philosophy, psychology, education, the arts, and religion. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, creativity is amenable to a various quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and modes of inquiry.
The concentration in Creativity Studies accommodates a wide variety of interests and scholarly pursuits. After establishing a strong theoretical foundation, the concentration permits and encourages students to search out new and different ways of approaching, exploring, and understanding creativity. While the coursework is conducted entirely online, students are encouraged to apply their learning to real world experience during their Application courses. Creativity Studies allows for the option of internships where ideas and theories about creativity can be studied in actual situations or put into practical application. The final document, required of all Master of Arts students, may take the form of a creative work accompanied by a contextual essay that provides an account of the creative process, places that process in a theoretical framework, or addresses other issues related to creativity.
The individualized nature of the degree plan allows for the maximum possible range of practical applications. The degree can take the form of a focused exploration of a specific expression or aspect of creativity or it may provide a broader overview. As creativity is not limited to the arts, the concentration may be useful in a variety of fields not typically associated with creativity such as history, business, education, cultural studies, or the sciences.
The following list of possible fields of study within the Creativity Studies concentration is illustrative but by no means exhaustive. The possibilities are limited only by one’s creativity.
- Cultural context of all creativity
- Evolving ways in which creativity has been understood throughout history
- Gender and creativity
- How creativity develops over a life span
- Interplay between religion and creativity
- Macro-creativity – how a culture creates
- Relationship between madness and creativity
- Role of creative activities in education
- Role of luck or chance in the creative process
- Therapeutic effects of creative activities
The concentration in Creativity Studies may serve as the foundation for doctoral work in a variety of areas depending on the focus of the particular student’s course of study. It may provide a clearer understanding of the creative process in preparation for a career in the arts or as a complement to an MFA. The degree may provide career enhancement in jobs where a graduate degree is required or, equally important, it may simply be life-enhancing.