UARTS courses

UARTS 150: Introduction to Creative Process

UARTS 150: Introduction to Creative Process is a 4-credit hour project-based and writing course for first-year students who are residents of Living ArtsEngine (engineering students should enroll in ENGIN100.210). This course affords students the opportunity to understand how the creative process manifests across disciplines and provides students with the opportunity to work on a collaborative, multi-disciplinary project which leverages multiple fields of study toward the production of a short video game. Each team member will be encouraged to use this opportunity to both hone their existing forms of expertise as well as explore less familiar disciplines. Students will gain an understanding of the creative process through readings; reflect on those readings in writing; and experiment with creative processes first-hand under the tutelage of experts.

This course also fulfills the First Year Writing requirement with an emphasis on argument-based writing in a number of modalities. The writing assignments offer students the opportunity to deepen their creative practice by exploring ideas related to creativity through developing close-reading skills, research in various disciplines, and reflection. 

    • Jeremy Edwards, School of Music, Theatre & Dance – Lead Instructor
    • Jono Sturt, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning
    • Sally Clegg, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
    • Austin Yarger, College of Engineering
    • Allie Tova-Hirsch, College of Literature Science and Arts – Lead Writing Instructor
Faculty Engineering/Arts Student Teams (FEAST)

UARTS FEAST projects invite students to engage with North Campus faculty around their research and creative production. Participants will:

  • Gain research and creative skills, improve collaborative and team interactions, and engage with meaningful hands-on learning opportunities
  • Be a contributing member of a dynamic and ongoing interdisciplinary student team
  • Register for and receive curriculum credit every participating semester
  • Be able to continue with the project or team over multiple semesters (with faculty permission)
  • Develop relationships with faculty and students from outside their school and disciplinary major

Students on FEAST projects may register for UARTS 260, 360, 460, or 560 as appropriate for their enrollment needs and receive 2 credits (additional credit options with faculty approval) for their work.

Applications due October 17; teams begin Winter 2022. Learn more about how to apply HERE.

UARTS 175/275: Collaborative Creative Projects

Details coming soon!

UARTS 250/550: Creative Process

UARTS 250/550: Creative Process is a 4-credit course that enables students to explore the creative process through a structured sequence of exercises in four studio modules: sound, motion, visual images/objects, and verbal/symbolic language. Faculty from Art & Design; Music, Theatre & Dance; Architecture; and Engineering introduce a variety of creative strategies for generating problem solving ideas through hands-on projects. Weekly online colloquia, discussions, and light readings supplement projects. Grading is based upon attendance, class participation, a journal, four mini-projects, evidence of intellectual and creative process development, and a final culminating project. This course is appropriate for U-M undergraduate and graduate students at all levels and in all disciplines. It is a fast paced, information-rich educational experience, offering insights that will make creativity and innovation an integral part of life and work. 

Students electing lab (102-105) will be auto-enrolled in LEC 100 & DIS 101 (meditation session, which is optional). Most of the class will be conducted synchronously online.

UARTS 250/550 satisfies the LSA Creative Expression requirement; and Intellectual Breadth or Professional or Creative Development Course requirements (for Engineering Students); and counts toward the Entrepreneurship minor.


For Faculty

Are you faculty at the University of Michigan interested in teaching a UARTS Course? ArtsEngine has resources to help adapt a current curriculum to fit the UARTS criteria or to help you find and collaborate with other faculty on campus to to develop a new UARTS course. Consultation, matchmaking, and financial resources may be available on a case by case basis. If you are interested in starting a conversation, please contact ArtsEngine.

other interdisciplinary courses

Designing a New Global Refugee Protection System

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Most states ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, yet refugees’ rights are routinely ignored. Borders are often closed, and refugees allowed to enter live in camps or slums with few opportunities, waiting decades for a solution to their displacement. States are not incentivized to share obligations; in fact, states regularly deter refugees from arriving or staying. Students will leverage insights from fields including the social sciences, market design, law, and ethics to develop innovative solutions promoting fair and legally sustainable treatment of refugees. 

Instructors: James Hathaway (Law), Yoan Hermstrüwer (Economics and Law)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 3:15-6:30 PM

Designing a Rigorous and Joyful Grad School 

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Students come to graduate and professional school energized and eager to learn. How does graduate school transform so many students into anxious and overwhelmed learners? How can we reimagine graduate education in a way that supports both rigorous education and wellbeing? Applying problem solving tools, students from law, education, social work, the humanities, and other fields will grapple with how to redesign the university to help graduate students flourish to address this structural challenge.

Instructors: Bridgette Carr (Law), Margaret Hannon (Law), Laura Schram (Rackham), Shahnaz Broucek (Ross)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 3:15-6:30pm

Clemency and Decarceration for Battered Women Survivors

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Although the rate of incarceration for women, especially women of color, has grown at a higher rate than for men in recent decades, such gender bias issues receive little attention. Further, Michigan does a poor job with cases involving crimes against abusers or committed by victims under duress. Using problem solving tools, multi-disciplinary teams will explore why survivors are overlooked by our criminal-legal system, drawing on insights from social work, gender studies, humanities, sciences, policy, and law to develop innovative ways to challenge criminalization of survivors of violence.

Instructors: Melissa Salinas (Law), Megan Richardson (Law), Carol Jacobsen (Stamps)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Tuesdays 3:15-6:30pm

Identity Theft: Causes and Countermeasures

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Each year, millions of people are victims of identity theft. Such theft can take many forms, including tax fraud or mail identity fraud, with devastating consequences. What makes identity theft possible, how do identity thieves operate, how are victims harmed, and how can they recover? We will explore identity theft causes, mechanics, harms, and countermeasures with lectures, expert guests, research, and class activities. Multidisciplinary teams of students from information, policy, law, engineering, and other fields will craft countermeasures addressing the problem of identity theft.

Instructors: Barbara McQuade (Law), Florian Schaub (Information)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Tuesdays 3:15-6:30pm

Slavery, Its Legacies, and the Built Environment:
Creating a Framework for the National Slavery Monument

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The built environment bears the stamp of slavery supported by new forms of forced labor. Starting with an understanding that architecture is not value-neutral and that racism intersects with urban planning, land use, and environmental problems, this class will confront such issues through a U-M/Yale partnership. Students will create a framework for the National Slavery Memorial in Washington, D.C., as multidisciplinary teams from law, planning, history, and other fields learn problem solving skills, conduct research, and approach the politics, ethics, and mechanics of construction holistically.

Instructors: Luis deBaca (Law), Phillip Bernstein (Architecture)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 3:15-6:30 PM

Finding Genuine Design Opportunities


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In this experiential course, students learn the skills of socially engaged design during the winter semester, engage in hands-on practice with their teams, and then spend 6-8 weeks during the spring/summer immersed in a field site working with a community partner to identify potential design opportunities.

Instructors: Steven Skerlos
Credits: 6
Meeting Time: TBA
Location: TBA

Learn more and apply now!

+Impact Studio Course


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This award-winning course teaches you work skills in ethnography, ecosystem mapping, ideation, prototyping, and business model design, and all of it is focused on designing for resilience to help local small-businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate the pandemic. How can they build back better –  reimagine business and social life to be more rewarding, just, and democratic?

This is work that leads directly to the creation of new businesses and nonprofits, and you’re teamed up with other students from many other schools so the ideas are always engaging and diverse!  This class is offered in a hybrid format from 9-11:50am on Mondays with a team lab time later in the week. 

Instructor: Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks
Credits: 4.5
Meeting Time: Mondays, 9-11:50am
Location: TBA

Art, Science & Tech


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Art, Science, and Technology: The Human Body as an Experiment — This multimedia, interdisciplinary seminar is devoted to exploring the global history and present-day expressions of the relationship between art, science, and technology, and how they are integrated. To this end we will cultivate both a new visual literacy and a new literacy in science and technology.

Instructor: Jennifer Robertson (LS&A)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:30am
Location: 180 Tappan Hall, 855 South University Avenue

Entrepreneurial Creativity

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This course explores the relation between creativity, innovation, and problem-solving processes. We will consider the elements of creative thinking, explore insights from a variety of perspectives, and engage in projects designed to foster students’ own creativity and innovation. Is creative thinking somehow different from “normal” thinking? How do innovators frame problems and generate solutions? What is the relation between idea generation and collaborative team work? How do entrepreneurs in business, social goods, and technology develop and employ vital skills in persuasion, cooperation, communication as they bring ideas to life in the form of enterprises? This course will explore all these questions in order to ground students in both the theory and practice of creativity as it takes shape in entrepreneurial endeavors.

Instructor: Eric Fretz (Psychology)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00pm, Friday discussions
Location: 140 Lorch Hall, 611 Tappan Street 

Psychology of Creativity

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This discussion course attempts to define what we mean when we say, “creative.” What can scientific research tell us about creativity in terms of individual aptitude and personality, cognitive and brain processes, and social and cultural influences? We will explore the range of theories developed by psychologists and other researchers about the cognitive processes underlying the creative process, including problem definition, idea generation, fixation, incubation, iteration, evaluation, and reflection.

Instructor: Colleen Seifert (Psychology)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 3:00-6:00pm
Location: 1060 East Hall, 530 Church Street

Creativity at Work

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*pre-requisite: BBA senior standing*

This course is designed to introduce the student to the practices necessary to stimulate and manage creativity in a business. Students will be given frameworks and methods for designing, developing, and implementing creativity in real work situations. The aim of the course is to provide students with the perspective and skill base necessary to manage creative projects, people and ventures. Each class will consist of two basic components: 1) a theatrical framework, and 2) a methodology or tool. Each segment of the course is designed to engage the student in a conceptual and experiential application of creativity practices that will be applied to a real challenge.

Instructor: Jeff Degraff (Ross)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Times: Mondays, 9:00am-12:00pm
Location: B3560 Business School

Innovator’s Toolkit

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“What tools do I have in my toolbox and how can I use them to make an impact?” This is the central question of The Innovator’s Toolkit. By the end of this course, you will have worked in a team to implement an innovative approach to a complex social problem related to a preselected topic

Instructor: Kenneth Ludwig (CFE)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Mondays an Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30pm
Location: 1427 Mason Hall, 419 State Street

Interdisciplinary Collaboration II

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Interdisciplinary Collaboration II is a continuation of Interdisciplinary Collaboration I with an emphasis on large-scale multimedia interactive installations.

Instructor: Stephen Rush (SMTD)
Credits: 1.0 – 3.0
Meeting Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30am-12:30pm
Location: Dance Building, Studio B

Interdisciplinary Arts

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Special Topics courses in interdisciplinary arts allow student the flexibility to pursue discipline-specific or interdisciplinary study in-depth, led by a specialist instructor. The courses will differ thematically, dependent upon the teaching and research expertise of the instructor.

Instructor: Amy Chavasse (SMTD)
Credits: 1.0 – 3.0
Meeting Time: TBA
Location: TBA