The Core Curriculum

The Core Experience

To prepare students to move forward in their chosen discipline, students spend their first year building up their making and critical thinking skills in Foundation Studio, Liberal Arts and Science, and Creative Action courses.

Student painting on easel in class

Foundation Studio

In your first year as an Otis College student, you’ll participate in our one-of-a-kind, immersive Foundation Studio program. What you learn will serve you for a lifetime. Our first-year students take a sequence of studio courses structured to teach the fundamentals across all art and design. You’ll become a well-informed maker, experiencing new ways of thinking and looking at the world. You’ll learn to ask new questions and develop your own creative practice. Foundation aims to enhance your creativity, refine your voice, and help you transform your ideas into final form. The studio courses in Foundation, the faculty, and majorfocused events help you make the best choice for your future major and career beyond Otis College.

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Liberal Arts and Sciences

Our strong Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) curriculum supports and expands your art and design training at Otis College. We build your LAS experience around five themes: creativity, diversity, identity, sustainability, and social responsibility. Through courses that emphasize critical thinking in writing, visual literacy, the sciences, and art history, you’ll cultivate an understanding of context and culture. Our program encourages you to develop a persistent self-reflective stance, a willingness to rethink traditional categories, and an opportunity to explore newly evolving realities. You’ll learn to question the obvious and to reaffirm enduring values. You’ll be able to articulate your own ideas and critically evaluate other ideas. We aim to help you appreciate what shaped the world you inherit and understand the cultural context of today so you can better shape the future.

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Creative Action

Creative Action is an integrated learning program that introduces students to compelling social and environmental issues—within their community and abroad—through a series of core courses. In each project-based course, students engage in research, leadership, and collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of classmates. There are opportunities for travel-study to places like Blantyre, Malawi to work with the staff, faculty, and students of the Jacaranda School for Orphans, which provides free food, education, and medicine to children who have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Other courses involve local communities. In a recent project with the Exceptional Children’s Foundation in Inglewood, students collaborated with developmentally disabled adults in the creation of an exhibition at the DAC Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.

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Contact Us

Wherever you are in your college search, we want to meet you! Our counselors are here to answer your questions about Otis College and help you with the application process.

Phone: 310-665-6820
SMS: 323-870-6820

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