Guidelines for Students and Advisors

The Certificate in Art and Social Change allows students to engage with some of the most urgent issues in our societies, as they relate to justice, equality, and diversity. Artists and activists play an increasingly important role in advancing justice and promoting social change at the local, national, and global levels. The interdisciplinary approach of this certificate enables students to examine the role of different forms of artistic productions as a catalyst for social change. By intersecting disciplinary and geographic boundaries, courses in this certificate explore topics such as cinema and visual cultures, media activism, theater and environmental justice, creative design, migration and religious diversity, gender and community engagement. The Certificate in Art and Social Change emphasizes a pedagogical and scholarly approach rooted in critical thinking, anti-oppression practices, and community building. Thanks to its interdisciplinary nature this certificate is suitable for students in different social sciences, humanities, and business fields across colleges.


  • Students are required to complete a total of 18 credit hours. 9 credit hours must be completed at the upper-division level (3000- or 4000-level courses).
  • A minimum of 12 credit hours must be taken on campus or with a CU-sponsored Study Abroad program.
  • No more than 9 credits should be taken from any one department.
  • The certificate is open to all degree-seeking undergraduate students at CU Boulder.
  • Students are required to take the introductory course ITAL/FREN 10XX Introduction to Social Change in the Arts.
  • Students will choose three courses from Category A "Arts, Media, and Social Change" and two courses from the list of Electives.
  • No more than 3 semester transfer credit hours from other institutions will count towards the certificate.

Core Course (3 credits): ITAL/FREN 10XX Introduction to Social Change in the Arts

Category A: Arts, Media, and Social Change (choose at least 3 courses – 9 credits)

  • ARTS 4607/ARTS 5607 Art and Social Change
  • ATLS 3519 Special Topics in Technology, Arts, and Media: Climate Change and Film
  • ATLS 3519 Special Topics in Technology, Arts, and Media: Design for Change
  • CMDP 3810 Engaged Documentary Media Practices
  • DNCE 5048 Performance and Community Engagement
  • EDUC 1080 Decolonizing Education: Design for New Futures
  • FREN 3400 Cultures of Activism in Dakar, Senegal
  • ITAL 4170/MDST 4871 Documentary for Social Change in the Mediterranean
  • MDST 3002 Digital Culture and Politics
  • MDST 3341 Designing Alternative Media Platforms
  • MDST 4871 Visual Culture / Human Rights
  • MDST 4871 Media Activism/Public Engagement
  • THTR 4173 Creative Climate Communication
  • WGST 3302 Facilitating Peaceful Community Change
  • WRTG 3020 Topics in Writing: New Media and Civic Engagement

Electives (2 courses - 6 credits):

Additional courses from Category A above or any of the following:

  • ANTH 1115 The Caribbean in Post-Colonial Perspective
  • ANTH 3100 Africa: Peoples and Societies in Change
  • ANTH 3760 Exploring Culture and Media in Southeast Asia
  • ARTS 4217/ARTS 5217 Art & Race/Ethnicity
  • ARTH 4929 Special Topics in Art History: Public Art
  • DNCE 4047 Hip-Hop Dance History
  • ETHN 2203 American Indians in Film
  • ETHN 2546 Chicana and Chicano Fine Arts and Humanities
  • ETHN 3692 African Am Music: Fr Spirituals and the Blues to Rap/Hip Hop Soul
  • ETHN 4116 Spoken Word Latinx Poetics and Poetry
  • ETHN 4213 Indigenous Futurisms: Speculative Genres and Native Tomorrows
  • ETHN 4552 The Harlem Renaissance: From Black Women's Club Movement to Hip Hop
  • ETHN 4001 Screening Race, Class & Gender in the U.S. and the Global Borderland
  • FREN 3800 France and the Muslim World
  • FYSM 1000 First-Year Seminar:  Human Rights, Rites of Passage
  • HIST 4349 Decolonization of the British Empire
  • ITAL 4300 Italian Multiculturalism
  • ITAL 1500 Italian Culture and Stereotypes
  • WGST 3620 Women of Color and Activism
  • WRTG 3020 Topics in Writing: The Documentary