B.A. in World Arts and Cultures

We emphasize studies in arts activism, visual cultures, and critical ethnographies. Theory and practice emerge from culturally diverse artistic expressions.

The B.A. in World Arts and Cultures (WAC) highlights culture and representation as key perspectives for understanding creativity in local and global arenas. Three areas of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study are available: arts activism, critical ethnographies, and visual cultures. These areas define the department commitment to a range of practices, including ethnography, activism, visual and related expressive arts, documentary and short films, museum and curatorial studies, performance, and other creative perspectives and methods. Courses combine theory and practice and are grounded in culturally diverse artistic expressions. All students are encouraged to complement the required set of core and elective departmental courses with others offered across campus, such as courses from ethnic and area studies programs, and may organize their course of study in relation to particular interests or professional goals (e.g., international comparative studies, intercultural studies, education, area specializations such as Africa, Asia, or Latin America, minority discourse, gender studies).

Students completing the World Arts and Cultures major will be able to:

  • demonstrate a variety of approaches to visual and performance-based art making, broadly conceived, in cross-cultural contexts.
  • collaboratively conduct and interpret field-based research with specific communities.
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of, and an ability to apply, a variety of theories regarding cultural production and representation.
  • demonstrate sensitivity to diversity and cultural differences, particularly as articulated within various forms of governance, national and international policy, transnational art and curatorial practices, and museums and heritage sites.
  • produce literate analyses that supplement and affirm the relevance of diverse cultural productions.
  • develop informed interpretations not only of the way art functions within communities but also how the links between art and community are created and represented.
  • articulate the value of civic engagement within a variety of social contexts.

WAC Major Curriculum (278.71 kB)

Comprehensive information on the undergraduate curriculum for current students can be found in the Comprehensive information on the undergraduate curriculum for current students can be found in the 2022-2023 Undergraduate Handbook (596.42 kB).

Details about individual courses can be found on the UCLA Registrar's website.


Handbook: Please refer to the Handbook for your Admit year for your curriculum.


Read about our admissions policies and procedures.

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