Programs That Blaze Trails

True to our roots as a small school of oratory, a modern Emerson education focuses on communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. The way we like to think about it? Emerson’s School of the Arts and School of Communication classes teach us how to do; the liberal arts teach us how to be.

We believe in exploring how academic areas connect and overlap and in teaching students how to use these connections to expand the scope of their work. And with the 2020 foundation of the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, our liberal arts core has been strengthened. Our students now have the opportunity to delve deeper into self-designed programs of study, supported by the enduring legacy of Marlboro College and an infusion of brilliant liberal arts faculty.

Some of the latest, most trailblazing programs of study at Emerson include:

BFA in Comedic Arts

The first program of its kind in the country, our Comedic Arts program leverages Emerson’s enormous impact on American comedy and culture to prepare students for careers in comedy performance, writing, and production. The curriculum is grounded in the history and theory of comedy, exposing students to both historical and modern comedic methods, and includes a concentration of practical experiential learning and a capstone project in a chosen area of interest; options for direct study or project in comedy; and the opportunity to work with faculty on a production, writing, or performance project that extends beyond their coursework.

BA in Business of Creative Enterprises (BCE)

A distinctive major that integrates Emerson’s strong foundation in communication and the arts to prepare students to be leaders and managers in the creative economy, BCE draws faculty and courses from departments across the College. Students receive real-world training and work with industry leaders to develop their unique creative voice.

Creating Reality: Developing Unscripted Television

In this Emerson Los Angeles­–based VMA course, students explore the broad, ever-evolving field of unscripted television in its variety of genres and sub-genres. After engaging with a survey of the field, students work to create original “unscripted” series for broadcast, from concept development and show pitch writing to preparation for pre-production, production, and post-production. In groups, students research, develop, and begin to create an original series with emphasis on innovative ways to expand and contribute to the reality genre in one of several predominant reality TV formats.

BA/BS in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS)

The IDS program within the Marlboro Institute allows students to pursue their own self-designed major based on their specific academic interests, culminating in a senior-year capstone experience guided by faculty advisors. Students lead final projects centered on a bold, coherent idea or solution to a problem that sparks their interest, like: Music Production and Social Marketing; Politics, Performance, and Social Advocacy; Multimedia Nonfiction Storytelling; Media Adaptation Studies; and Investigative Theater for Social Change.