Unique programs at York: Integrative arts

Written by Deea Deb

Calling all future Lions! If you are looking for unique programs at York, join us in exploring the Integrative Arts program. We caught up with Junjie (Joanna) Zhang, a third-year student specializing in visual art and art history, for insider information about the program.  

Zhang started with economics, but realized that it wasn’t for her. She asked herself, “what if I could find a program that allows me to explore different things?” That’s when she found the Integrative Arts program on the Future Students website. 

The Integrative Arts program is offered by the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD). The program takes a multidisciplinary approach to the arts. You can specialize in one of, or mix, six concentrations such as dance, cinema and media arts, digital media, music, theatre and visual art and art history.  

Pro tip: The program search tool on the Future Students website makes finding the programs you’re looking for easy. Type in a keyword related to the program, and the website will filter the relevant information. 

Who should join this program?

“You must be interested in the arts, of course,” says Zhang. “You should also keep an open mind and want to explore different art forms.”  

The Integrative Arts program is super customizable to suit your passion and the industry you’re interested in. If you’re unsure, don’t worry! Look into some courses to find out what you enjoy.

Pro tip: Connect with upper-year students to get the lowdown on courses. You can also speak to an AMPD admissions advisor to understand the best fit for you.   

“I chose visual art and art history because I love photography and learning about art,” says Zhang. “I’d like to become an art curator once I graduate.” 

How is the first-year experience?

The program is quite open and picking courses can be overwhelming. It all comes down to planning.  

“Unlike economics, where I was assigned most courses, I had to choose my courses in the Integrative Arts program. It’s like DIY-ing your academic experience!” 

Once you’re in the program, Zhang recommends meeting with an academic advisor to discuss which courses and areas of concentration best suit you. Keep an eye out for prerequisites – to take certain upper-year courses, you need to complete the corresponding first- or second-year courses. So, plan carefully! 

What about work opportunities while studying?

While the program works on co-op opportunities, students can work part-time while studying. “I hope to intern at the Art Gallery of Ontario or other art galleries,” says Zhang.

“It is very important to network with instructors and your peers to build relationships that will help you get work opportunities.”

Pro tip: Don’t forget to check out the work/study program at York to learn more about industries that interest you, and how on-campus departments function. 

Ready to unleash your creativity? Learn more about the program here.