Majors & Minors (Undergraduate)

Global & Intercultural Exchange Minor

Global and Intercultural Exchange (GIE) is a Liberal Arts minor that brings the coursework of Humanistic Studies and the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture into an intentional and relevant curricular experience for students who are interested in investigating their experience of living and working in a global society.

Open to all MICA undergraduate students, this minor offers students a wide range of classes in the Liberal Arts that will help guide them in learning about the cultures and histories of different parts of the world and questioning and articulating their own position as artists and designers in an increasingly globalized profession and world.

Why Minor in Global and Intercultural Exchange at MICA?

The GIE program, which provides a global framing for coursework as well as a curricular structure to integrate students's international experiences with their study at MICA, is unique among art colleges. 

In addition, the GIE minor's curriculum goes beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries of global and regional (or “area”) studies by explicitly examining the colonial and Cold War origins of those fields.

Students benefit from access to faculty across MICA who are distinguished scholars.

Our faculty have PhDs from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the University of Chicago, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins University, among other institutions.  They are experts in diverse subjects, and their writings have appeared in American Art, Art, Journal of American History, and Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

In addition to the two core classes, The Global in Art History and  Communicating Across Cultures, students have the ability to choose three electives, allowing the personalization of their course of study. 

A sample of these courses include diverse offerings such as Arts of Japan, Native American Studies, History of Africana Arts, and Women Writers of the Global South.

MICA graduates will pursue their careers in a global environment that rewards the ability to work in multicultural and international settings.

For example, our graduates may find themselves exhibiting their work in galleries in multiple countries, educating students with diverse cultural backgrounds, or working on multinational teams as designers in the corporate world. The GIE minor gives students a global view of the art world and helps them develop skills in research and intercultural communication that will enable them to build careers that cross cultures.

Students who complete the program will develop “soft skills” that employers are looking for:

  • Students in the core GIE classes will practice intercultural skills such as empathetic listening, conflict resolution, rapport building, respectfulness, navigating change and ambiguity, and analysis.
  • Liberal Arts classes in the minor help students develop critical thinking skills such as research, analysis, writing, and analytic thinking; Field-based coursework builds teamwork and problem solving skills, and project-based learning strengthens students’ communication and leadership skills.

(Source: Deb Volzer, Jessica Burgess, and Andrew J Magda, “Reimagining the Workforce 2021: Closing the Skills Gap through EducationVDe,” Wiley Beyond (Wiley Education Services, 2021),

Students in the V&A museum's prints and drawings study room during a Summer Travel Intensive in London. + Enlarge
Work from the Natural Dye Initiative, a multi-agency project that aims to explore the cultural and economic impacts of growing and using natural dyes in the region. + Enlarge
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Featured Course - Spring

The Global in Art History

Exploring art traditions from various regions of the world and critically examining their treatment within the field of art history, this course analyzes the impact of colonialism and globalization on the development of the structures of the art world, including the modern art museum and the academic discipline of art history itself.

Featured Course - Fall

Communicating Across Cultures

Through experiential activities, theoretical models, and tools to measure students’ current skills and knowledge, opportunities for purposeful interaction with “strangers,” and written reflection, students will identify their strengths and develop an understanding of the scholarship of intercultural communication.

Meet Our Faculty

Sonja Kelley

Sonja Kelley specializes in the visual culture of East Asia from antiquity to the present. She teaches classes on the history of Asian art, with a particular focus on China and Japan.

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Elizabeth Wagenheim

Elizabeth Holden Wagenheim holds Masters Degrees in Fine Arts (Creative Writing) and Curriculum Design/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Her teaching and teacher-training have taken her to such places as Romania, China, Hungary, El Salvador, and Senegal. She was a 2017 SIIC Fellow in Intercultural Communication

Read More from Elizabeth