Aesthetic Understanding (A)

Courses bearing the Aesthetic Understanding (A) designation explore visual art, music, theatre, film, and/or creative writing. These courses offer students the opportunity to understand our cultural heritage as expressed in works of artistic expression created by others and/or to create these kinds of works themselves. Students study the creative process itself to understand and evaluate works intended to provoke an aesthetic response.


  • To become acquainted with major achievements in the arts.
  • To explore the cultural and historical context of artistic achievements.
  • To learn techniques for critical analysis and appreciation of works of art.
  • To acquire an appropriate vocabulary with which to articulate this knowledge.
  • In classes focusing on creative expression, to learn the techniques, discipline, and value of creating works intended to evoke an aesthetic response.

Transferrable Skill:

Students can understand and evaluate criticism of work intended to evoke an aesthetic response, produce their own criticisms of such works, or reflectively produce such works, drawing upon knowledge of the vocabulary, cultural contexts, and methods of critical evaluation and production appropriate to aesthetics.