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This US university now offers a PhD in creativity

A radical, multi-disciplinary approach. Source: Shutterstock

Ever seen those jobs ads looking for a vaguely-described position titled Chief Creative Officer?

Now, it appears that you can train directly for that course at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is now teaching a PhD course in creativity.

Starting with a two-week “creative bootcamp”, the unconventional offering will then proceed with cross-disciplinary workshops and independent dissertations guided by external advisors, Quartz reported.

The course is described as “A low-residency degree for advanced interdisciplinary research in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences,” on its website.

It aims to bring working professionals who are already experts in their respective fileds “to another level”.

It’s another example of how universities are evolving from its more traditional practices, such as moving its courses online and embracing artificial intelligence.

To enter the program, applicants must have at least a foundation of M.A. level work or qualification. As long as they can set aside time to work on their PhD project, candidates do not need to leave their jobs to take up this PhD program.

Candidates will meet periodically to discuss their dissertations, written or otherwise, which the school encourages to complete within 3 years.

Speaking to Quartz, the school’s president David Yager said: “I think about it as re-engineering. If we’re successful, some of these people will be driving and focusing on industries we’re not even talking about right now. They’ll have tools to think differently.”

Jonathan Fineberg, the director of the PhD program and a 40-year veteran of academia, says he has never felt comfortable with the way most degree programs force students to master all the literature that came before them in order to start on their own work. “It takes some people 10 years to break free of the hierarchies they’ve been taught,” he says. “We want somebody without the skills on the agenda to figure it out in a non-methodical way.”

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