Simon Fraser University
Image courtesy of Simon Fraser University

“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.” – Dorothy Parker

Concepts and ideas form the backbone of creativity. The ability to innovate and invent is inherent to us all, but of course, the ways in which ideas come to fruition can be tricky to define. When creativity bucks its head to light the blaze of inspiration, it allows us to produce things of beauty and of value that did not exist before.

But creativity and the communication crafts – encompassing fields like journalism, broadcasting, publishing, new media and beyond – are not merely reserved for the likes of designers, performers and quirky artisans. These traits are found embedded deep within us all, seeping through the stories we tell, the choices we make and the paths we choose. And for many modern professionals, creativity undoubtedly lies at the heart of daily life.

“To be creative is the most exciting thing you can do,” says Chris Triola, owner of a Michigan-based textile design studio. “It’s as necessary to me as eating or breathing,” he says.

And in this he is not alone.

On top of presenting a wealth of uniquely personal benefits, expertise in the creative arts also helps in terms of career, with employers actively seeking the ‘soft skills’ these subjects instil. According to Michael Windsor, a respected UK education leader, creativity, critical thinking and social confidence are among the most sought-after traits of the contemporary business world.

In a speech that emphasised the importance of education in the creative arts, Windsor referenced the “inestimable” advantages of studying these subjects, calling them an essential part of learning that enable students to be “successful and happy adults”.

Image courtesy of York University

According to Windsor, these advantages include: “the growth in confidence that comes from performing in front of an audience of any size; the opportunities for collaboration and working as a team; the need for concentration and discipline and to escape from distraction; taking risks…and learning to cope with the inevitable failures and false starts that are the part and parcel of the creative process.” He adds that the qualities modern recruiters value most are “the very qualities we might list as being developed by involvement in the creative arts.”

Have you got the passion, promise and dedication to hone your talents in these fields? Here are four leading Creative Arts and Communication Schools in North America that are sure to help you succeed…


The Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology (FCAT) encompasses five prestigious schools and programs that embody the commitment to excellence and innovation that has established Simon Fraser University (SFU) as Canada’s leading and most comprehensive research institution. With campuses spread across the Lower Mainland, FCAT students have the opportunity to live, study and work in some of the most liveable cities in the world. The faculty is made up of globally significant artists, designers, technologists and scholars who teach a vibrant range of courses that are both specialized and interdisciplinary.

Academic programs are also supplemented with work-based learning and cooperative education – providing experiences that develop critical thinking and creative skills that place FCAT students in high demand. FCAT’s School of Communication, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, School for the Contemporary Arts, Publishing Programs and Master of Digital Media Program, serve as global hubs for some of the world’s most talented, ambitious and creative students.

Simon Fraser University

Image courtesy of Simon Fraser University

FCAT’s interdisciplinary curriculum prepares students for their futures, teaching them to think critically and creatively and to communicate clearly and persuasively. The programs guide students through the processes of innovation, creation and collaboration no matter what their chosen discipline, giving them the tools they need not just to stand out, but to thrive among the sea of creative graduate professionals.

FCAT stands at the intersection of culture and technology, precisely where some of the most important and exciting developments are to be found.


The Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences is the premier institution of Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus. Housing 22 comprehensive departments plus 33 centres, programmes, and institutes, the Krieger School serves as muse for students of the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Since its 1876 establishment, the school has sought to explore the boundaries of human knowledge and discover new ideas in virtually every discipline. Combining first-rate professors at the height of their careers with unique and original thinkers from all four corners of the globe, students of the Krieger School don’t only broaden their horizons, but also serve to advance the very notion of creative learning in itself.

Boasting more than 60 undergraduate majors and minors, plus more than 40 graduate programmes, the Krieger School offers the perfect foundation for budding creative minds. With a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, students have round-the-clock access to the guidance they deserve, allowing them to unleash their full potential as they engage in research of their own design. Here, students expand their learning well beyond their single chosen discipline—but also far beyond the creative classroom environment.

Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins University


UC Santa Cruz is known to blend the benefits of a small college campus setting with the sterling resources of a major university. Ranked among the 2017 US News & World report’s top 50 Best Global Universities, the University has cemented national and international recognition both for the impact of its research, as well as for its long-established commitment to quality undergraduate instruction.

With programmes in Art; Digital Media and New Media; Film and Digital Media; Games and Playable Media; History of Art and Visual Culture; Music; Theatre Arts and beyond, the Division of the Arts is no exception to the UC Santa Cruz tradition of excellence. Its diverse portfolio of specialized majors and minors, many of which are multidisciplinary and draw on the strengths of university faculty and researchers, allows the university to produce the next generation of professional creators and world-class innovators.

“…UC Santa Cruz’s focus is on improving our planet and the lives of all its inhabitants,” the institution notes. “Within our extraordinary educational community, students, faculty, and staff create new knowledge, new technologies and new ways of expressing and understanding cultures.”


The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) at York University allows students to refine their unique creative flair, and allows them to thrive in a complex, connected world. Seeking to meet global demand for creative thinkers who ignite fresh ideas, the school provides a transformative learning experience that produces some of the world’s most innovative graduates, maintaining the artistic integrity that has come to shape the modern world.

“But disciplinary rigour is only one part of the AMPD experience,” the AMPD notes. “Guided by award-winning artists and leading scholars with real-world experience, you’ll push the boundaries between artistic media, explore emerging technologies and discover the creative side of other fields. You will gain practical experience, explore career options and build relationships with prospective employers through field placements, internships and the School’s partnerships with creative industries and arts organizations, from Facebook to Canadian Stage.”

Whether your passion lies in Cinema and Media Arts, Computational Arts, Dance, Design, Music, Theatre , Visual Art and Art History, or a tailored combination of these fields, York University’s AMPD is guaranteed to bring out the best of your creative endeavour, opening brand new paths to success in life after graduation.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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