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Corcoran School of the Arts and Design


The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design does not fit one definition. We are instead a community of civically engaged artists and practitioners, aiming to impact the world through social change. Positioned as an incubator for artists within a prominent research university, our students are poised to not just join the creative field of their choice, but to define it for themselves as they become well versed in both practice and research.
We embody and exemplify the Columbian College's Engaged Liberal Arts credo, which strives to link disparate fields and better prepare our graduates for rich, multidimensional careers in the evolving world we live in. The challenges society faces are diverse, requiring different modes of thought, and we prepare our students by encouraging inquiry and collaboration. While we at the Corcoran School can prepare specialists, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our practice and view ourselves as a place of possibility for students instead of teaching art in a singular way.
With 22 degrees offered, the Corcoran's programs range from studio arts disciplines such as photography and fine art to performative fields including dance and theatre to scholarly practices like museum studies and art history. Interior Architecture, Museum Studies and Photojournalism are among our most prestigious programs. The Corcoran's curriculum is also continuing to evolve as we identify new needs in our ever-changing world. Interaction Design and Social Practice are two new programs that our school has introduced within the past two years in order to address trends in emerging fields of study within the art community.
Our vibrant home in D.C. means that our students tap into a nerve center of international culture and government. We have a strong track record for placement with top-ranked employers after graduation, since students can work and study at some of D.C.'s most prestigious companies, galleries, museums and design firms.
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