School of Liberal Arts

The school of liberal arts supports and enhances the work of the majors while preparing students to study a range of areas within the school.  The majors in Arts History and Creative Writing develop further the student’s ability to write which in turn supports their creative work in the majors.  Some students decide to study a double major with emphases on both the major studio and on art history.

With a foundational level approach based in the development of writing and comprehension skills (writing workshop) to further develop their articulation of the ideas and thoughts, the program defines learning as an extension of the student’s creative studio work.  Creative ideas are underpinned by a study of the history of art and design through lectures and coursework, providing a contextual and contemporary view of the work of artists and designers.

Students can choose from a menu of humanities courses designed to ensure they are rounded and exposed to a range of topics including western thought, history, philosophy, science, literature and social science as well as a range of electives designed to broaden creative the experience of our students.  As part of the program students may choose to do a study abroad visit for credit with current visits to Italy, Hungary, Mexico and Germany.


View photos and bios of our liberal arts faculty members.


Art History

The art history program is structured to stimulate and enrich critical thinking, intellectual inquiry, investigation, research and analysis between liberal arts and the studio disciplines, as well as throughout the campus community. Investigating art historical methodology and scholarship within the context of a studio-based environment provides the student with insights into and perspectives on the relationships between concept and practice.

Studio Art in Creative Writing

The creative writing program encourages contemplative, broadly educated artists whose training and work in visual media and literary genres will be mutually supportive. Here the visual arts and the literary arts share the goal of accuracy of vision. The strength of the program lies in its interdisciplinary and multi-contextual nature housed within a studio-based school of art and design.

Literary magazine

Since 2005, students at KCAI have published Sprung Formal, the college's literary magazine. View back issues and learn more about Sprung Formal.

  • Winner, 2008 Design Award,  AWP National Program Directors' Prize for Undergraduate Literary Magazines
  • Runner-Up, 2010 Design Award, AWP National Program Directors' Prize for Undergraduate Literary Magazines

Download the viewbook

Download the viewbook

 The Kansas City Art Institute's viewbook provides an overview of KCAI's academic programs,  students, faculty, alumni and campus.

Download the viewbook

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Continuing Education

Continuing Education

Interested in continuing education classes at KCAI? Visit the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.



Log into My KCAI to register for classes.