Apr 12, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Here's a non-traditional approach to your PhD: study creativity.

At Philadelphia's University of the Arts, students engaged in this innovative new program will take courses in interdisciplinary studies and produce unique dissertations with advisers and professionals from outside the school.

The program begins with a "creative boot camp" for students--who may be mid-career professionals--to challenge their comfort zone.

The goal? To mirror the creative process as a startup accelerator.

In a recent article in Quartz, University of the Arts 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, director of the program said that he wants students to focus on skills in a "non-methodical way."

Both say that they see lots of companies employing a "chief creative officer" or "chief brain" who oversees solving big problems across disciplines. They're usually from non-traditional, non-academic backgrounds.

They're looking to change that with this degree.

What's it really about? Establishing a creative mindset to change the world.

Now that's original.

Learn more about earning your PhD


Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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