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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Minneapolis, United States
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: HECUA 
  • Restrictions: Gustavus applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2023 09/15/2022 ** Rolling Admission 01/30/2023 05/12/2023

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Partner: HECUA - Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs Click here for a definition of this term Program Term(s): Semester only
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Class Standing: Junior, Senior, Sophomore Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.75
Click here for a definition of this term Prerequisites: No Click here for a definition of this term Previous Language Study Req?: No
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Language courses offered: None
Click here for a definition of this term Meet Language Reqt in One Semester?: No Click here for a definition of this term Housing Options: Apartment (Shared), Dormitory, Student responsibility
Click here for a definition of this term Areas of Study: American Studies, Art, Arts, Business, Communication, Creative Writing, Culture, Dance, Economics, Education, English, Entrepreneurship, Film, Gender Studies, Humanities, Interdisciplinary Design, Journalism, Literature, Marketing, Mass Communications, Media Studies, Minority Studies, Philosophy, Photography, Service Learning, Social Work, Sociology, Studio Art, Theatre/Drama, Urban Studies, Women's Studies, Writing Program Design: Group based, Set Curriculum, Study Center, Theme based
Click here for a definition of this term Additional Program Options: Community Engagement, Internship (with credit transfer)
Program Description:

Explore art and imagination centered on personal creative practice and social transformation.

Art for Social Change studentsProgram Description

How can we create beautiful and just lives? Our imaginations and creativity are essential to changing the world. Art-making and creative practices offer ways to heal, dream, and to make our dreams a reality. Inspired by these values and questions, Art for Social Change students experience and create challenging art by examining topics including; embodied practice, mindfulness, identity, the art object, behavior, self-care, community, and liberation.

This interdisciplinary program offers all students the opportunity to gain valuable skills and grow their professional networks to be creative change-makers in their communities. All students complete an internship for academic credit related to their interests, learning with and contributing to a local change-making organization. Recent internship sites have included Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, Weisman Art Museum, and Pangea World Theatre.

This immersive learning community is grounded in examining the dynamic relationship between personal transformation, social change, and creativity. Taking our mobile classroom to community art spaces, museums, a meditation center, and the street we learn with some of the leading community and social practice artists in the Twin Cities. Through this collaborative learning experience, we push the boundaries of the nature of “art”, whom it serves, and what it can say and do in today’s society.


HECUA programs are highly experiential, interdisciplinary and integrated. We go beyond the classroom. By combining theory and praxis, you will apply classroom knowledge to real-world work in an internship with a local organization that is working to advance movements for justice and equity. Students and faculty are seen as co-teachers and co-learners. Through HECUA, you will gain hands-on experience, develop new skills, make connections, build your resume, and develop your own capacity to make change. 


Through an internship with a local organization, students begin to test and implement their own change-making skills. Past internship sites have included the Tamales y Bicicletas, Women's Environmental Institute, MN350 and Lily Springs Farm. Students meet local organizers, build professional networks, and spend 12-15 hours/week hours at an internship, working for organizations dedicated to social transformation. Students leave the classroom with increased capacity in their own abilities to effect change in their communities, and a deep understanding of the local nonprofit landscape. 

Courses & Credits

Courses are taken as an integrated whole and provide a semester’s worth of credit (i.e. 16 credits or the equivalent at your institution). HECUA’s courses provide upper ­level credits, and nearly all students obtain significant major or minor credits for participating in this program. HECUA staff are available to assist students in negotiating credit transfers.


  • Art and Culture in Political, Social, Historical Context (4 credits)
  • Arts Praxis: Social Justice Theory and Practice in the Field (4 credits)
  • Internship and Integration Seminar (two courses, 8 credits)

Student Testimony

Art for Social Change was so fulfilling for me as a learner, artist and activist. The discussions and readings were riveting, the art making was exciting and inspiring, and the guests speakers were amazing. I feel like my art making will forever be impacted by being a student in this program. - Megan, University of Minnesota. Click here to read student blogs about Art for Social Change.


This program is open to any undergraduate students currently enrolled in a US college or university who have completed their first year of college and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, although any applicant with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 will receive additional review. Prospective students are encouraged to contact with any other eligibility questions. 

No prior experience required

Students with some or no media making experience are welcome in this program. Students from any academic discipline are welcome.


HECUA offers multiple scholarships to students each term. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Visit our website to learn more. Students are encouraged to discuss options with their home institution's financial aid office. 

Health and Safety

HECUA has been vigilantly and constantly monitoring the evolving conditions of COVID-19, including tracking updates from the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the US Department of State and other credible sources. Click here to view HECUA's most recent COVID-19 updates.

Program Fees

Visit the program costs page on HECUA's website for a detailed breakdown of program costs.

To Apply


  • November 1st - early bird scholarship deadline
  • December 1st - spring US programs deadline
  • March 1st - early bird scholarship deadline for summer and fall programs
  • April 15th - summer and fall US programs deadline

Click here to apply now


More information at the HECUA Art for Social Change webpage >>>

Gustavus information

HECUA. Gustavus belongs to the HECUA Consortium, so we are a part of the organization that offers this program. Any eligible Gustavus student is welcome to participate in this program.

Application process. Gustavus students will first apply for Gustavus approval through this website. Once approved by Gustavus to participate, you will then complete an online HECUA application as well. Note that Gustavus has a nonrefundable application fee of $70 (required for all Gustavus study away applicants), and that HECUA has a separate nonrefundable application fee of $50.

Advising at Gustavus. If you would like to speak with a Gustavus program advisor, please see our Advising page for more information.