Creativity Studies

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Developing Creative Solutions to Tough Programs

Certificate Program Director: Steven Pritzker, Ph.D.

A complex and fast changing world demands new and creative approaches to everything from corporate strategies to household chores. That’s why the importance of understanding and encouraging creativity has been widely recognized in many fields including education, business, healthcare, government, the arts, and science. There is a vital role for creativity studies in making the most of our self-awareness and furthering our human potential. The Certificate in Creativity Studies is designed to meet the growing interest in this topic. This Certificate will give students a broad understanding of creativity research and allow students and non-enrolled individuals to pursue specific areas of interest.


The Certificate in Creativity Studies consists of four 3-credit courses, a 3-credit practicum, and a 1-credit integrative paper (16 credits total). There are two required courses associated with this Certificate: Dimensions of Creativity and Perspectives on Creativity. In addition, individuals enrolled in this Certificate program complete two elective courses directly related to creativity, including Arts-Based Inquiry, Art and Healing, Introduction to Expressive Arts, Organizational Creativity, Personal Mythology and Dreamwork, or an independent study based on your interests.

Practicum: A practicum equivalent to one month of full-time effort is required (CS 8151: Practicum in Professional Practice). The practicum, which must be directly involved with creativity, is a special project tied to students’ research interests and professional or personal needs. Examples of a completed Research Practicum include the exploration and documentation of the creation of a professional art project by the artist; a verbal and pictorial investigation of creativity demonstrated by individuals who custom design Harley-Davidson motorcycles; a look at using creativity in professional dog training; and a first-hand, introspective study of incubation in the creative process.

Integrative Paper or Project: The last activity in the Certificate program is writing a final paper that integrates what students have learned from the four courses and the practicum (CS 8950: Certificate Integrative Seminar). This culminating assignment also gives students an opportunity to assess their strengths, identify further learning needs, and develop a specific plan for continuing their personal and professional development in the area of creativity.

Learning Objectives: By the time students complete the Certificate requirements, they will have acquired a theoretical and practical understanding of the creative process. Key areas include significant theoretical models, psychological components, sociological implications, factors that encourage or discourage creativity, and creativity applied in particular domains of knowledge or work settings. Students will have the skills to:

• Delineate their own conceptions about creativity based on the literature and their own experience.
• Discuss their individual creative process and factors that have stimulated or inhibited their creativity in the past.
• Discuss potential factors (e.g., personal, social, transpersonal) that might encourage or discourage creativity.
• Give examples of biological, psychological, and social factors that play a role in what society calls “creatives,” and how creative one can be.
• Explain differences between creativity in everyday life and eminent creativity.
• Describe whether creativity has a distinctly different quality in different domains of activity (e.g., arts vs. sciences).
• Demonstrate knowledge of ways in which questions of interest on creativity have been researched, including qualitative and quantitative methods.
• Explain several ways in which students might enhance creativity in their own particular area of interest at both the individual and societal level.
• Teach basic information about creativity to individuals or groups.
• Conduct a theoretical exploration of a particular area of creativity studies, and defend one’s approach and conclusions.
• Know how to create a peer group for sharing, support, or engaging in group creative activities.
• Design, implement, and evaluate an application of what has been learned in a particular area.
• Discover new and unexpected things about the nature of creativity and about oneself.
• Take a creative risk and have some fun!

Learning/Teaching Approach: Students may complete a Certificate in Creativity Studies with a team of co-learners who work together on various aspects of the Certificate or in an independent study format.

Team Format: Learners in the team format complete the two core courses together in a virtual classroom. For each core course, this entails reading the assigned texts, spending half an hour per week online adding to the team conversation, and writing and posting a minimum of one paper for other team members to comment on.

Independent Study Format: Learners in the independent study format download a syllabus, complete the assigned reading, and write three essays for each course. Elective courses and the practicum are planned with a faculty mentor.

Practicum Presentation: Two lunch meetings for degree and non-degree students taking the Creativity Studies Specialization and Certificate program are held at Saybrook Residential Conferences in January and August. Meetings include brief presentations by students based on their work. You are encouraged to give a brief presentation at one meeting. These meetings provide an opportunity to practice presentation skills, help build connections for joint projects, encourage resource sharing, and provide peer support.

The Practical Value of Creativity Studies: Professionals who will benefit from a Certificate in Creativity Studies include the following:

• Consultants and teachers in government, educational, health, or business settings.
• Coaches for individuals in the arts or business.
• Training directors or human resources executives.
• Psychotherapists able to work more creatively with clients.
• Mediators and conflict resolution negotiators with skills to help parties find new answers.
• Researchers in science and academia seeking answers to complex questions.
• Artists, writers, musicians, actors, or photographers enhancing their own  creativity by better understanding their work process.

What's Next

For more information on this or other Certificate programs, please complete the form on the right. You may check multiple options.

To enroll in this Certificate as a non-degree student, go to Apply Online and select the desired certificate option. This Certificate is available to current Saybrook degree students in certain programs as part of, or in addition to, degree classes. Please contact Admissions or your faculty advisor/mentor about enrolling or call 800.825.4480.