College of Arts & Sciences

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Interdisciplinary Studies

A Broad Background

A liberal arts education provides students with a broad background that will serve them well throughout their lives. Interdisciplinary programs, in particular, strive to combine knowledge from many academic departments into a unified whole.

Many majors in the College of Arts & Sciences draw on coursework from multiple disciplines. Others, such as International Studies, are interdisciplinary in design. In addition, the College of Arts & Sciences offers a range of interdisciplinary minors:

  • Archaeology combines core courses in archaeology, anthropology, classical humanities, and history, supplemented by electives, to offer an inclusive introduction to the field of archaeology.
  • Classics includes courses in Latin and/or Greek, along with other coursework in the history and culture of ancient life. Among elective options are classes in anthropology, art history, history, philosophy, and theatre.
  • Geography incorporates elective courses in economics, meteorology, oceanography, and political science, building on core classes in earth sciences and geography.
  • Gerontology focuses on the experience and needs of older people, and is intended particularly for students who plan to work in health care or other professions that serve the elderly. Core coursework is drawn from health sciences administration, psychology, sociology, and social work, with electives in an array of other disciplines.
  • Interdisciplinary Language (German) is a minor available with coursework in German, economics, history, and political science.
  • Interdisciplinary Sciences is designed especially to serve students who need a background in multiple areas of science for a career in medicine or health services. Courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and physiology are included.
  • International Studies builds on core courses in anthropology, foreign language, geography, history, and political science to provide a comprehensive overview of issues in international studies.
  • Latin American Studies provides an interdisciplinary perspective on one of the most culturally and politically diverse parts of the developing world. With coursework in economics, history, political science, and Spanish, the minor explores linguistic, social, and historical aspects of Latin America.
  • Sustainability is a new and growing field that emphasizes using global resources responsibly to support human activity over the long term. Core courses include options in environmental economics, environmental ethics, environmental science, and public policy, as well as courses in sustainability. Electives are drawn from across disciplines in the social and natural sciences.
  • Women and Gender Studies adds a wide range of electives to a foundational course in Women and Gender Studies. Courses relevant to issues of women and/or gender are offered in anthropology, biology, communication studies, criminal justice, English, history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.

The College of Arts & Sciences also hosts the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program. Students earning a BLS degree design their own interdisciplinary program around a clearly defined set of academic interests and professional goals.