Welcome to the Institute for the Liberal Arts

Where curiosity meets learning
Where academics meet innovation
Where the classroom meets the world

ILA Students

Why the ILA?

Never take a class you don't love

The Institute for the Liberal Arts provides a unique intellectual environment for the pursuit of research and teaching that cuts across conventional academic boundaries.

You won’t be constrained by the requirements of a traditional major here. You’ll explore what inspires you and create a path of study that fits your interests.

  

Ranked No. 1

  

Emergent fields of study

  

Innovative learning

Choose your classes

The course schedule lists classes offered by the Institute of the Liberal Arts. Take a look at what's available.

IDS Courses

AMST Courses

Majors

Try student-designed concentrations, intensive faculty advising

American Studies

American Studies

In the American studies major, students can discover the complexity and diversity of this nation's history, literature, and culture by focusing their interdisciplinary study and research on the US or the broader Americas.

Learn More   
Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

Our majors are not structured on a preconceived notion of a field. Structure and rigor grow from a student's intellectual passions and is ensured by close consultation with faculty advisers.

Learn More   
Honors, Internships, FAQS

Honors, Internships, FAQS

Take a look at special opportunities open to undergraduate interdisciplinary scholars through the ILA, and find answers to your questions.

Learn More   

News and Events

See what's going on

Featured Courses

Take a look at our innovative curriculum

The Black Middle Class & Visual Culture

American Studies

The Black Middle Class & Visual Culture

Study the profound impact of W. E. B. Du Bois's series of photographs for the "American Negro" exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition¿a first-year seminar.

  •  Fall 2017
Interdisciplinary Foundations

Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Foundations

In Sophocles's Antigone, a young woman defies the law for love of her brother. But could the young woman's love and motivations be due to genetic dispositions, neural mechanisms, religious extremism, or mental disease?

  •  Fall 2017
Visual Culture

Interdisciplinary Studies

Visual Culture

Using the still photograph as a launching point and prioritizing aspects of culture that are made to be seen, this course introduces students to forms of 'visual literacy.'

  •  Fall 2017
Great Books in Biology

Interdisciplinary Studies

Great Books in Biology

Critical examination of biological theory and practice through primary texts, from Aristotle, to Darwin, and the present day.

  •  Fall 2017
Memory and Memoir

American Studies

Memory and Memoir

How do memoirs, acts of narrative- and self-construction, use memory in the creation and revision of lived meaning? How do writers navigate the lines between truth and fact? Cross-listed with IDS.

  •  Fall 2017
When medicine and the state collide: bioethics and the due process of cruelty

Interdisciplinary Studies

When medicine and the state collide: bioethics and the due process of cruelty

The intersection of science, medicine, and the state.

  •  Fall 2017

Featured Students and Faculty

Kim Loudermilk

Kim Loudermilk

Senior Lecturer

Mark Risjord

Mark Risjord

Professor, ILA Director

Nathaniel Sawyer

Nathaniel Sawyer

Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Hear It from Our Students

What they like best about the ILA

Campbell Lunsford 

"My American studies major has provided me with skills that will benefit me in any future career: critical thinking, the ability to understand the relationship between various important disciplines, and the ability to work in a classroom with students of various backgrounds and interdisciplinary academic interests."

Campbell Lunsford  | American Studies | Class of 2016

Matthew DesLauriers 

"You get a very strong academic foundation through IDS, and it's really strengthened my desire to keep learning. I know that the skills I've developed through the major will set me up for whatever the next step may look like."

Matthew DesLauriers  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2015

Leena Malik 

"The ability to design my own program around the topic of mental health and work with amazing, involved professors on a thesis is a unique undergraduate experience. Next year, I am working in an autism research lab at Washington University and plan to attend medical school."

Leena Malik  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2015

  

Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Member

The Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (formerly Association for Integrative Studies) is an interdisciplinary professional organization founded in 1979 to promote the interchange of ideas among scholars and administrators in all of the arts and sciences on intellectual and organizational issues related to furthering integrative studies. Incorporated as a nonprofit educational association in the State of Ohio, it has an international membership.

AIS Logo