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.

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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.

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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.

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News and Events

See what's going on

Emory's Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Majors Best in Nation

Emory's Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Majors Best in Nation

The ILA's undergraduate majors are recognized for their innovation and have been selected as the best in the country by BestColleges.com.

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Dr. Aubrey Graham's Photographic Exhibition "High Ground: Disaster, Risk, and Resilience" opens at the Harvard University Asia Center

Dr. Aubrey Graham's Photographic Exhibition "High Ground: Disaster, Risk, and Resilience" opens at the Harvard University Asia Center

From Nov.2 - Nov 30, 2017, Dr. Graham's photographic exhibition "High Ground: Disaster, Risk, and Resilience" will be featured at the Harvard Asia Center in the Center for Government and International Studies South Concourse. The exhibition was produced for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and in coordination with Ateneo de Manila University and DisasterNet.

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Poet Richard Blanco visits Emory and the ILA

Poet Richard Blanco visits Emory and the ILA

Lydia Abedeen 20C reflects on U.S. Inaugural Poet (2012) Richard Blanco's visit in October 2018.

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New "Ideas" - The 2018 Fellowship Retreat

New "Ideas" - The 2018 Fellowship Retreat

Elizabeth Crusey 20C reflects on the 2018 IDEAS Fellowship retreat.

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Celebrating 2018 Graduates

Celebrating 2018 Graduates

On Sunday, May 13, 2018, the Institute of Liberal Arts celebrated the graduating class of 2018! Twenty-four seniors graduated with either an AMST (American Studies) or IDS (Interdisciplinary Studies) Major, of whom seven have achieved Honors for their required ILA senior research project. Nine seniors from the ILA's IDEAS Fellowship will also be represented, and five of them have completed Honors projects as well.

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ILA alumna named in 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty

ILA alumna named in 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty

Laura Asherman 10OX, 12C is named among the 2018 Class of Emory's Office of Alumni Engagement awards program which annually spotlights selected alumni for having made a significant impact in business, research, leadership, public service and/or philanthropic endeavors.

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IDEAS fellows among finalists from Emory for prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

IDEAS fellows among finalists from Emory for prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

IDEAS fellows Leigh Schlecht and Namrata Verghese join two other Emory students as finalists for the 2019 Rhodes Scholarship, the largest cohort of Rhodes finalists for the university in at least 30 years.

Emory Report - 2019 Rhodes  
Apply to be an IDEAS Fellow

Apply to be an IDEAS Fellow

The IDEAS Fellowship is seeking rising sophomores and rising juniors to join our cohort. To be considered for membership, this application must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 19th.

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IDEAS Fellowship Info Session

IDEAS Fellowship Info Session

March 6, 2019 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Callaway S420

Join us for an info session to learn more about the IDEAS Fellowship and how to apply.

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IDEAS Fellowship Meet-and-Greet Luncheon

IDEAS Fellowship Meet-and-Greet Luncheon

March 1, 2019 11:59 PM - 1:30 PM

Callaway S420

Join us for a luncheon and learn more about the IDEAS Fellowship and how to apply.

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Two ILA students chosen as Bobby Jones Scholars for year of study in Scotland

Two ILA students chosen as Bobby Jones Scholars for year of study in Scotland

ILA students Farah Al Chammas and Claire Barnes are among four outstanding graduating seniors chosen to study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland through the prestigious Robert T. Jones Jr. Scholarship program next year.

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Exhibit by ILA alum Dr. Fahamu Pecou featured at Michael C. Carlos Museum

Exhibit by ILA alum Dr. Fahamu Pecou featured at Michael C. Carlos Museum

January 19 - April 28, 2019

Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University

DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance by Dr. Fahamu Pecou explores the intersections between African-based spiritual traditions and the political and societal violence against black male bodies in the US. The exhibit is on display from January 10 - April 28, 2019.

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Congratulations to ILA students named 100 Senior Honorary Class of 2019

Congratulations to ILA students named 100 Senior Honorary Class of 2019

Congratulations to the ILA students named 100 Senior Honorary Class of 2019: Claire Barnes, Matthew Heldman, Julianna Nikodym, Zachary Raetzman, Leigh Schlecht, Namrata Verghese, and Madelyn Zapata.

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Claiming Our Unladylike Story

Claiming Our Unladylike Story

February 28, 2019 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Anthro 105

Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, founders and hosts of the podcast Unladylike, investigate how sisters are doin' it for themselves in spite of all those unwritten but all-too-real expectations of how we should live our lives.

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Empowering Interdisciplinary Teaching and Scholarship

Empowering Interdisciplinary Teaching and Scholarship

May 9 - May 10, 2019

Institute for the Liberal Arts

As opportunities continue to diversify for those with graduate degrees, working across and at the intersections of traditional disciplinary borders will require the tools and skills for creating common ground and shared understanding. This workshop will empower graduate students with a theoretical understanding of interdisciplinarity, coupled with concrete pedagogical and communication strategies for introducing interdisciplinary perspectives into multiple contexts.

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Tibetan Buddhism in Modern China

Tibetan Buddhism in Modern China

March 6, 2019 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Callaway, S420

Join us for a Crossroads Discussion with Wei Wu, PhD, Department of Religion

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Featured Courses

Take a look at our innovative curriculum

What Does It Mean to Be Human?

Interdisciplinary Studies

What Does It Mean to Be Human?

By taking an interdisciplinary approach and combining concepts from psychology, religion, and genetics, students will grapple with the question, what does it mean to be human?

  •  Spring 2019
Visual Culture

Interdisciplinary Studies

Visual Culture

Addressing theory, method, and concrete examples, students will analyze visuals in relation to the social politics (e.g. knowledge, power, and expectation) they both express and shape.

  •  Spring 2019
Sound and Vision: Art and Music as Environmental Activism

Interdisciplinary Studies

Sound and Vision: Art and Music as Environmental Activism

Students will explore the efforts of artists, architects, musicians, and thinkers to create work in the service of the natural world.

  •  Spring 2019
Medicine, the Law and the Ethics of Punishment and Killing

Interdisciplinary Studies

Medicine, the Law and the Ethics of Punishment and Killing

Students will discuss the scientific method of inquiry and explore how medical knowledge is utilized for punishment and killing.

  •  Spring 2019
Reclaiming the South: African American Southern Literature

American Studies

Reclaiming the South: African American Southern Literature

What is Southern literature, and who counts as a Southern author? Students will reconsider dominant assumptions about region and race by focusing on African American literature.

  •  Spring 2019
Introduction to American Studies

American Studies

Introduction to American Studies

This course provides students with a foundation in American Studies by drawing on interdisciplinary scholarship and methods. Focusing on National Geographic Magazine, students will explore what America means.

  •  Spring 2019

Featured Students and Faculty

Kim Loudermilk

Kim Loudermilk

Senior Lecturer

Mark Risjord

Mark Risjord

Professor, ILA Director

Matthew Heldman

Matthew Heldman

Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Hear It from Our Students

What they like best about the ILA

Leigh Schlecht 

"Every IDS class I've taken caused me to challenge the assumptions and background knowledge I bring to the course material and to the space; now, for my thesis, I am thinking critically about the classroom itself as a safe space--but for which voices and in what contexts?"

Leigh Schlecht  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2019

Isaac Goldman 

"What I like most about the ILA, and the IDS major in particular, is the opportunity to create a major out of the subjects I am most passionate about. For me, this is food sustainability and social entrepreneurship. "

Isaac Goldman  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2019

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.

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