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

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

Nathaniel Sawyer

Nathaniel Sawyer

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

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.

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