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IDS major Matthew Heldman in front of IDS poster

Interdisciplinary Studies

The Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) major is based on the hypothesis that to deeply understand some, if not all, subjects then study must be drawn from more than one discipline

The IDS major is for students who:

  • Are independently minded with interests broader than a single discipline
  • Are looking for a way to combine two or three particular disciplinary interests
  • Are motivated shape their own educational experience
  • Want to pursue significant, scholarly research that is unique and distinctive
  • Seek intensive faculty advising

Major Requirements

The IDS major requires 44 credits (at least 12 courses of 3 or more credits each).

These credits are divided into two categories:

  1. Frame Courses and
  2. Concentration Courses.

The requirements of the AMST major are outlined in further detail in our handbook for majors.

Handbook for American Studies & Interdisciplinary Studies Majors

The requirements of the IDS major are outlined in further detail in the ILA Handbook.

Writing Intensive Examples of Interdisciplinary Study

  • Two 200-level continued writing courses
    • IDS 200W
    • IDS 201-OX
    • IDS 205W
    • IDS 216W or IDS 216 or IDS 216-OX
    • IDS 220W
    • or an equivalent course upon consultation with and approval by the ILA undergraduate committee

Writing Intensive Intermediate Interdisciplinary Study

  • One 300-level course on cultural theory

Capstone Experience

  • Junior Year - IDS 390 Interdisciplinary Research Design
  • Senior Year - IDS 491 Senior Seminar
  • Senior Year - IDS 499R Senior Research or IDS 495R Honors Research

  • List designed in consultation with faculty advisors
  • Must be cohesive, rigorous and provide adequate grounding in 2 or 3 relevant disciplines
  • Must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)
  • Prepare a student to carry out research into an interdisciplinary question
  • Provide skills that enable a student to write a senior thesis that demonstrates interdisciplinary research
  • Can be revised as necessary with a written request to the DUS
  • Skills and research culminate in the required IDS senior thesis
  • Up to one course that fulfills a Concentration COurse requirment can be taken S/U

Competency and cultural awareness gained through the study of a non-native language other than English at the level of 201 or above.

Senior Thesis

All IDS majors are required to complete a senior project in the form of a capstone or honors thesis. The project synthesizes a student's course of study. It demonstrates a student's ability to organize complex ideas, using the skills and research launched in their course of study. Senior theses frequently involve scholarly research, but can be composed of other forms of scholarship, such as artistic expression or broader public engagement.

More details can be found on page 8 of the ILA Handbook.

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Faculty Advising
All majors in the ILA work closely with the DUS and faculty advisors over the course of their academic career. Since the ILA is interdisciplinary in principle, our majors are advised by faculty both in and outside the ILA.
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Research Credit
Capstone majors must take IDS 499R Senior Research (1-3 credits) in the spring of their senior year, earning credit for work on the capstone thesis. Honors candidates must take IDS 495RW Honors Research.
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