Curriculum

The Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum and its Self-Designed Major address the increasing demand for college graduates with interdisciplinary backgrounds who are prepared to work in diverse settings and have the knowledge needed for creative and innovative approaches to situations.  The content of the program is designed to achieve both excellence and flexibility. The basic formula for a degree begins with discerning a student’s eventual career goals and working backwards from these to craft a degree program that will achieve them.

The typical degree program is built around the combination of two minors in different disciplines drawn from those offered by the university. For example, students are able to combine the study of business with a design field, art history with interior architecture, psychology and politics, or any of the other majors or minors at Woodbury. and This foundation provides 30 credits towards the degree. Overall, students must complete 120 units, with 45 units in the major for a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or 60 units in the major for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

In addition to the two combined disciplines, student must also complete at least 15 credits in Interdisciplinary Studies itself:

  • INDS 200, Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, an intensive course where the student develops her or his degree program,
  • INDS 350, Interdisciplinary Research, a methodology course where the student begins to explore how his or her disciplines combine in unique ways
  • INDS 490, Internship, a practical application of the student’s interdisciplinary field
  • INDS 491, Senior Thesis: Preparation, a one-on-one seminar where the student develops her or his thesis project
  • INDS 492, Senior Thesis: Execution, the final part of the year-long capstone project, synthesizing and integrating the student’s interdisciplinary learning.

These 400-level courses in the final year of study provide opportunities for working inside and outside classroom environments by designing an interdisciplinary project that takes them beyond disciplinary-specific approaches to problems and solutions. The major invites students to move beyond traditional boundaries of a university education, preparing themselves for local and global environments by working to identify new problems and design innovative, complex solutions.

Students are also highly recommended to take at least one of our lower-division interdisciplinary seminars arranged around enduring themes. Journeys examines the various ways individuals and peoples have travelled, both physically and spiritually, across time and landscapes. Conflicts analyzes the sources and resolution of struggle among various peoples. Natures dissects the different ways people have understood human nature, the nature of society, and of course the idea of nature itself. Knowledges critiques the ways people have understood how and what they know, and how they have put that knowledge to creative and destructive uses. We also offer on-going special topics seminars for students in a variety of areas, including the literature and spaces of the American West, transcultural competence, the history of sexuality or studies of history and culture in conjunction with our study abroad offerings across the campus.

For more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum, contact Dr. Will McConnell, Assistant Dean, at will.mcconnell@woodbury.edu