College of Liberal Arts

Interdisciplinary Studies

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science

Graduates of the Interdisciplinary Studies program find careers that align closely with their intrinsic motivations because they are able to create their own degree.

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Create Your Future

Interdisciplinary Studies allows you to build your own major. You collaborate in the design of your own learning—an exclusive academic experience. All our students view the university as an open-source platform for designing who they want to be as professionals. You become part of a community of self-directed thinkers, working one-on-one with relevant faculty from across campus. This committee then helps you network in your chosen professional fields.

Top reasons to come to Woodbury

  • Our Los Angeles location offers numerous internship and networking opportunities.
  • Individualized majors allow for rich interaction with our skilled faculty.
  • Experience-based instruction and learning through research studio-based instruction is the core of our program.
  • Our program is one of a handful in the nation designed for undergraduates.

Interdisciplinary Learning

We believe learning is a flow. Our goal is to encourage all of our students to view the university as an open-source platform for designing who they want to be as professionals—and people.

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Internships & Careers

Internship opportunities:

  • Universal Studios
  • Maverick Records
  • Warner Bros.
  • Keller Williams Realty
  • Imagination Foundation
  • Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
  • RIOT Media Group
  • Varola Gallery and Design LAb (Pacific Design Center)
  • RAM Investments
  • Menemsha Solutions (architecture)

Internships are a required component of the BA or BS degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Career opportunities:

  • Advertising
  • App design
  • Art direction
  • Business design/entrepreneurship
  • Branding/marketing/social marketing/social media campaign design
  • Graduate school
  • Research/information design

The Junior Fellows Program

The Junior Fellows Program in Woodbury University’s College of Liberal Arts brings together students and faculty, scholars and practitioners, and activists and artists from across the disciplines in order to enrich the intellectual development of the Institute as well as the university.

“The distinctive structure of the program really allowed me to explore my own horizon within disciplines.”


— Anahit Grigoryan, Alumna

“Interdisciplinary studies is the major of the future. The workforce wants graduates with more than one skill. ”


— Amanda Schartoff, Student

Facilities

Intimate classrooms, state-of-the-art auditorium, MAC and PC computer labs, on-campus library, and art galleries.

Courses

Interdisciplinary Studies is a B.A. or B.Sc.in which students co-create programs combining two or more disciplines, culminating in a senior thesis portfolio that demonstrates their learning and sets them on course for a unique career. The major suits students who have interests that lie between or outside the scope of conventional academic majors.

INDS 101: Journeys
This course examines the causes and effects of human migrations, physical and spiritual journeys, as well as how the movements of individuals and populations have been understood in differing cultures and eras. Lecture. Prerequisite: none.

INDS 102: Natures
This course explores the various ways the natural world and human relations to or within that world have been characterized and constructed in different contexts and communities. Lecture. Prerequisite: none.

INDS 103: Conflicts
This course focuses on the sources and consequences of war, conquests and clashes in the political, social and cultural spheres as expressed in historical, analytical and literary sources. Lecture. Prerequisite: no

INDS 104: Knowledges
This course examines the ways in which opinions and beliefs, knowledge and certainties have been constructed and communicated over time, including experiential, narrative and analytical sources. Lecture. Prerequisite: none.

INDS 200: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
This course introduces students to the concepts and methods of interdisciplinary studies, including approaches to integrating two distinct disciplines and applying insights from one to the other and vice versa. Serves as first course in the Interdisciplinary Studies major as well as an introduction for those generally interested in integrative, interdisciplinary learning. Seminar. Prerequisite: WRIT 111, Academic Writing I.

INDS 299, 399, 499: Independent Study
This course is an individual investigation into a field of special interest chosen by the student with the approval of the dean. Regular, periodic meetings with the department chair or an assigned faculty member are required. Thirty hours required for each unit of credit. Prerequisite: Consent of the dean.

INDS 322: Music and Literature
This course examines the relationship between the music and the literary texts that have inspired songs, operas, ballets, symphonies, and suites. Writings of and about music and musicians and writings using musical structure are also treated. Seminar. Prerequisites: LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture, or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines; WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one of either INDS 101, Journeys, INDS 102, Natures, INDS 103, Conflicts, INDS 104, Knowledge, or LITR 206, The Short Story.

INDS 327: Film and Literature
This course provides an analysis of literature and films and possible relationships between these two art forms. Seminar. Prerequisites: LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines; WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one of either INDS 101, Journeys, INDS 102, Natures, INDS 103, Conflicts, INDS 104, Knowledge, LITR 206, The Short Story; and ARTH 204, History of Modern Art, ARTH 205, History of Contemporary Art or ARTH 211, History of Latin American Art.

INDS 328: Reading the West: Text, Landscapes and Constructions in the Arid West
This seminar is a transdisciplinary approach to the “meanings” of the “West” in the United States. Students will engage with a variety of texts and methods for reading them by surveying the diverse ways in which Americans have used the landscape to describe, critique, structure and maintain competing notions of civilization. In this course, “text” means any medium for creating a message: archaeological sites, painting, photography, land art, and film (as well as writing). Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines; and one of either INDS 101, Journeys, INDS 102, Natures, INDS 103, Conflicts, or INDS 104, Knowledge.

INDS 335: L.A. Stories
L.A. Stories is an upper-division seminar that explores Los Angeles through various media and methods to help students become more knowledgeable and analytical inhabitants and observers of their current urban environment and the stories of the people who create this city. The seminar builds on skills acquired in previous courses that have laid the foundation for the writing, research, and analysis expected of students at the university level. Students will submit both a draft and the final version of a formal paper (documenting sources according to the MLA), perform many informal assignments based on readings, screenings, and field experiences, plus do an oral and written presentation on site-specific research. Our overarching text this semester is Los Angeles, especially facets that interest students personally. L.A. Stories is an interdisciplinary course that is not limited to fiction and non-fiction but that embraces each student’s particular take on the city through personal observation, research, and presentation. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines.

INDS 340: Human Agency and Interior Spaces
Based on close readings of texts dealing with agency and space, as well as generative writings and interpretations of the two, this course melds on-site analysis of interior space with different theoretical frameworks in order to formulate an understanding of the relationship between interior environments, human behavior, and ideological understandings. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one lower-division humanities or social science course

INDS 350: Interdisciplinary Research
This course provides an introduction to the essentials of interdisciplinary research, including approaches to integrating two distinct disciplines and applying insights from one to the other and vice versa. The course serves as second course in the Interdisciplinary Studies major as well as an introduction for those generally interested in integrative, interdisciplinary research. Prerequisites: INDS 200, Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines; WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; COMM 120, Public Speaking.

INDS 370: Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies
This course focuses on various areas of interest that are best studied with an interdisciplinary approach. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and at least one other course specific to the topic of the course.

INDS 490: Internship
Students obtain practical, on-the-job training in a setting related to their career and educational goals. Work experience is complemented by an academic requirement and periodic meetings with student’s on-campus internship advisor. The course serves as the third course in the Interdisciplinary Studies major. Internship contract required by Registrar. Thirty hours per unit credit. Prerequisite: Senior standing, Interdisciplinary Studies majors only.

INDS 491: Senior Thesis: Preparation
This course is a student-designed interdisciplinary research seminar that integrates two distinct disciplines and applies the insights from one to the other and vice versa. The course serves as the fourth course in the Interdisciplinary Studies major. Seminar. Prerequisite: INDS 350, Interdisciplinary Research.

INDS 492: Senior Thesis: Execution
This course is the continuation of a student-designed interdisciplinary research seminar that integrates two distinct disciplines and applies the insights from one to the other and vice versa. The course serves as the final course in the Interdisciplinary Studies major. Seminar. Prerequisite: INDS 491, Senior Thesis: Preparation.

 

CHIN 101: Beginning Chinese I
This course introduces basic spoken Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua), including fundamental elements of vocabulary and grammar, giving special attention to clear pronunciation. It also introduces essentials of reading and writing, including basic calligraphy. Lecture. Prerequisite: None.

FREN 110: Beginning French I
This is a beginning course in French that emphasizes the use of the spoken language in addition to some basic elements of French culture. Present tense, negative and interrogative forms, dates, counting, time, and first group verbs will be covered. Lecture. Prerequisite: None.

FREN 113:Beginning French II
This course focuses on stressing basic conversation competence and exploring elements of French history. Future and past tenses will be covered. Lecture. Prerequisite: FREN 110, Beginning French I or permission of the instructor.

JAPN 110: Beginning Japanese I
This course introduces basic spoken Japanese, emphasizing fundamental elements of vocabulary and grammar, while giving special attention to clear pronunciation. The Hiragana and Katakana syllabaries are also introduced. Lecture. Prerequisite: none.

JAPN 113: Beginning Japanese II
This course focuses on more advanced grammar elements such as compound and complex sentences, idiomatic expressions, and levels of politeness. Students will also learn more Kanji characters and delve into aspects of Japanese culture. Lecture. Prerequisite: JAPN 110, Beginning Japanese I.

LITR 206: The Short Story
This course provides a study of the short story as a unique literary form. The course will explore the reading and analysis of representative stories and the historical development of the short story. Lecture. Prerequisites: LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines; and WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design.

LITR 330: Autobiography
Radically different styles in autobiographies are explored. The course looks at ethics and intentions in depicting one’s life. Students will gain an appreciation for the sometimes fuzzy distinctions between what is fiction and what is fact in character portrayals. Lecture. Prerequisites: LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines; WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and LITR 2XX, literature course.

LITR 299, 399: Independent Study
This is an individual investigation into a field of special interest chosen by the student with the approval of the dean. Regular, periodic meetings with the department chair or an assigned faculty member are required. Thirty hours required for each unit of credit. Prerequisite: Consent of the dean.

LITR 270, 370: Topics in Literature
Lecture. Prerequisite: for LITR 270: LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information Sources in the Disciplines; WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; for LITR 370: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II and LITR 2XX, literature co

URBS 100: Introduction to Urban Studies
This course is an introduction to the history of urban planning, emphasizing the ways in which urban thinkers and practitioners have tried to achieve their various objectives and analyzing the consequences of those actions for current and future dwellers. The course examines how people and organizations of both the past and present act to shape the built environment by crafting policies, drawing up plans, and implementing projects. Major themes include the political and economic circumstances shaping industrial expansion, public health, infrastructural developments, sustainability, and historic preservation. Lecture. Prerequisites: None.

URBS 301: Urban Theory
Seminal topics shaping the global field of urban theory over the last century are presented with a transdisciplinary focus. The struggle to conceptualize urbanization and socio-spatial development, both real and imagined, is considered through a close, critical and analytical reading of texts from the fields of urban planning, geography, sociology, political science, philosophy, and gender studies, among others. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; COMM 120, Public Speaking; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, Information in the Disciplines; and one social science course (ECON 2xx, POHI 2xx, INDS 1xx or 2xx, or PSYC 2xx).

URBS 302: Current Issues in Urban Study
The theories and debates that are currently at issue in the practice and discourse of urban studies are examined, including the impacts of history, geography, planning and context. Specific topics related to the built environment, political institutions, historical frameworks, and technological forces are examined. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II; COMM 120, Public Speaking; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, in the Disciplines; and one social science course (ECON 2xx, POHI 2xx, INDS 1xx or 2xx, or PSYC 2xx).

URBS 311: Urban Ecology and Los Angeles
This course immerses students in a study of the local urban environment through a combination of readings, discussion, creative projects, and on-site examination. Students integrate interdisciplinary ways of seeing and reading the city in projects that respond to the immediate urban environment. Course methodologies include fieldwork research, mapping projects, and visual and written modes of representation, such as digital photography, video, and website development. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, in the Disciplines; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one social science course (ECON 2xx, POHI 2xx, INDS1xx or 2xx, or PSYC 2xx).

URBS 312: The Infrastructural City
This course is an introduction to the ongoing role transportation and communication infrastructure plays in the facilitation of urban development. Students are familiarized with key infrastructural design proposals, both real and imagined, and the major ways infrastructure has shaped the organization of people and places at both a local and global level. Possible topics include alternatives to the car-sprawl example around the world and the internet’s impact on global capital, urban growth, and local perception of place. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II, or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture, or LSCI 205, Information in the Disciplines; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one 200-level social science course (ECON, INDS, POHI, PSYC).

URBS 321: Environmental Urbanism
This course explores major themes in environmental history, planning, and sustainability. Students engage questions about the definition of “natural” and “constructed” environments; the slipping boundaries between so-called “exurban” and open spaces; and political modes of retaining or defining natural space, as in the establishment of national parks. Other possible topics include how land-use practices can lead to air pollution, inefficient energy consumption, and inequitable resource distribution. The course also examines efforts by planning visionaries to address the environmental ills facing cities and their surroundings. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, in the Disciplines; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one social science course (ECON, INDS, POHI, PSYC).

URBS 322: The Global Metropolis
This course examines the major social, political, economic, and historical factors shaping global metropolitan environments. Themes and cities vary from year to year, and a variety of cultural areas are examined in each offering. Cities studied may include Beijing, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, and Mexico City, among others. Possible topics for comparison might include nature and the city, colonial and post-colonial cities, and race and immigration. Seminar. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, in the Disciplines; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one social science course (ECON, INDS, POHI, PSYC).

URBS 331: Food and the City
One of the most contentious issues shaping urban studies right now is the way food impacts environmental concerns, public health, and policy. Ever wonder why you eat what you do? Do you really know how your food is grown, harvested, packaged, shipped and sold so that it ends up on your plate? And how do these issues impact the way our cities function and how we function within them? In this course, we will explore the what, why, and how of FOOD in an urban environment. We look at current issues in food politics (labor, policy, immigration), food justice (underserved communities, food deserts), trends in food movements (locavore, slow food, farmers’ markets), environmental concerns, industrial agribusiness, and much more. This course will include two field trips and guest speakers to get to the heart of foodie-ness in Southern California. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, in the Disciplines; COMM 120, Public Speaking; and one social science course. (ECON, INDS, POHI, PSYC).

URBS 370: Topics in Urban Studies
This is a specialized course that focuses on various issues of interest in urban studies. Seminar. Prerequisites: LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture or LSCI 205, in the Disciplines; WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; COMM 120, Public Speaking; URBS 100, Introduction to Urban Studies; or INDS 1xx.

URBS 299, 399, 499: INDEPENDENT STUDY
This is an individual investigation into a field of special interest chosen by the student with the approval of the dean. Regular, periodic meetings with the department chair or an assigned faculty member are required. Thirty hours required for each unit of credit. Prerequisite: Consent of the dean.

 

 

University accredited by:

WSCUC: Senior College and University Commission (formerly WASC)