Interdisciplinary Studies

What Is It?:

Interdisciplinary studies is designed to acquaint students in a coherent manner with specific topics that cross disciplinary boundaries. Each concentration is supervised by faculty members whose own scholarship and educational interests have involved interdisciplinary teaching and research.  

Although it is not possible to offer concentrations in all specialties or topics of humanistic study, students whose interests do not coincide with one of the specific concentrations are encouraged to consider developing their own programs through the Individual Plans of Study (IPS) major.

For more information, please visit the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Concentrations:

  • American Civilization: offers a comprehensive introduction to the study of American civilization primarily through the study of art, history, literature, philosophy and the social sciences. (Note: this concentration is currently suspended and under revision.)
  • Jewish Studies: provides the student with knowledge of the Hebrew language, the opportunity to begin study of Yiddish, and a broad appreciation of Jewish religion, culture, and history.
  • Medieval Civilization: introduces students to medieval culture, provides them with a sense of periods and movements, names, ideas, and values, and consequently provides a synoptic view of the field. The required courses encourage the reading of medieval documents, the interpretation of art, and the study of Latin and the medieval vernacular languages of the period.
  • Renaissance Studies: incorporates course work in the Renaissance and related periods, placing emphasis on independent study and the completin of research papers in the junior and senior years.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

American Civilization

  • ENGL 250 - The American Novel to 1914
  • ENGL 251 - The American Novel Since 1914

Jewish Studies

  • HEBR 201 - Elementary Modern Hebrew I
  • HEBR 202 - Elementary Modern Hebrew II 
  • YDSH 101- Beginning Yiddish I

Medieval Civilization

  • MDVL 201 - Medieval Literature and Culture

Renaissance Studies

  • History, language or literature courses related to the desired interest within Renaissance

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist
  • Area Expert
  • Author
  • Biographer
  • Community Affairs Specialist
  • Cultural Affairs Specialist
  • Cultural Resources Management
  • Curator
  • Documentary Editors
  • Editor
  • Elementary Schools
  • Historian
  • Historic Preservation Think Tanks
  • Historic Sites and Museums
  • Information Managers
  • Intelligence Specialist
  • International Relations
  • Journalist
  • Lawyers and Paralegals
  • Lecturer
  • Legislative Staff Work
  • Librarian
  • Litigation Support
  • Museums and Historical Organizations
  • Non-Profit Administrator
  • Postsecondary Education
  • Preservationist
  • Professor
  • Publisher
  • Records Managers
  • Research Specialist
  • Secondary Schools
  • Specialist
  • Teacher
  • Tour Organizer/ Guide
  • Writers and Editors

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:
(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Anthropologist
  • Archeologist
  • Archivist
  • Attorney
  • Business Manager
  • Columnist/Reporter
  • Community Relations Director
  • Congressional Aide
  • Consultant
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Copy Writer
  • Counselor
  • Criminologist
  • Cultural Affairs Officer
  • Customer Relations Rep
  • Customs/Immigration Officer
  • Demographer
  • Economist
  • Editor
  • Editor/Writer
  • FBI/CIA Agent
  • Foreign News Correspondent
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Genealogist
  • Government Agency Administrator
  • Government Official
  • Historian
  • Historic Preservation Spec
  • Historic Site Administrator
  • Historical Society Staff
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Insurance Agent / Broker
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • International Consultant
  • International Relations Specialist
  • International Trade Specialist
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Lecturer
  • Legal Assistant / Paralegal
  • Librarian
  • Lobbyist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Media Consultant
  • Museum Curator
  • Non-profit Administrator
  • Peace Corps/VISTA Worker
  • Political Scientist
  • Politician
  • Public Administrator
  • Public Information Officer
  • Public Policy Specialist
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Public Service Official
  • Research Assistant
  • Sociologist
  • Technical Writer
  • Tour Organizer/Guide
  • Travel Agent
  • Urban Administrator
  • Writer / Author

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Chabad Jewish Student Association: provides the university community with an opportunity to foster awareness of Jewish cultural and spiritual heritage, values and traditions; to educate students in Jewish teachings and thoughts; to facilitate observance of rituals and customs.
    • Hellenic American Student Organization: targets students with Hellenic descent, as well as those simply interested in learning and participating in Greek culture. 
    • Native American and Indigenous Student Organization (NAISO): dedicated to celebrating and educating about the diversity of North American and global indigenous cultures through guest speaker seminars and workshops, field trips, and other social events. NASO also aims to provide a social network, in conjuction with the Native American House, for students that identify (in full or in part) as American Indian, and for students with interests in indigenous cultures. 
    • Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA): dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century cultures interacting with Europe, including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and 16th Century Americas.

Related Skills:

  • Critical analysis skills: the ability to analyze a situation and come up with creative and practical solutions.
  • Curiosity and inquisitiveness: the desire to learn more and to continue learning, to examine reasons beneath issues, and to come to understand them as part of a continual, life-long, education process.
  • Effective writing skills: the ability to successfully and precisely communicate one's ideas in text.
  • Interdisciplinary thinking and training: the ability to think about a problem in a multitude of ways, to analyze it using multiple tools, and to provide solutions which draw from different traditions of thought.
  • Research skills: the ability to understand past practices and policies and to trace the roots of any issue, to find new information which bears on that issue, and to incorporate that information into one's analysis of an issue.

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Interdisciplinary Studies.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Interdisciplinary Studies.  These organizations include American Historical Association, Jewish Communal Service Association, Medieval Academy of America, and Renaissance Society of America.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, visit Undergraduate Programs.