Interdisciplinary Studies

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
2002 Lincoln Hall, 702 South Wright Street, Urbana

Interdisciplinary Studies Majors

Departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in addition to their own disciplinary majors, have developed and sponsor an interdisciplinary program of study, which encompasses several distinct programs designed to acquaint students in a coherent manner with topics that cross disciplinary boundaries. Administered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the interdisciplinary studies major includes program concentrations in Jewish Studies and Medieval Studies. 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. Enrollment in the major in interdisciplinary studies requires election of one of the concentrations. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences also sponsors an Interdisciplinary Minor in Science and Technology in Society.

Each concentration of the major in interdisciplinary studies is supervised by faculty members whose own scholarship and educational interests have involved them in interdisciplinary teaching and research. An advisor for students is available in each concentration and is responsible for approving students' plans of study.

For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Major in Sciences and Letters Curriculum

Minimum required major and supporting course work equates to 45-51 hours.

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Departmental distinction. To be eligible for graduation with distinction, a student must have a college grade point average of 3.5, a major concentration grade point average of 3.5, completion of HUM 498 with a grade of A, and completion of a semester paper in HUM 498 that is judged to be deserving of "distinction" by a committee of at least two faculty members.

High distinction. To be eligible for graduation with high distinction, a student must have a college grade point average of 3.5, a major concentration grade point average of 3.7, and must have completed HUM 492 (instead of HUM 498) with a grade of A and a thesis in HUM 492 that is judged to be deserving of "high distinction" by a committee of at least two faculty members.

Requirements for the Major

Elect one of the concentrations offered within the major and file a concentration declaration with the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office no later than the end of the first semester of the junior year. Students who do not begin work on concentration requirements by the junior year will be at a disadvantage.

Select specific courses counted toward completion of a concentration with the advice and approval of the concentration advisor, subject to specific concentration requirements. Students are strongly encouraged also to enroll in 6-7 hours of Western civilization (HIST 140 or HIST 141 and HIST 142 or HIST 143, or CWL 241 and CWL 242).

For the elected concentration, complete the stated minimum number of hours in courses applicable toward the major and in accord with the distribution requirements listed below; at least 25 hours must be at the 200,300 or 400 level.

Minor in Science and Technology in Society

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Science and Technology in Society requires students to integrate and synthesize a wide variety of materials. Students will enrich their experiences in diverse disciplines with a substantive engagement with science studies. Required courses in the minor emphasize critical and creative thinking and many courses require substantial writing and research. This minor is administered by the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office.

All courses must be selected in consultation with the adviser from the list of courses approved for the minor. No more than 3 hours of course work may be 100-level. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in course work in the minor.

Select one of the following:3
Honors Independent Study
Individual Study
Individual Study
300- and 400-level courses6
History course selected in consultation with adviser3
Philosophy course selected in consultation with adviser3
Sociology course selected in consultation with adviser3
Select a course from the approved list in consultation with adviser3
Total Hours21

Recommended courses to fulfill the requirements of the minor

HIST 265Science in Western Civ3
HIST 367History of Western Medicine3
HIST 498Research and Writing Seminar (when appropriate)3
HIST 475Formation of US Public Health3
PHIL 214Biomedical Ethics3
PHIL 270Philosophy of Science3
PHYS/PHIL 419Space, Time, and Matter-ACP3
PHIL 439Philosophy of Mathematics3
PHIL 471Contemporary Phil of Science3
PHIL 477Philosophy of Psychology3
SOC 350Technology and Society3
SOC 476Organization of Health Care2-4
SOC 496Advanced Topics in Sociology (when appropriate)3
GWS 490Individual Study (when appropriate)2-4

LAS Class Schedule


LAS 100   Success in LAS for International Students   credit: 2 Hours.

Prepares international students for their transition to campus by examining expectations and focusing on the purpose and value of the higher education experience from a US perspective. Introduces critical concepts to know about academic programs, and engages students in planning their program of study as well as their personal and professional development. Serves as a complement to LAS 101/LAS 102/LAS 122 for students new to the US education system.

LAS 101   Freshman Seminar   credit: 1 Hour.

Orientation seminar for first-year students enrolled in LAS curricula. Prepares students for collaborative learning environments through campus orientation, study skills, and project-based assignments. Introduces students to the multiple perspectives represented by the Humanities, the Social Sciences, and the Physical and Life Sciences, and helps them appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of both qualitative and quantitative data in addressing real world problems. Prerequisite: Restricted to first-year students in LAS.

LAS 102   Transfer Advantage   credit: 1 Hour.

Introduction for first-term transfer students to the college and campus. Familiarizes transfer student with the resources available to them and helps them connect with other students and form a bond with the college. Prerequisite: For first-term LAS transfer students only.

LAS 110   Workshop-Tutorial   credit: 0 to 4 Hours.

Independent study and experimental seminars open to Unit One students and to others; specific offerings vary each term. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated if topics vary. Credit toward college or departmental requirements is contingent upon approval by the appropriate unit. A total of 12 hours of LAS 110 credit may be applied toward graduation in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Prerequisite: Unit One students or consent of Unit One Director.

LAS 122   Leadership and Society   credit: 1 Hour.

Engages first-year LAS honors students in the realms of citizenship, stewardship and leadership for the 21st century. En route to becoming competent and agile learners, first-year honors students experience an orientation to Illinois that fosters greater awareness and knowledge of campus resources and an examination of scholarly and personal leadership, global issues, and civic engagement. The course serves as a means for students to enhance their independence, cultural awareness and connection to community. Students work with a small cohort of peer scholars in a one-hour weekly graded session led by an upper-level LAS James Scholar peer mentor. Students are expected to work together and individually on projects involving community partners and campus groups. Assignments will incorporate the concept of service in connection with civic engagement.

LAS 199   Undergraduate Open Seminar   credit: 0 to 5 Hours.

Topics will vary. See class schedule. Additional fees may apply. See Class Schedule. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated.

LAS 290   FLAS Seminar   credit: 0 to 12 Hours.

Foreign Language and Area Studies Off-Campus Studies provides campus credit for off-campus study by undergraduate Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellows. Final determination of appropriate credit is made by a faculty review committee upon completion of the student's approved foreign language program. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing; intermediate or advanced study of a less-commonly taught language; awarding of FLAS fellowship by campus Title VI National Resource Center; prior review and approval of the student's program by Center's FLAS Fellowship Coordinator.

LAS 291   Global Perspectives for Intercultural Learning   credit: 0 Hours.

Prepares students who are going abroad for a semester or academic year for their transition through a) examining expectations, b) focusing on the purpose and value of the abroad experience, c) preparing students culturally and logistically, d) addressing issues of culture shock, e) helping students with articulating their experience for future personal and professional goals, f) enhancing intercultural communication and global understanding, and g) assisting with re-entry planning. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated in separate terms.

LAS 292   Global Perspectives in Cross-Cultural Contexts   credit: 1 Hour.

Provides an opportunity for students studying abroad to consider how their journey might be articulated as a global learning experience. Requires students to discuss what they are learning, reflect upon it, and discern ways to apply the knowledge gained through their experiences. May be repeated in separate terms. Prerequisite: LAS 291.

LAS 299   LAS Study Abroad   credit: 0 to 18 Hours.

Provides credit toward the undergraduate degree for study at accredited foreign institutions or approved overseas programs. Final determination of credit is made upon the student's completion of the work. Approved for letter and S/U grading. (Summer session, 0 to 8 hours). May be repeated to a maximum of 36 term hours per academic year or to a total of 44 term hours, all of which must be earned within one calendar year. Prerequisite: One year of residence at UIUC, good academic standing, and prior approval of the major department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

LAS 399   Leadership & Professional Development   credit: 1 to 3 Hours.

Leadership and professional development seminar for student interns. Interns will learn teaching, mentoring, leadership and professional skills that will enable them to lead a section of an LAS transition course or experience and share their successful academic experiences with undergraduate students who are new to the University. Interns will help their students develop the skills necessary to succeed at the U of I. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: Instructor approval required.

LAS 490   LAS Advanced Seminar   credit: 1 to 6 Hours.

See Class Schedule for current topics. 1 to 6 undergraduate hours. 1 to 6 graduate hours. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in the same or separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours.

LAS 494   Senior Project   credit: 2 or 4 Hours.

For students seeking graduation with distinction in IPS. 2 or 4 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated to a maximum of 4 undergraduate hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and IPS Advisory Committee; open only to students whose major is IPS and who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25.