Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies

Director: Peter J. Mehl, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts

[1] Purpose

The College of Liberal Arts offers a degree program in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies. This program requires a foundation of core liberal studies courses and provides an opportunity for students to focus on a specific area of interdisciplinary studies or to design an individualized focus for interdisciplinary study consistent with the principles of liberal education. The program emphasizes the liberal arts as a broad area of human inquiry and the mastery of a specific area of interdisciplinary inquiry. Students who major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies will synthesize the insights and methods of several different disciplines, focus on the cultivation of the arts of inquiry, and expand their power to communicate and reason.

[2] Bachelor of Arts

The degree of Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies, requires successful completion of at least 120 hours, including (1) the general education component, (2) degree requirements, (3) major requirements, and (4) a minor.

[3] Admission Requirements

Students can apply to pursue a BA in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies when they have met the requirements for admission, usually in their sophomore year. If students are interested in the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies upon admission to the university, they should meet with the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies degree advisor, the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Students seeking to be admitted to the degree program must have completed 30 hours with a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average, meet with the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies degree advisor, the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and prepare an official application for admission to the program. This application outlines the student's proposed course of study and indicates a faculty advisor who agrees to work with the student. The Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies committee must approve the proposal. If the student designs a course of study with a faculty advisor it must include at least three disciplines and at least two must be in the College of Liberal Arts. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 in their course work toward the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies degree.

[4] Major in Interdisciplinary Studies (48-51 hours)

        [4.1.1] Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Foundation (21 hours)

GEOG 3300, HIST 2320, INDS 3380 (History and Principles of Liberal Arts), PHIL 2310, PSCI 2300 or PSCI 2320. Choose 3 hours from: ENGL 2312, 2313, 2316, 2317, 2318, WLAN 2315, 2325, 2350 (if WLAN course taken as general education then ENGL should be taken); or a 2320 or higher foreign language course. Choose 3 hours from: SOC 2325, 2326, ANTH 2300 or RELG 2300.

        [4.1.2] Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Concentrations (27-30 hours)

Students will work with their faculty advisor to fulfill one of two focuses or concentrations. In the first option a student pursues one of the college's interdisciplinary minors with additional courses as determined by a faculty advisor; these areas currently include Anthropology, Asian Studies, Gender Studies, Latin American Studies or Southern & Arkansas Studies. In the second option a student pursues an interdisciplinary course of study designed in consultation with a faculty advisor. In this case, the course of study must involve at least three disciplines of study and at least two must be in the College of Liberal Arts. All students must complete a capstone course with their faculty advisor in which they produce a final paper or project that synthesizes their course of study. Students are reminded that graduation requirements include a minimum of forty hours of upper-division courses.