Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies

Director: M. Mullenbach (PhD), Interim 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 UCA Core: complete 38 hours to meet lower-division UCA Core requirements and complete upper-division UCA Core requirements using major, minor, or elective courses (see the UCA Core requirements); Students will need to work closely with their advisor to ensure that they satisfy the upper-division Core requirements. (2) degree requirements; (3) major requirements; All students in the ILS program complete ILS 3380, History and Principles of the Liberal Arts, a course designed specifically for the program, and they all complete ILS 4380, senior capstone interdisciplinary project. ILS 3380 will address Core goals of Critical Inquiry and Responsible Living, while the Capstone course ILS 4380 will address Critical Inquiry and Communication; and (4) a minor.

Abbreviation Key – UCA Core Program

[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 Liberal Studies (48-51 hours)

[4.1] Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Foundation (21 hours)

Choose three hours from:

GEOG 3380 Geography of Arkansas
GEOG 4390 Historical Geography of the U.S.
GEOG 3315 Geography of Latin America
GEOG 3345 Geography of China and East Asia


HIST 2320 Introduction to Historical Research
ILS 3380 History and Principles of the Liberal Arts [ UD UCA Core: I, R ]
PHIL 2310 Introduction to Logic
PSCI 2300 Introduction to International Relations or PSCI 2320 Introduction to Comparative Politics

Choose 3 hours from the following:

(Note: If a WLAN course is taken as a UCA Core course, then ENGL should be taken in this category.)

ENGL 2312 American Literature I
ENGL 2313 American Literature II
ENGL 2316 English Literature I
ENGL 2317 English Literature II
ENGL 2318 English Literature III
WLAN 2315 Cultural Studies
WLAN 2325 Issues of Cultural Identity
WLAN 2350 World Languages or a 2320 or higher foreign language course

Choose 3 hours from the following:

SOC 2325 Social Problems
SOC 2360 Self and Society
ANTH 2300 Peoples and Cultures
RELG 2300 Religion in the United States

[4.2] 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, Chinese, Gender Studies, German, Latin American and Latino 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 the capstone course ILS 4380 [ UD UCA Core: Z ] with their faculty advisor in which they produce a final paper or project that synthesizes their course of study. This course will serve as the required UCA Core Capstone course.

Students are reminded that graduation requirements include a minimum of forty hours of upper-division courses.