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University Catalog

Interdisciplinary Studies

College of Arts and Humanities

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Bachelor of Arts

American Studies Concentration

Comparative Cultures Concentration

Environmental Studies Concentration

Global Studies Concentration

Minors

Civilizations

Environmental Studies

Human Studies

Science, Technology and Society

Thematic Project

Faculty

Patricia Kalayjian, Department Chair

Anne Choi, Cathy Jacobs, Vivian Price

Marilyn Brady, PACE Coordinator

Program Office: SCC 130, (310) 243-3649, (310) 243-3640

Program Description

Interdisciplinary Studies requires the completion of an Area of Concentration that, unlike traditional majors, does not contain a list of required and elective courses other than the Introductory Course (IDS 300) and the Senior Seminar (IDS 490). Rather, students work with an Interdisciplinary Studies mentor to build their individual program of studies. Each of the Areas of Concentration provides a structural framework that defines the types and numbers of courses which may be chosen to develop the major. Appropriate courses may be chosen from departments throughout the university as well as from the Interdisciplinary Studies course offerings. Similarly, the minor is also designed for the individual student, using Interdisciplinary Studies and other appropriate courses.

Features

Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) offers students a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences education. Interdisciplinary Studies classes, both on campus and online, emphasize discussion, student participation, writing, and critical reasoning. Interdisciplinary Studies was established in 1972 to provide alternative programs and courses in undergraduate Liberal Arts and Sciences. Interdisciplinary Studies offers students alternative majors (called "Areas of Concentration") and alternative minors through course work or through the thematic project. All Interdisciplinary Studies programs are tailored to fit the individual needs of each student through the assistance of an Interdisciplinary Studies faculty mentor.

These programs allow students to pursue majors and/or minors that are individually designed within the liberal arts and sciences and allow students to choose courses from one of several departments throughout the campus. These combinations build an integrated major (and/or minor) that can provide special preparation for entrance into graduate or professional schools or can help prepare for a particular area in the world of work.

Another feature of Interdisciplinary Studies not found in traditional programs is the Thematic Project. It allows students to develop a creative or research project of significant scope that leads to a valuable product. Students have used this opportunity to carry out such diverse projects as writing a novel, apprenticing in England to study construction of early musical instruments, producing films and video productions, and reporting on the education of immigrant children in the Los Angeles area. A Thematic Project may be used to meet the requirement for a minor or a student may use elective units to develop an intensive study in an area of interest.

Program for Adult College Education (PACE)

PACE is designed to assist students who must work full time while trying to complete their college educations. The program, which exists in various forms at several colleges and universities throughout the country, recognizes that increasing numbers of adults are returning to school for intellectual growth, personal development and enhanced career opportunities. PACE students at California State University, Dominguez Hills usually have completed most of their lower division requirements when they enter the program. They are highly motivated people with limited amounts of time to allocate to their educations and thus want to make the best use of that time.

PACE provides an accessible and intellectually rigorous academic major in Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition, PACE students need to complete any other courses required by the university to complete the bachelor's degree. Another element of PACE is a strong support base of academic advisors, counselors and administrators who understand the needs and concerns of working adult students and help them to complete their studies in an efficient and educationally rich manner. Currently, classes are available online and on campus in the evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays. Students are advised to pursue either a part-time or full-time course of study, depending on their individual needs. Faculty members are chosen who appreciate the special challenges presented to these students as they pursue their educations. PACE students are given assistance in integrating their courses of study with their work, family and social obligations. The course scheduling and advising are designed to allow PACE students to finish the junior and senior year requirements for the degree in five to six semesters, when appropriate, rather than the four to five years that are typical for part-time students.

Academic Advising

Interdisciplinary Studies provides each student with an Interdisciplinary Studies mentor, a person who will assist the student in choosing classes, in defining a direction for the program of studies, and in coping with problems associated with both traditional and nontraditional areas of university life. An Interdisciplinary Studies mentor will expect to meet with each of his or her students at least once each semester to discuss progress-to-date and to plan the next semester's course of study. Students are encouraged to see their mentors more often during the school year as problems, concerns and new ideas arise.

Preparation

While it is not necessary to complete an associate of arts degree before entering IDS/PACE, we advise you to complete most of your lower division General Education requirements before transferring. Applicants will qualify for admission to CSU Dominguez Hills' PACE if they have completed 60 transferable semester units, have a grade point average of "C" (2.0) or better and have completed the General Education Basic Skills courses with grades of "C" or better. The maximum number of transferable units from a community college is 70 semester units. Always check the University Catalog for current transfer requirements.

Interdisciplinary Studies allows students to design their own majors and minors; it is open to all students who are admitted to the University. Students who find that the regular programs of the campus do not meet their specific needs should contact the Interdisciplinary Studies Office for an appointment with an Interdisciplinary Studies mentor.

Career Possibilities and Graduate School

Interdisciplinary Studies provides one of the best modes for students who are not in one of the "professional studies" areas to prepare for a career following graduation. Throughout the design of the individual program, the student and his/her mentor will discuss "after college" plans. If it is determined that it will be necessary for the student to pursue an advanced degree (master's degree, law degree, doctoral program), then the most appropriate undergraduate courses for entrance into and success in that graduate program will be built into the undergraduate major. In other cases, a student may wish to add one or more professional courses to his/her Interdisciplinary Studies program to prepare for a particular career field to be entered upon completion of the bachelor's degree. In all cases, the ultimate use of the undergraduate degree earned from CSU Dominguez Hills through Interdisciplinary Studies will be constantly assessed during the development of that degree so that the student is as fully prepared as possible to enter a career directly or to continue his/her education in graduate school. As future needs are discovered, the mentor will assist the student in choosing appropriate courses, internships or other undergraduate preparations to meet those needs.

Graduates from the Interdisciplinary Studies Program have successfully completed law school and pursued careers in teaching, counseling, personnel management and computer engineering. While the majority of graduates continue their educations in graduate or professional schools, many have opened their own successful businesses or have taken positions of their choice in all areas of public service, commerce, industry, and the arts.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Interdisciplinary Studies provided he or she meets the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;
  2. A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;
  3. Recommendation by the faculty in the department or program in which the honors are to be awarded.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree

See the "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 units.

General Education Requirements (55-62 units)

See the "General Education" requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" in the University Catalog.

Minor Requirements

Single field major, no minor required.

Major Requirements (45 units)

Each Area of Concentration consists of a minimum of 45 semester units that are grouped in a unique structure.

Common to each of the Areas of Concentration is the following:

  • Every IDS major is required to take IDS 300, Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, during the student's first academic year in the major; each major is required to take a Senior Seminar, IDS 490, in their final academic year in the major;
  • There must be a minimum of 39 semester units of upper division course work, including the introductory course (IDS 300) and Senior Seminar (IDS 490);
  • A minimum of 21 semester units of courses used to fulfill the Area of Concentration must be appropriate Interdisciplinary Studies courses;
  • A minimum of 24 units of course work must be completed after the student has entered the Interdisciplinary Studies program and has agreed on the Area of Concentration with his/her Interdisciplinary Studies mentor;
  • A minimum of nine semester units selected from each of three main areas of humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;
  • A grade of "C" or better is required for all courses used to complete an Interdisciplinary Studies Area of Concentration; The completed program is then reviewed by the core faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies who must approve the program before it is submitted to meet graduation requirements.

Area of Concentration in American Studies (45 units)

In addition to IDS 300 and IDS 490, 27 semester units are chosen by the student with the assistance of a faculty mentor. These courses form a closely related cluster or sequence of courses that cross the lines of several disciplines and provide a focused, interdisciplinary study of the United States from a variety of perspectives from multiple time periods.

Twelve additional semester units of courses that may relate less directly to the Area of Concentration are chosen by the student with the assistance of a faculty mentor.

Area of Concentration in Comparative Cultures (45 units)

In addition to IDS 300 and IDS 490, 27 semester units are chosen by the student with the assistance of a faculty mentor. These courses form a closely related cluster or sequence of courses that cross the lines of several disciplines and provide a focused, interdisciplinary study that compares and contrasts cultures across various borders - such as those of time, social institutions, and geography.

Twelve additional semester units of courses that may relate less directly to the Area of Concentration are chosen by the student with the assistance of a faculty mentor.

Area of Concentration in Environmental Studies (45 units)

In addition to IDS 300 and IDS 490, at least 21 semester units are chosen principally from the natural sciences, providing a focused Area of Concentration in Environmental Studies.

Eighteen additional semester units of courses that may relate less directly to the Area of Concentration are chosen by the student with the assistance of a faculty mentor.

Area of Concentration in Global Studies (45 units)

In addition to IDS 300 and IDS 490, 27 semester units are chosen by the student with the assistance of a faculty mentor. These courses form a closely related cluster or sequence of courses that cross the lines of several disciplines and provide a focused, interdisciplinary study of the complex relationships that underpin today's global economy.

Twelve additional semester units of courses that may relate less directly to the Area of Concentration are chosen by the student with the assistance of a faculty mentor.

 

Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies (15 units)

Interdisciplinary Studies offers four minors, plus a Thematic Project, which may serve in lieu of a required minor. All minors require a minimum of 15 semester units, at least six units of which must be from Interdisciplinary Studies Courses, and at least 12 units of which must be upper division. Upon completion of an Interdisciplinary Studies Minor, students must develop a short essay that explains the thematic rationale used to develop the minor. Each student's minor is reviewed and approved by Interdisciplinary Studies core faculty prior to submission to meet graduation requirements.

At least three of the courses (9 units) used by the student to complete the minor must be taken after the student has chosen the minor and has been advised by an Interdisciplinary Studies mentor.

A grade of "C" or better is required for all courses used in Interdisciplinary Studies minors.

 

Minor in Civilizations (15 units)

The Minor in Civilizations consists of a minimum of 15 semester units that allow the student to study the development of ideas and institutions of Western Civilization or of a non-Western culture.

 

Minor in Environmental Studies (15 units)

The Minor in Environmental Studies consists of a minimum of 15 semester units of courses which must form an integrated theme in Environmental Studies.

 

Minor in Human Studies (15 units)

The Minor in Human Studies consists of a minimum of 15 semester units of courses, which must include at least three semester units of METHODS or three semester units of THEORY courses.
At least 12 units of the minor must form an integrated theme in
an appropriate area relevant to human studies.

 

Minor in Science, Technology and Society (15 units)

The Minor in Science, Technology and Society consists of a minimum of 15 semester units of courses, which must include at least one course dealing with the impact, philosophy or history of science and/or technology. At least 12 units must form an integrated theme in an area relevant to the relationship of science and/or technology with society. In some cases, it may be necessary to take additional courses that are prerequisite to upper division science courses chosen to complete the minor.

 

Minor in Thematic Project (15 units)

The Thematic Project is an individually designed and substantial body of work on a particular theme that leads to the production of an evaluable product (such as a research paper of publishable quality, a film, a dramatic production). The Thematic Project normally consists of four parts.

  1. The Proposal (1 unit)
  2. Course work as needed (variable unit requirement)
  3. Fieldwork/Research (variable unit requirement)
  4. Final Product (variable unit requirement)

Each project is individually designed by the student and his/her Thematic Project Advisor. The Thematic Project Proposal is reviewed and ultimately approved by a Thematic Project Committee.

 

 

Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.

Upper Division

IDS 300          Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies (3).

Provides an introduction to the theories and practices of interdisciplinary studies in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Course includes research methods, writing for the various disciplines, and development of analytical and synthesizing skills necessary for success in Interdisciplinary Studies.

IDS 320          Interdisciplinary Topics in Human Studies (3).

Provides an in-depth study of a topic in human behavior and attitudes. The topic will be examined using interdisciplinary perspectives. Examples of topics include class and careers, immigration and cultural impact and poverty. Repeatable course. Three hours of seminar per week.

IDS 326          Perspectives in Human Studies (3).

Special Topics course using nonstandard times and/or days to explore issues in the human behavior and attitudes. Repeatable course.

IDS 330          Interdisciplinary Topics in Civilizations (3).

Provides an in-depth analysis of a major topic in the history of ideas and institutions through the study of the topic in relation to the disciplines relevant to the topic. Sample topics include archetypal patterns in literature and history of modern thought. Repeatable course.

IDS 336          Perspectives in Civilizations (3).

Special Topics course using nonstandard times and/or days to explore issues in the history of ideas and institutions. Repeatable course.

IDS 350          Interdisciplinary Topics in Science, Technology, and the Environment (3).

Prerequisites: Lower division General Education science courses.

Provides an in-depth investigation into a topic in science and/or technology, insights into the relationships of different disciplines and an understanding of the methods of scientific exploration. Topics include scientific reasoning, technology and society, and environmental studies. Repeatable for credit as long as course topics are different.

IDS 380          Portfolio Preparation (1).

Prerequisite: Completion of 30 units in residence prior to assessment.

Supervised preparation of a Portfolio to Assess Prior Learning. CR/NC grading.

IDS 382          Assessment of Prior Learning (1-11).

Prerequisite: Completion of 30 units in residence prior to assessment.

Evaluation of Portfolio of Prior Learning. Prior learning is evaluated for credit by faculty experts in various departments. Credit may be used as elective units or, on approval of Department Chair, as part of requirements for a major or a minor. CR/NC grading. Repeatable course.

IDS 397          Writing Adjunct (2).

Prerequisites: ENG 100 and ENG 101 or IDS 107.

Individualized instruction in expository writing taught in conjunction with papers assigned in other courses. Individual tutorial sessions and classroom lectures and workshops are employed. CR/NC grading. Repeatable course.

IDS 398          Writing Adjunct (Competency Certification) (2).

Prerequisite: IDS 397.

Individualized instruction in expository writing taught in conjunction with papers assigned in other courses. Individual tutorial sessions and classroom lectures and workshops are employed. In-class essay writing and Cooperative Essay Exam. CR/NC grading.

IDS 490          Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar (3).

Students draw from their interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies to address contemporary issues and review and apply theories and information from previous classes.

IDS 491          Thematic Project: Proposal (1).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Supervised development of a proposal which describes the Thematic Project. Proposal will define a problem, outline means to solve problem and describe the final product resulting from the project. Completed proposal contain advisor's justification and will be approved by committee. CR/NC grading.

IDS 492          Thematic Project: Fieldwork/Research (1,2,4).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Supervised activity in fieldwork and/or research necessary to carry through a thematic project. Repeatable course.

IDS 493          Thematic Project: Final Product (1,2,4).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Supervised activity in preparation of the final product necessary to carry through a thematic project. Repeatable course.

IDS 494          Independent Study (2,3).

Independent pursuit of a topic or project which is proposed by the student. Study must be interdisciplinary and must be approved, in advance, by faculty member supervising study. Repeatable course.

Infrequently Offered Courses

The following courses are scheduled on a "demand" basis. Students should consult the department office for information about the next schedule offering.

 

IDS 360          Special Studies in Civilizations (1-3).

Prerequisites: Upper division status and permission of instructor.

This course will investigate one or more special topics in Western and/or Non Western civilizations. Instruction will usually include off-campus activity such as, but not limited to, foreign travel. Repeatable course.

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