Curriculum

Emphasis Areas:

Arts & The Human Experience

Students in the Arts & Human Experience emphasis area will develop their critical lens and aesthetic appreciation for diverse works of literature and visual and performing arts. They will interpret and analyze such works.  By so doing, students will deepen their empathy and respect for a wide array of human experiences and expressions.

This emphasis area will work closely with faculty in History, Political Science, Religious Studies and World Language and Cultures Department.  For more information about classes, please visit here.

Please click here for a form to enroll in this emphasis area.

Ethics, Law & Justice

This emphasis area fosters critical inquiry into the dynamic interrelationships between ethics, legal institutions and social justice.  Students will examine how historical and contemporary social forces influence the legal system and how law affects society.  They will analyze and evaluate how personal and societal value systems, as well as identities and their intersections shape attitudes towards and treatment within the legal and judiciary systems.

This emphasis area will work closely with faculty in Ethnic Studies, Philosophy, Political Science and Social Science Departments. For more information about classes please visit here.

Please click here for a form to enroll in this emphasis area.

Global Studies

The Global Studies emphasis area prepares students for an increasingly globalized and interconnected world.  Students will identify, describe, and analyze the diversity of the world’s peoples, cultures, religions and languages from contemporary and historical perspectives. They will also analyze and evaluate transnational processes and connections.

This emphasis area will work closely with faculty in History, Political Science, Religious Studies and the World Languages and Cultures Departments. For more information about classes, please visit here.

Please click here for a form to enroll in this emphasis area.

Health, Culture & Society

Students pursuing this emphasis area will examine the social and societal dimensions of mental and physical health.  They will investigate how gender, race, social class, sexuality and ethnicity shape health in both national and global contexts, as well as the political, ethical, environmental, cultural, and social influences on health and health institutions.

This emphasis area will work closely with faculty in Anthropology, Biology, Social Sciences and Women and Gender Studies Departments. For more information about classes, please visit here.

Please click here for a form to enroll in this emphasis area.

Science, Technology & Society

In this emphasis area students investigate and analyze the complex relationships between science, technology, and society.  Students in this area identify, assess and develop solutions to complex problems transcending the traditional divide between the humanities and social sciences and scientific, technical and professional fields.

This emphasis area will work closely with faculty in Communication Studies, Ethnic Studies, History and Philosophy.   For more information about classes, please visit here.

Please click here for a form to enroll in this emphasis area.

Social Sustainability

This emphasis area challenges students to conceptualize, understand and analyze issues of sustainability from social, cultural, and environmental perspectives.  It reflects the idea that long-term sustainability requires attention to social equity, cultural preservation, and economic development as well as to environmental stewardship.

This emphasis area will work closely with faculty in Communication Studies, English and Music departments. For more information about classes, please visit here.

Please click here for a form to enroll in this emphasis area.

Technology & Human Expression

Students pursuing the Technology & Human Expressions emphasis area will examine the ways in which technology shapes how humans communicate and express themselves, as well as how social and societal forces shape the development of communication technologies.  Such a perspective will inform students’ own use of expressive technologies and their critical engagement with these technologies from theoretical, historical and social scientific perspectives. 

This emphasis area will work closely with faculty in Communication Studies, English and Music departments. For more information about classes, please visit here.

Please click here for a form to enroll in this emphasis area.

Printable version of the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies Flow Chart

The Interdisciplinary Studies B.A. provides a flexible, focused and rigorous curriculum centered around a central theme or guiding question that interests you.  The core sequence of ISLA courses are: ISLA 201: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies; ISLA 355: Interdisciplinary Research Methods; ISLA 440: Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies Seminar; and ISLA 461: Senior Project, asks you to consider the nature of interdisciplinary and the process of interdisciplinary research.  Each student also selects one of seven emphasis areas, defined below to focus on their degree.  You can learn more about the curriculum requirements for the IS degree by visiting the 2019-2020 Cal Poly Course Catalog.

After completing the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, students will be able to:

  • Identify and think critically about the assumptions, strategies, and potential biases underlying discipline-based and interdisciplinary inquiries
  • Conduct interdisciplinary research and/or engage in creative activities that incorporate and synthesize information, theory and methodological approaches from more than one discipline in a culturally-competent way
  • Apply interdisciplinary approaches to understand, contextualize, and propose solutions to complex issues or problems, especially those relating to students' emphasis areas
  • Communicate effectively both in writing and orally.
  • Collaborate productively in pluralistic settings and with people of diverse experiences, identities and worldviews
  • Make reasoned, ethical, and socially responsible decisions
  • Engage in self-motivated and self-directed learning, in order to become life-long learners
  • Employ the intellectual and practical skills necessary to create and engage with a more inclusive, just and equitable world.

 

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