The Office of Interdisciplinary Studies is home to medievalists and urban planners; to those studying computational biology and those who rebuild bikes in the Bike Co-op; to those who work for sustainable food systems with the Truman Compost Project and those who use approaches and knowledge from many different disciplines to teach a class on the Civil War.
Interdisciplinarity is an intellectual journey.
While standard disciplines, like Biology or French, have their integrity and their strengths, they also have some limitations. Every discipline supplies knowledge yet, without the context of other disciplines, some questions and subjects evade comprehension.
Some modes of thought are intrinsically interdisciplinary. Many studies such as Gender Studies and Medieval Studies, can be better understood using knowledge drawn from multiple traditional disciplines. Studying gender requires the insights of psychology, sociology, art, literature, and many others. Understanding the Middle Ages requires knowledge of languages, history, religions, archaeology, and other disciplines.
Intellectual growth flourishes when building an interdisciplinary base of knowledge. Today’s world demands not only experts with deep and specific knowledge, but also people who will coordinate and apply the insights of these experts to a variety of intellectual and practical challenges.
In initiating an Interdisciplinary Studies Major (IDSM), we mean to cultivate the coming generation of public intellectuals, and to prepare young people for lives of informed engagement and leadership in a conceptually rich world.
To begin your Interdisciplinary Journey, click the links on your left.
For more on the IDSM process, click Interdisciplinary Studies Major (IDSM)
To contact the director with specific questions, please Contact the OIS