This degree is for students who have decided to gain a broad and deep education rather than be narrowly focused. Flexibility to choose courses that match your interests provides you with solid preparation for a rewarding career or graduate school.
BA in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies
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BA in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies, Specialization in Elementary Education
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Businesses and communities need creative problem-solvers, leaders and integrative thinkers, which means it is no longer enough to be limited to one discipline.
Recent graduates are working in every kind of business imaginable and teaching K-8 in the U.S. and abroad. Others have pursued Master and Doctorate degrees (Harvard, Stanford, Columbia U). Learn more here.
Hiring companies for Program graduates: Google • AmeriCorps • T-Mobile • Seattle Public Schools • Yahoo • Seattle University • Efelle Media • Verus Investments • State of Washington • Pediatric Assoc • Mariners • Blitz Digital Agency • Children’s Hospital • U.S. Govt • Pushpay • Learn more here.
Marketable skills come from being trained as an interdisciplinarian: project-management, effective communication, teamwork, leadership, strategic thinking, creativity and enterprise.
I feel equipped to converse with professionals about real-world problems in an informed and compassionate way and to converse about complex global problems with the communities around me.
Once I was in the major, I found that the core classes are some of the most rigorous on campus and give IDLS majors the tools to succeed in every discipline or any career they may choose.
I’ve woken up in the middle of the night thinking about my classmates’ methods projects and had to get up and write down my thoughts so I wouldn’t forget. I’ve never felt so included and cared for in school before joining IDLS.
With IDLS, my disparate interests came together in a meaningful way. Now, I’m confident I can use my skills to pursue a career.
I chose to pursue an IDLS degree because I was looking to make my education more well-rounded and teach me skills that I can use no matter what future career I decide on.
It just might be the most practical degree out there because of how versatile, flexible and creative of a thinker IDLS requires you to become.
The beauty of IDLS is that it does not limit you creatively, and gives you clear avenues for integrating concepts and theories that other majors simply cannot.
I entered SU as a premajor with the hope that by taking a bunch of different classes I would find the one that stuck. Discovering IDLS has given me the opportunity to bring all of my different passions together and think more critically about big issues that matter to me.
The program is structured so that you can explore your interests, no matter how diverse, and it gives you space to find interests you didn't even know you have.
I would like incoming freshmen to know that this program offers an incredibly unique opportunity for college undergraduates to explore many fields of study, make connections across disciplines, and dive into topics and issues that are prevalent in our society
In my first class at SU, we read “How Children Succeed” by Paul Tough, I was drawn to the idea of helping children with trauma. The IDLS degree was perfect for me to pursue a career in education as well as explore psychology classes.
Majors develop interdisciplinary scholarship, community engagement, and metacognition (reflective thinking) through five strategic courses.
IDLS 2300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry develops your research skills and character traits to fuel the interdisciplinary attitude. You consider together the humanities and sciences, and envision a personal mission in your education and beyond
IDLS 3000 Leadership for Community Engagement is the original SU course created for students to work with community partners. These partners assist members of the local community, and you become a part of that work while studying leadership, diversity, and community engagement
IDLS 3200 Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Project topics are purposefully complex and culturally relevant so that your interests and social convictions can breathe in the course. Recent topics include Personal Identity, Narratives of Trauma, and Non-Violent Social Action.
IDLS 3300 Methods of Interdisciplinary Research allows you to choose a complex issue to investigate for the entire quarter. Building on IDLS 2300, you learn how to do interdisciplinary research – integrating insights from multiple disciplines to construct a more advanced understanding of your chosen issue
IDLS 4900 Senior Synthesis is the space within which you create your legacy project – an integration of your learning and capstone for your college career. With guidance, you figure out what main goal you need to accomplish before you graduate, and accomplish it
Majors work closely with professors and advisors to choose from scores of courses in four areas of knowledge.
Humanities (3000–4000-level) (15 cr)
Choose from English, film studies, fine arts, language, history, interdisciplinary liberal studies, philosophy, religious studies, women and gender studies, some Asian studies, and UCOR Humanities and Global Challenges, including five credits in composition/writing
Social Sciences (3000–4000-level) (10 cr)
Choose from anthropology, communication and media, criminal justice, economics, education and interdisciplinary studies, international studies, marketing, management, nonprofit leadership, political science, psychology, public affairs, sociology, social work, some Asian studies, some environmental studies and UCOR 3600 social sciences
Natural Science Elective (any level) (5 cr)
Choose from biology, chemistry, environmental science, most environmental studies, physics, psychology 2400, sport and exercise science, and UCOR 1800 inquiry seminar and 3800 natural sciences
Quantitative and Computational Reasoning Elective (any level) (5 cr)
Choose from accounting, computer science, digital photography, most economics, some environmental studies, math (1010 or above), phil 2600, statistics, and UCOR 1200 quantitative reasoning
Our IDLS program is the first and only program on the West Coast to qualify for a chapter of the national honor society for interdisciplinary studies. Induction into Alpha Iota Sigma is a prestigious distinction awarded only to the most outstanding students.