Sven Arvidson, PhD, Director
Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies is interdisciplinary studies in a Jesuit educational context. This means integrating the liberal arts, sciences and community engagement in a way that cultivates humanity. It 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. You will meet other students with initiative, thoughtfulness, and curiosity who want to use their skills and knowledge to make a contribution to society. Our program is top-ranked nationally as a leader in integrative education (see full report on our program website).
Because the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies, BA allows maximum flexibility in course choices, you will work closely with professors and advisors to focus your plan of study, especially on complex, real-world problems of personal interest. You can also take advantage of study abroad, internships, and our undergraduate publishing program.
Interdisciplinarians study complex problems - such as the nature of consciousness, race relations, what is family, the value of public art, immigration and many more. Complexity means that the problem has multiple components studied by different disciplines. Interdisciplinarians find common ground between disciplinary insights and integrate them to advance understanding of these problems. Being trained as an interdisciplinarian yields marketable knowledge and skills: project-management, effective communication, teamwork, leadership, strategic thinking, creativity and enterprise.
Recent graduates are working in major tech companies, non-profits, communications, business management, medical fields, counseling, law enforcement, and other professions, and teaching K-8 in the U.S., Asia and Europe, and pursuing MA’s and PhD’s. See employment listing of recent graduates on our program website.
For students who want to graduate as certified to be an elementary teacher in Washington State, see the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with a Specialization in Elementary Education, BA (K-8) in this catalog.
In order to earn the bachelor of arts degree with a major in interdisciplinary liberal studies, students must complete a minimum of 180 credits with a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.00, including the following:
I. Core Curriculum Requirements
Module I: Engaging Academic Inquiry
Module II: Engaging Jesuit Traditions
Module III: Engaging the World
II. College of Arts and Sciences Requirements
- Modern Languages 1150, 1250, 1350, or equivalent (15)
All students with a major in the College of Arts and Sciences must demonstrate competency through the level of 1350 in a language other than English. This competency is ordinarily achieved by successful completion of the three-course sequence: 1150, 1250, and 1350. Because these courses are a college requirement, no course in the sequence may be taken on a pass/fail, correspondence, or audit basis. Placement into other than the beginning course of the sequence is achieved by acceptable performance on the Modern Language Competency Examination. See the Modern Languages and Cultures Department for details on the examinations. Courses used to satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences modern language requirement may not be used to fulfill major requirements.
Choose one of the following three courses:
III. Major Requirements
60 credits in interdisciplinary liberal studies, including:
- IDLS 2300 - Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Liberal Studies
- IDLS 3000 - Leadership for Community Engagement
- IDLS 3200 - Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Project
- IDLS 3300 - Methods of Interdisciplinary Research
- IDLS 4900 - Senior Synthesis/Project
- Humanities (3000-4000-level) (see Course Descriptions ) (15)
English, film studies, fine arts, language, history, interdisciplinary liberal studies, philosophy, religious studies, women and gender studies, some Asian studies, and UCOR 3400, including five credits in composition/writing
- Social Sciences (3000-4000-level) (see Course Descriptions ) (10)
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
- Natural Science Elective (5)
Biology, chemistry, environmental science, most environmental studies, physics, PSYC 2400, sport and exercise science, UCOR 1800 and 3800
- Quantitative and Computational Reasoning Elective (5)
Accounting, computer science, digital photography, most economics, some environmental studies, math (1010 or above), PHIL 2600, statistics, UCOR 1200
- 40 credits must be taken at 3000-4000-level (see Course Descriptions ); 25 of these must be taken at Seattle University.
- No more than 15 credits from this major will be counted towards any minor.
- A UCOR course cannot count for both Core and the major.