Interdisciplinary Studies Program
BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE
The Interdisciplinary Studies Program provides an opportunity to integrate interests in two areas of study within the framework of an individualized plan. Building on the scope of disciplines studied in The Concordia Distinctive-Liberal Arts Core, students in this program develop depth of knowledge in two self-selected areas of study along with support courses, electives and experiences that enhance their graduation plan. The program is designed to provide invaluable employable skills by building analytical and critical thinking, communication and problem solving skills.
The English Area of Study is designed to enable an appreciation of literature and its relationship to disciplines across the curriculum, recognizing the need for the literary arts to work in harmony with other arts and sciences. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, effective communications, and information literacy—skills highly valued in many professions. Students in this program will develop a depth and breadth of literary knowledge, the ability to gather, analyze and evaluate source material and craft a persuasive argument, and demonstrate effective oral, written and electronic communications skills.
Students in the History Area of Study will study past human experiences and gain knowledge about ourselves and others. The study of history enriches one’s abilities to think critically on a variety of different topics. But more importantly, it can help to enable one to imagine and empathize with people in a variety of different environments. Students in this program develop a general sense of the chronology of Western and world history, learn to understand the dynamics of history, its causes and consequences, how to interpret historical events, express their historical perspectives orally and in writing, and gain a better understanding of their place and purpose in history.
The Mathematics Area of Study enables students to achieve mathematical goals that are consistent with their aptitude and motivation. The focus is on several dimensions of mathematical education, including graduate school preparation for future teachers of mathematics, applied mathematicians in business or government settings, as well as supporting the mathematics course needs of other disciplines. For example, Statistics, which is playing an increasingly major role in all professions, is a major priority in this department. The College has innovated a Mathematics Signature Program, preparing students for graduate study in Applied Mathematics or Mathematics Education. The department also trains competitive teams for the International Contest in Mathematical Modeling.
The Music Area of Study is designed to encourage self-discovery and self-expression through study of the elements, history, and practice of music. Students develop knowledge, understanding, and skills which can lead to a lifetime of vocational or further educational pursuits. Students learn to demonstrate a theoretical and historical understanding of Western music, an understanding and ability to demonstrate the written and aural aspects of melody, harmony and rhythm, perform and identify music from different styles, eras, and cultures, and perform music as a soloist and member of music ensembles. View Choirs
NEW MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL PRODUCTION
The New Media Communications and Digital Production Area of Study provides a basis of study of digital technologies and their new modes of communication within a liberal arts education, with emphasis on ethical and social awareness. The curriculum integrates digital production with theory, critical studies, and writing, and seeks to prepare students for the constantly changing new media arena. Students are exposed to and learn to appraise social, ethical and technical issues in New Media, experience connections with professional resources and contacts in the media field, gain an understanding of media from a global perspective, and develop creative and technical proficiency in the field.
In the Psychology Area of Study, students learn to understand and explain the varieties of human behavior and how to enhance healthy human functioning. They learn to articulate the cognitive, biological, developmental, behavioral, and emotional process in humans and other species, articulate the disciplinary history of psychology, explain behavior from different theoretical perspectives, apply the scientific method and other methods of critical thinking to psychology, and demonstrate the ability to promote psychological well being.
The Theology Area of Study engages students in an investigation of Christianity, other major religions and philosophical worldviews, and their relevance for understanding and participating in today’s world. Students learn to express an understanding of the literature, messages, history, interpretative methods, modern issues, and applications of the Old and New Testament, to articulate Christian theology and apply it to other academic disciplines and areas of life, gain a clear understanding of the history of the Christian church, develop an understanding of Christian liturgy and hymnody, understand the world view of other religions and philosophies and how they have influenced the world, investigate religion in a variety of academic disciplines, grow his/her ethical values and gain an appreciation of God’s vocation, and to pursue graduate studies in the area of religion, particularly at a seminary.
THE SIGNATURE AREA OF STUDY
The Signature Area of Study is designed to allow academically qualified, self-motivated, Liberal Studies students the opportunity to bring together academic classes, independent studies, and experiential learning that extends the scope of their learning beyond the boundaries of programs and catalog offerings. This enables students to choose a foundational Area of Study in which they focus their interests and create their own 18-credit complementary area. Thus, it allows for a truly individualized graduation plan within Liberal Studies— in line with the College’s mission to engage and nurture the needs of a diverse student body.
As each signature area is necessarily different, the faculty member in the foundational area will be responsible for advising how to create the area so the student will formulate his/her own goals for continued learning and inquiry, synthesize multiple sources into a coherent area of study with a Liberal Education focus and perspective, demonstrate both critical and creative thinking and depth of knowledge in the signature area, and establish a clear connection between the signature area and the foundational area through the capstone.
The Sociology Area of Study allows students to study society, something familiar to us all and yet often taken for granted. Students learn the tools of sociology—the basic concepts, theories, and methods, and how to apply them to the analysis of a variety of topics. Students use the “sociological imagination” toward a greater understanding of the relationship between our everyday lives and the social world, becoming more informed and critical members of the social world in which we live. Students learn to theorize about society from different sociologic paradigms, identify patterns of social change, understand the discipline and history of sociology, demonstrate critical thinking and analysis from a social perspective, employ a “sociological imagination” in exploring contemporary topics, and using methods of inquiry for sociological research.