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2019-2020 Catalog

Interdisciplinary Opportunities at UNF

Education in the 21st century is changing. It is evolving by virtue of both new knowledge and entirely new fields of knowledge that require the capacity to solve complex problems by drawing on concepts, methods, and information from multiple disciplines. This increasingly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge is widely recognized as essential to the new employment opportunities in the knowledge economy that is expanding worldwide. To help prepare students for these opportunities, the College of Arts and Sciences offers the following interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary options for majors and minors:


B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies 
B.A. in International Studies 
B.A. in Religious Studies


African Diaspora/African-American Studies 
Asian Studies 
Classical Civilization 
Environmental Studies 
Film Studies 
Gender Studies 
Interdisciplinary Studies 
International Studies 
Religious Studies
Urban & Metropolitan Studies 

Interdisciplinary Majors 

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies 

Program Director: Dr. Sarah MatticeAssociate Professor of Philosophy,, 904-620-1330

COAS Advisor: Mr. Keith Martin, Associate Director, College of Arts and Sciences Advising, , 904-620-2797

Interdisciplinary Studies provides students with the opportunity to design a personalized program of study that involves an intentional selection of coursework across multiple disciplines. As Interdisciplinary Studies Majors and Minors, students are able to craft a focused and purposeful inquiry into a particular set of issues, problems, challenges, or methodologies, and come to understand the approaches and concerns of multiple disciplines. This program, centered in the College of Arts and Sciences, enables students to reflect critically and creatively on themselves, their educations, and their futures, and how they can contribute to a better and more just society.

Admissions to the program is selective and requires prospective students to go through a proposal submission process in which they must outline in detail the purpose, scope, and theme of the major or minor they wish to construct. Proposal acceptance is contingent upon formal review and approval by the Program Director and/or additional faculty members and administrators as needed. 

Students wishing to complete a major in Interdisciplinary Studies will select from one of the two available tracks: 

Track 1 - Theme-Based Interdisciplinary Study (36 credits) 

In consultation with Faculty Coordinator Dr. Sarah Mattice, each student will choose either a self-selected program or a faculty-designed curated path.

The self-selected program will involve twelve (12) upper-division (3000-, 4000-level) courses that focus on a converging set of themes, issues, problems, challenges, or questions. At least one of the courses must be from the College of Arts and Sciences. Courses cannot count toward both the General Education requirements and the requirements for the major. Students should work with the program director or a faculty mentor to design a capstone project.

There are current two faculty-designed curated paths in the IDS major: Environmental Studies and Africana Studies.

The IDS major theme Environmental Studies is designed for students interested in the ways in which human beings and natural environments interact, with the aim of fostering creative problem-solving skills to develop and maintain more sustainable relationships between human beings and the natural world. This major theme provides students with the tools and learning experiences necessary to address the unprecedented environmental challenges facing the world today, bringing together coursework from across the natural and social sciences, humanities, and the arts.

The IDS major theme Africana Studies is designed for students interested in the study of the histories, politics, cultures, and experiences of peoples of African origin, in Africa and in the African diaspora, including especially the United States. This theme centers peoples of African descent in the program curriculum, bringing together disciplinary perspectives from sociology, race and critical theory, philosophy, art, history, women and gender studies, music, and political science.

As they develop their programs of study, students should also meet with COAS advisor Mr. Keith Martin to review graduation requirements and any impact on time to graduation. 

Each student must also complete the Foreign Language/Foreign Culture requirement. 

Track 2 - Major Requirements for Competency-Based Interdisciplinary Study (36 credits) 

In consultation with Faculty Coordinator Dr. Sarah Mattice, each student will choose eleven (11) upper-division (3000-, 4000- level) courses, including (i) at least three advanced writing/communication courses, (ii) at least four critical thinking courses or four quantitative reasoning and analysis courses, and (iii) four additional courses that focus on specific competencies. Courses cannot count toward both the general education requirement and the requirement for the major. 

Also in consultation with Faculty Coordinator Dr. Sarah Mattice, each student will select a capstone course involving either (i) a research project or (ii) an experiential learning project (based on but not limited to a TLO or transformational learning opportunity, a community-based learning opportunity, or a leadership opportunity) in which students synthesize the learning they have attained in relation to their goals and outcomes. 

As they develop their programs of study, students should also meet with COAS advisor Mr. Keith Martin to review graduation requirements and any impact on time to graduation. 

Each student must also complete the Foreign Language/Foreign Culture requirement. 

How to Apply: Acceptance into the Interdisciplinary Studies major and the Interdisciplinary Studies minor requires that students first meet with the Program Advisor, Mr. Keith Martin,, 904-620-2797.

B.A. in International Studies 

Program Director: Dr. Clayton McCarl, Associate Professor of Spanish, 
COAS Advisor: David Kersey,

International Studies at UNF is an academic program and the center of an interdisciplinary community of faculty, students and staff from across the campus. Together we examine the economic, environmental, cultural, political and technological forces that shape today's world. The program offers a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, designed to provide students with the disciplinary knowledge and practical skills to engage with contemporary issues and compete in today’s global workplace. Students interact with other cultures through foreign language study and academic experiences abroad, and gain hands-on experience through internships, both within the US and abroad. Each semester, our students participate in numerous extracurricular events, including our interdisciplinary Lecture Series; International Mondays, a program of conversations on contemporary topics conducted in a variety of languages; and the workshops and information sessions that we coordinate related to study abroad, internships and careers. Students in International Studies tend to be open-minded, creative problem solvers, who are united by their interest in language, culture and global affairs. They are diverse, however, in their backgrounds and the academic and professional directions they follow upon completion. For more information, see the website of the International Studies Program as well as the programs of study for the six concentrations within this degree.

B.A. in Religious Studies   

Program Director: Dr. Julie Ingersoll, Professor of Religious Studies,

COAS Advisor: Jody Morgan

Religious Studies is the multidisciplinary hub at UNF for discovering the roles and functions of religions in human life and culture. Religious Studies students enjoy a low student/faculty ratio allowing them one-on-one attention from their professors. They investigate religion in ways that foster intellectual, civic, and global engagement; gain cross-cultural awareness by describing and analyzing religious systems as they exist in historical and social contexts in an impartial and academic manner; develop clear thinking and writing skills; and learn to see the world through the eyes of others.

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies requires a total of 120 semester hours. Religious Studies majors take a total of 30 credit hours of coursework with 24 Religious Studies designated credit hours, from a variety of disciplines across the university, and chosen by the student to reflect his/her interests, culminating in Theory and Methods and a Senior Seminar Capstone course (3 credit hours each). Religious Studies majors are encouraged to participate in a study abroad experience.

Cross-Disciplinary Minors 

African Diaspora/African American Studies (15 Hours). This cross-disciplinary program is designed to promote the academic study of, as well as a broad appreciation for, the diversity and richness of peoples and cultures throughout the African Diaspora. Multidisciplinary methods of inquiry and research give students a range of theoretical approaches to the central questions and concerns of Diaspora studies—including race, culture, identity, diversity, history, and society. Students examine these central concerns through regional, national, and global perspectives. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in community-based transformational learning in order to bridge theory and praxis.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Tru Leverette, Associate Professor of English, 

Asian Studies (15 Hours). This cross-disciplinary program is administered by the Department of History. It is designed to facilitate an academic concentration in South, Southeast, or East Asian civilization. Courses for this program come from a variety of Arts and Sciences departments.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Harry Rothschild, Professor of History,  '

Classical Civilization (15 Hours). The Classical Civilization minor is a cross-disciplinary program administered by the Department of History. The minor enables students to fashion a course of study imparting a broad yet coherent understanding of the civilization of ancient Greece and Rome. Courses for this program come from a variety of Arts and Sciences departments.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Phil Kaplan of the Department of History,

Environmental Studies (15 Hours). This program focuses on understanding the nature and complexity of environmental issues in relation to a range of issues, including the carrying capacity of our planet, the idea of sustainability, the challenges of managing resources wisely, the meaning of environmental stewardship, and the urgency of promoting environmental literacy. Courses for this program come from a variety of Arts and Sciences departments.

COAS Advisor: Brittany Kauffman,

Film Studies (15 Hours).  Learn the history, craft, and analysis of film, as well as the production skills that come with documentary film production. The 21st Century has witnessed the explosion of moving images into nearly every sphere of contemporary life, and advances in technology have made film/video/audio technology widely and easily available. Film functions as a unique art form, a social barometer, a cultural artifact, an historical record, a political argument, and an agent of change. It is complex in construction and function, and yet directly powerful in its effect. It is international and interdisciplinary. Film Studies thrives as a community where students come from varied perspectives and fields of study. The Film Studies Minor requires a film survey course and a course in either film analysis or critical reading, and includes electives in both film studies and production. Film studies courses are also available to students outside of the minor.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Jillian Smith, Associate Professor of English,

Gender Studies (15 Hours). The purpose of the Gender Studies minor is to provide interested students with an opportunity to focus a portion of their college studies on issues related to women's lives, culture and history; men's studies; and to the impact of gender on human experience and behavior across a variety of disciplines. In particular, the minor explores gender issues and experience and fosters educational equity. It provides an opportunity for faculty and students alike to explore women's changing social roles, experiences, problems, and contributions to society, which have often been omitted in the traditional academic disciplines. Also included in the gender studies minor is the growing new area of men's studies, which focus on men as a sex and how gender impacts men's lives. Courses in the Gender Studies minor investigate the full diversity of women's and men's experience and gender issues. The minor provides opportunities for true interdisciplinary learning, since the program requires students to take courses from across college and university offerings.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Jenni Lieberman, Assistant Professor of English,

Interdisciplinary Studies (15 Hours). In consultation with COAS advisor Mr. Keith Martin and Program Director Dr. Mattice, students develop a 15-18 credit program of study organized around (i) a self-chosen cross-disciplinary theme; (ii) cross-disciplinary skills in advanced writing and critical thinking/quantitative reasoning and analysis; or (iii) a faculty-designed curated path.

There are currently three faculty-designed curated paths: Pre-Med in Liberal Arts, Peace Corps Academic Preparation, and Critical Thinking in the Humanities.

The IDS Minor “Pre-Med in Liberal Arts” is designed for students intending to pursue a career in the biomedical field. This 16 credit minor aims to complement students’ study in the natural sciences with coursework in ethics, arts and humanities, and social science.

The IDS Minor “Peace Corps Academic Preparation” is designed for students pursuing the Peace Corps Preparation Program. This 18 credit minor brings together the academic portion of the program into a coherent minor, with coursework in intercultural competence and specific work sector areas.

The IDS Minor “Critical Thinking in the Humanities” is designed for students interested in intentionally focusing their minor on critical thinking skills from across the humanities, whether to gain depth for a major in the humanities or to complement a science, arts, or other major. This 15 credit minor pulls together coursework from across humanities disciplines at UNF including philosophy, history, religious studies, literature, cultural studies, and the arts. 

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Sarah Mattice, Associate Professor of Philosophy,

COAS Advisor: Mr. Keith Martin, Associate Director, College of Arts and Sciences Advising,

International Studies (15 Hours). This cross-disciplinary minor enables undergraduate students to pursue a comparative study of foreign cultures, languages, and societies. Courses come from a wide range of Departments (including, but not limited to, Economics and Geography; History; Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Political Science and Public Administration; and Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work) and involve a range of research methods. Together these courses and their methodologies provide the framework for a better understanding of global affairs. For more information, see the website of the International Studies Program.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Clayton McCarl, Associate Professor of Spanish,

Religious Studies (15 Hours). This cross-disciplinary minor helps students explore religion from a variety of perspectives and disciplines; it offer students opportunities to explore a range of meaning-making systems—including the beliefs, practices, texts, history, and social-cultural functions that constitute these systems. In learning how seemingly foreign systems of meaning make sense to those who hold them, students are asked to make explicit their own assumptions about their religious beliefs, to look at their assumptions from the point of view of someone who does not share them, and thus to deepen their understanding of how their beliefs compare with the beliefs of others in relation to the course of human civilization. Students minoring in Religious Studies must take REL 2300 Comparative Religion, REL 3102 Religion as Culture, and any three upper level Religious Studies (REL) courses and/or courses offered by other departments and approved for this minor.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Julie Ingersoll, Professor of Religious Studies,

Urban and Metropolitan Studies (15 Hours). The world is becoming increasingly urban, and most human beings now make their lives in cities. The Urban and Metropolitan Studies Minor allows students to study cities and urban life from a variety of perspectives, examining where and how cities form, the distinct kinds of problems faced by cities and urban residents, and how scholars are pursuing these types of questions. Courses are drawn from anthropology, history, political science, sociology, and other fields.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Krista E. Paulsen, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences,