Interdisciplinary Opportunities in the College of Arts and Sciences
Education in the 21st century is changing. It is evolving by virtue of not just new knowledge but entirely new fields of knowledge that require the capacity to solve complex problems by drawing on concepts, methods, and information from a plurality of disciplines. This increasingly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge is widely recognized as essential to the new employment opportunities in the emerging knowledge economy. To help prepare students for these opportunities, the College of Arts and Sciences offers several interdisciplinary majors and minors. Please consult the UNF Catalog for current program details and requirements.
B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies
The Interdisciplinary Studies major and minor enable students to reflect critically on how their educational efforts in the present will enable them to engage in a process of life-long learning in relation to a future that might be unimaginably different from the present. Students are encouraged to develop a program of study that will advance current and future academic and career goals as they pursue topics and questions beyond those addressed by UNF’s other majors.
Interdisciplinary Studies provides students with the opportunity to design an individualized program of study that involves an intentional selection of coursework in more than one discipline. The central purpose of the Interdisciplinary Studies major and minor is for students to investigate a focused set of cross-disciplinary issues, problems, challenges, and methodologies and to develop expertise in key intellectual competencies, including but not limited to advanced writing and critical thinking skills.
B.A. in International Studies
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
Religion has been the source of great human achievement and of much cultural conflict. The discipline of Religious Studies seeks to understand why and how this is the case. To this end, in courses that are taught from a variety of perspectives and disciplines (including religious studies proper, philosophy, anthropology, history, literary studies, and sociology), Religious Studies offers students an opportunity to explore a range of meaning-making systems—their beliefs, practices, texts, history, and social-cultural functions. 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.
African Diaspora/African American Studies
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 internships, service learning, and study abroad in order to bridge theory and praxis.
Asian Studies 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.
Classical Civilization 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.
Environmental Studies 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.
Film Studies Why study film? Because film is often considered the only new art form produced in the 20th Century. Because 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. Because film functions as a unique art form, a social barometer, a cultural artifact, an historical record, a political argument, an agent of change, and a good time. Because it is complex in construction and function, and yet directly powerful in its effect. Because the reach of film is so wide, and because the film minor thrives as a community when students come from varied perspectives and fields of study. Courses for this program come from a variety of Arts and Sciences departments.
Gender Studies 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.
Interdisciplinary Minor In consultation with COAS advisor Mr. Keith Martin, students develop a five-course program of study organized around either (i) a cross-disciplinary theme, issue, problem, challenge, or question or (ii) cross-disciplinary skills in advanced writing and critical thinking/quantitative reasoning and analysis.
International Studies This cross-disciplinary program 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 anthropology, economics, geography, and political science) and involve a range of research methods. Together these courses and their methodologies provide the framework for a better understanding of global affairs.
Religious Studies Religion has been the source of great human achievement and of much cultural conflict. This cross-disciplinary minor seeks to understand why and how this is the case. Courses taught from a variety of perspectives and disciplines 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.
Urban & Metropolitan Studies 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.