Interdisciplinary studies supports a diverse set of programs, courses, services, and events at Salem State University.
We offer a bachelor's of liberal studies degree (BLS), which features four concentrations. We also offer eleven interdisciplinary minors. In addition, we are home to the honors program courses and a number of stand-alone interdisciplinary courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
IDS Professor Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello shares her Fulbright Greece experience
IDS Professor Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello
Shares her Fulbright Greece experience
"Education is the key for people to learn more about themselves, about others and think collectively about how the world can become a better place."
This is your opportunity to create an independent interdisciplinary course of study. This unique concentration was developed for a student who has a very specific professional objective/career and needs flexibility in planning a degree program. Students who create this independent course of study build a flow sheet reflecting courses that are cross disciplines.
The peace and conflict studies concentration within the interdisciplinary studies major is concerned with the issues of peace, sources of intercultural conflict, their resolution, and social justice. The program of study draws upon the strengths of a range of disciplines and focuses on developing an understanding of recent history, contemporary social/political structures, the problems associated with these structures, the ethical values embedded in these structures, potential conflicts, and possible paths to resolution. We live in a world where our ability to live peacefully with other peoples and cultures is crucial.
American studies - a field that traces its history in the academy to the early 20th century - is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the people, society, institutions and cultures of the United States (often called "America") past and present.
This course of study is designed to introduce students to the interdisciplinary nature of law and the legal profession. This minor favors no specific major field, but draws on courses with the substantive content and study skills which are recommended by the American Bar Association as especially desirable for prospective law students. The pre-law studies minor is open to all students.
The religious studies minor offers the student a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of religion as a human endeavor. The student has the opportunity to meet his/her needs and interests by choosing (in consultation with the coordinator) four electives in at least two disciplines. In addition, the required seminar in comparative religion (normally taken as one of the last courses in the minor) presents the student with a broad but integrated perspective on religion.
The urban studies minor offers students an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the urban setting. Faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines within the social sciences and humanities assist students in examining how cities have evolved through time, identifying problems and opportunities associated with urban life, and exploring strategies for the reconstruction of the contemporary city. Although the primary focus is on urban affairs, considerable attention is also devoted to suburban topics in many courses.
Women's studies minors pursue lines of inquiry that add not only to their knowledge of women but to their understanding of the human condition in general. A primary goal of the women's studies minor is to explore and analyze the impact of gender on women's experiences and development, and to examine the intersections of race, class and gender.
The African-American studies minor is interdepartmental in nature. The courses are offered jointly in their respective departments ad under the auspices of the African-American studies program. The central goal of the program is to heighten students' awareness of African-American contributions to the United States.
In addition to the regular courses, the African-American studies program holds a monthly symposium and workshop series which attempts to expose the university community to major questions relevant to the black experience. The African-American studies courses are open to all students.
The American studies minor exposes students to the methods, questions and materials of the field of American studies, a discipline which uses the approaches and scholarship of many disciplines to explore the rich diversity of the United States as well as American cultural and national identity from local, regional and transnational vantage points. Students will learn much about the range of people, places and ideas that make up America past and present and consider the various ways in which “American” identity is constructed, contested, and transformed through formal and informal means in all areas of human activity. A pair of foundational interdisciplinary American studies courses are augmented by courses selected from across the humanities and social sciences to meet the specific educational goals and interests of each student.
The Asian studies minor is to help students at Salem State University gain a better knowledge of Asia. The minor consists of a coherent collection of courses leading to knowledge of the geographic, historical, social, legal, and cultural structures in Asia. It trains students to have both a historical understanding and a current knowledge of human development in Asia. The program has a strong local touch as it incorporates the history of Salem's maritime trade with Asian countries such as China, Japan and India.
This area-studies minor provides students the opportunity to explore aspects of the arts, cultures, histories, politics, societies, and thoughts of the peoples of Eastern Europe and Russia from an interdisciplinary perspective. Its chief purpose is to foster understanding of the region by recognizing its component diversity while deepening awareness of its often common experiences. For this minor, Eastern Europe and Russia are defined geographically, and respectively, as historically the lands east of the German and Italian states and west of the countries of the East Slavs, and as the territories that comprise the former Soviet Union.
The information technology in the arts and sciences minor is designed to deepen students' skills, concepts and capabilities in information technology within their major discipline. As an interdisciplinary minor, the coursework includes foundation and elective courses taught by faculty with particular expertise in integrating information technology into their disciplines. The goal of the minor is to promote "fluency" in information technology so that students are better prepared to creatively use information technology in their current research and study as well as future graduate study and/or professional careers.
The Latin American and Latino studies minor is designed to introduce students to an interdisciplinary study of the history, populations and cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the study of people of Latin American and Caribbean origin in the United States. An introductory course will explore the development and state of interdisciplinary studies in the field, the diverse nature of Latin American and Caribbean communities, and the experiences of different Latino groups in the United States. Other courses will be drawn from offerings in history, political science, sociology, geography, interdisciplinary studies, education, social work, foreign languages, and literature. Field study in Latin America, the Caribbean, or local and regional Latin American or Latino organizations and communities is also encouraged
The peace studies minor is concerned with issues of war and peace and social justice - their nature, causes and relation to social life. The program of study draws upon the strengths of various disciplines and emphasizes an understanding of recent history, contemporary social/political problems and ethical values. We live in a world in which our ability to live peacefully with other people and nations is crucial. In the peace studies minor students are prepared to exercise informed judgment about issues related to war and peace and social justice. Many careers increasingly require an understanding of the sources and alternatives to conflict, as well as the methods and skills necessary to manage and control it. This is especially true in such areas as international relations, education, law, health care, and human services.
The bachelor of liberal arts major with a concentration in intercultural communications is an interdisciplinary program focused on understanding human communication across cultures. Students will develop critical thinking skills and learn to express themselves in a variety of contexts. The program includes courses from a wide range of academic departments, such as communications, sociology and interdisciplinary studies. All required courses in the concentration are available online.
The mission of the interdisciplinary studies department is to effect significant learning and student success both in college and beyond through:
Developing, coordinating and implementing interdisciplinary curricula and programs
Researching and employing the best pedagogical methods to meet the needs of unique student populations both inside and outside the classroom
Doing scholarly, cross-disciplinary research
As the center of collaborative, cross-disciplinary efforts for all students, faculty, administration, and staff, the department serves the entire Salem State University community.
Statement on Racism
May 29, 2020
Interdisciplinary Studies Department Statement on Structural Racism, the Murder of George Floyd and Anti-Racist Work
The Interdisciplinary Studies Department stands in solidarity with our Black students, colleagues, neighbors and families.
We stand in opposition to the embedded structures of anti-Black racism that have shaped this nation for four centuries. We recognize the unequal labor of people of color to live within such a system.
We mourn the loss of Black lives at the hands of the state. We oppose the structural inqualities and racist policies that weaken Black bodies and souls and communities through educational, health, wealth and criminal justice disparities.
We commit to anti-racist work in all that we do in our classes, in our programming, and in our public presence. There is no neutral. And please, hold us accountable.
Prof. Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Chair, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies