Courses Offered in Interdisciplinary Studies | Salem State University Skip to main content

Courses Offered in Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

IDS 180: Computer Applications

An overview of computer applications including the use of word processing, spreadsheet, data base, and internet technologies. Students will learn to operate and understand computer hardware, and develop materials for both academic and personal through software. The role of computers in society and related social issues will be discussed. Three lecture hours per week and laboratory work outside of class. This course satisfies the Computer Literacy core requirement.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 199: Life Experience Portfolio

Prior learning form life experiences such as community service, volunteer experiences, work experiences, non-college educational programs, and individual study may be used as a basis to petition a department for credit. The life learning experience must meet the expectations of a particular course listed in the catalog. Through this workshop, the student will be guided in the preparation of a portfolio involving self-assessment, and educational goal clarification, which will be presented for academic approval. This course may be taken only once for credit.

Credits: 1.00

IDS 202: Introduction to Women's & Gender Studies

Women's Studies and Gender Studies are complementary interdisciplinary fields whose research and scholarship examines women's and men's lives, conditions and contributions within historical, social, cultural, national and transnational contexts. Students will explore how gender is constructed and negotiated through the lens of families, communities, education, society, film and the media. Feminist and gender based theories and methodologies will enhance student awareness regarding the interlocking systems of inequity, inequality, oppression and privilege thereby addressing issues of power, resistance and social transformation. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society

IDS 232: American Identities

This course explores many different ideas about and debates over the meaning of "America" and "Americans" while introducing students to the methods and materials of American Studies. Using an interdisciplinary perspective, students will study how "American" cultural and national identities have developed over four centuries and the impact of this history on "American" experiences today. Of particular interest will be the ways in which American identity(ies) is tied to race gender ethnicity and class. Students will learn to interpret cultural products drawn from popular and fine arts, literature, music, and film as well as historical, sociological and geographic documents and other non-fiction writing. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: The Human Past

IDS 250: Humanities in Cultural Settings

This course is an interdisciplinary study of three global cultures, one being American. The course focuses on a significant place and time in each culture's history. These cultures are examined through two sets of sources: literary works and a collection of academic writings, pictures, maps, and artifacts. The course pays special attention to how cultures support specific social hierarchies and moral systems. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 255: Comparative Religious Traditions

This course is an interdisciplinary study of six major world religions - Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity - considering such issues as their moral teachings and practices; historical development, cultural and geographical settings, dominant narratives, forms of worship, prayer, and meditation; use of scripture, images of the divine, aesthetic endeavors, and institutional structures. This course devotes special attention to these religions', and their cultures', diverse and evolving moral practices, ethical teachings, and traditions of moral and spiritual development. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Pers Growth & Responsibility, World Cultures

IDS 260: Introduction to Legal Studies

This course will explore the complex relationship between law and society. Focusing on the reciprocal nature of the law and the societal context in which law develops, the course will examine how social, economic, cultural and political forces shape the law's ability to make effective rules and to define common social values. The course serves as an introduction to America legal, political, and social actors and institutions. Using an interdisciplinary perspective, students will investigate questions relating to ideology, globalization, inequality, community, authority, legitimacy, and individualism. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 265: Peace and Peace Building

This course examines the historical, sociological, philosophical and environmental antecedents to conflict at the local, national and international levels and through a process of research, discussion and evaluation develops possible options that could have been used in the peaceful resolution of conflicts. A main focus is on current major peace keeping and peace making efforts. The course also examines the role that organizations and individuals play, and what options there are for the future. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society

IDS 271: Information Technology, Society and Culture

An introductory study of the diverse effects of the global Information Technology revolution. Includes an analysis of the social, political, cultural and economic impact of computers and Information Technology and an examination of the philosophical, ethical and psychological implications of these new technologies.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society

IDS 275: Love and Compassion Across the World Religions

This course explores how love and compassion transform the self, interpersonal relations, and social action. Students will integrate readings and discussions with personal reflections and experiences. Readings include scriptures and significant texts in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, which illuminate these religions as well as their cultural contexts. Students will be given the opportunity to practice and examine techniques developed by the world religions to nurture love and compassion. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Pers Growth & Responsibility, World Cultures

IDS 287: Perspectives On Evil and the Holocaust

Focusing on the Holocaust as a model of genocidal intent and a case study to help in understanding the psychology and philosophy of evil, the course will explore the mentality of those who designed and carried out the "final solution" as well as those complicit with them. The ease and efficiency with which the genocide of over six million Jews and other Holocaust victims was accomplished raises profound questions about the human capacity for evil, the causes and means of dehumanization, the limits of obedience to authority and the potential of universal human right legislation. Using the perspectives of psychology, criminal justice, epistemology and post-modern ethics, the course discusses what the Holocaust can teach us about: 1) the psychological factors motivating and facilitating dehumanization and genocide; 2) the means of deterring and sanctioning those who commit racial motivated criminal acts; 3) ways to promote objective truth in historical research about the Holocaust, in light of the "revisionist" historiography of Holocaust deniers; and 4) the role of ethics in defining our interpersonal obligations and humanizing our relationships with others. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society, Pers Growth & Responsibility

IDS 289: Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies

This course offers students the opportunity to explore a specialized topic using the methods and materials of more than one field of study. Depending on the topic, the course might include civic engagement or service-learning activities. Repeatable for credit.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 290: Introduction to Medical Humanities

This course will investigate important questions about health and health care through an interdisciplinary perspective. Special emphasis will be placed on how cultural differences and structural inequalities (such as gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and geographic location) can affect the quality and accessibility of health care. Students will examine a variety of sources related to the experience and treatment of disease that may range from works of art and literature to documentary film to readings in cross-cultural psychology and medical anthropology. They will reflect on some of the ethical issues raised by forms of health-care delivery, medical research and end-of-life decision making, and develop some of the skills (observation, analysis, empathy, self-reflection) essential for humane medical care.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: World Cultures

IDS 299: Topics in Student Affairs

This course features intensive training in, and reflection on, specialized topics in student affairs. The emphasis is on education and training for practical application on campus and beyond. May be repeated with permission of the Department Chairperson for a maximum of three credits. Three lecture hours per week over a five-week period.

Credits: 1.00

IDS 320: Human Sexuality I

This course will provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human sexuality including a scientific understanding of the historical, biological, psychological and social/cultural influences on human sexuality and its expression. Information about human sexuality across the lifespan will be included. This course provides information about sexual identity, orientation, and how changing sexual attitudes are influencing the culture. The media's impact on sexuality will be covered. Information about the biological and psychological causes of sexual dysfunction and their treatments will also be covered. This course also provides information about the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Pers Growth & Responsibility

IDS 331: Mentoring and the Mentor Relationship

Designed to evaluate various models of mentoring, this course will explore the history, philosophy, theory, and practice of mentoring in higher education as well as other institutions and organizations. Students will examine mentor roles through case studies and as found in the literature. Consideration will also be given to the role of leadership in underrepresented populations in society. Class participation will involve group process activities. Students will work towards defining their roles as mentor and developing competencies in preparation to become student mentors of Salem State College or in outside organizations. Three class hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 333: Topics in American Studies

This course is a close examination of a topic significant in the creation of American culture(s) and identity(ies). It is designed to deepen knowledge of a particular area of American Studies while strengthening general American Studies methodological skills. Students will examine primary and secondary sources from a range of disciplines and conduct interdisciplinary research. Potential topics may be (but are not limited to) immigration, popular culture, religion, globalization, community, or consumerism. Required of students in the American Studies Concentration. May be repeated once for an additional 3 credits with permission of the Department Chairperson. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 333A: A Global "america", "america" and "americans" in and of the World

This course uses an interdisciplinary American Studies approach to explore the complex ways in which "America" and "Americans" have been constructed and understood within the context of a long-standing and ongoing global and transnational exchange of ideas, peoples and goods. By focusing attention on a range of non-US cultures and tracing the connections between them and what is often considered "American" culture (in the areas of demographics human rights popular culture and food ways) the course highlights two main points: The ways in which "American" identities as well as cultural economic political, intellectual practices and products have been shaped by peoples and cultures around the world and how peoples and cultures around the world have understood appropriated been influenced by or responded to the presence of "American" people cultures and practices historically and today. Centrally, this course focuses on the fact that understanding non-US cultures is essential to understanding both “America" and "Americans". Key course themes and concepts include globalization trans-nationalism and intercultural knowledge. Course materials and methods are drawn from a range of disciplines including literature visual culture sociology, history, political science, journalism and music. Students will collaborate with university students outside of the US and examine the global culture and history of Salem itself over the past 400 ears. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: World Cultures

IDS 350: Introduction to Women's Studies

An historical and contemporary survey of women and their roles in various academic disciplines; an analysis of the traditional assumption about women and the differences between actual and mythical roles of women; an identifying process of the ways that women can exercise significant control over their lives and exert significant control in politics, economics, social realms, and the arts. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society

IDS 360: Gender, Identity and Nationalism

This course explores ways in which gender identity is linked with national identity. This includes the role of women in nationalist liberation movements; the gendered roles embodied in communal identity and individual identity. Through theory, film, and literature, students will explore cultural identity in non-Western contexts. Three class hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 366: Energy and the Environment

This course focuses on understanding what energy is, how it is produced, and how it is utilized in modern society, drawing on concepts from physics, chemistry, geography and geology to understand energy production and conservation. The advantages and disadvantages of renewable and non-renewable energy sources will be analyzed, including issues of efficiency, availability, cost, pollution, and environmental impact. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisites: Completion of a laboratory science sequence, or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 375: Research Practicum

Students will work on a one-to-one basis with a member of the faculty engaged in a particular research project. Although the work involved will depend on the nature of the research, emphasis will be on providing the student with intensive, hands on experience with all phases of the process of conducting research. Credit load to be determined on a 3 hours/week per semester = 1 credit basis. Repeatable for up to 6 credits.
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor and Chairperson of Interdisciplinary Studies Department.

Credits: 1.00 - 6.00

IDS 385: Community Organizing I

This course provides an introduction to the principles and theoretical structures of why and how to organize for participatory democracy at a grassroots level. As such this course aims to come to an understanding of how power is used to provide, as well as deny, access to goods, services, and basic human rights. This course covers actions from local, regional, national and international levels. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 389: Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary research is a rewarding but challenging mode of inquiry, one that requires the practitioners to integrate research techniques, methodological approaches and literatures from a variety of disciplines. This course provides students with a structured learning environment to enable them to become grounded in the major research methodologies of interdisciplinary scholarship. Students will critique, evaluate, and interpret published research, develop a research proposal, and complete a literature review. Students will also consider how interdisciplinary thinking is relevant to their personal and professional goals. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisite: Successful WI course completion, Junior standing, or approval by Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Communication-Level II

IDS 400: Directed Study

An individualized program providing study in depth in an area to be approved by the Interdisciplinary Studies Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00 - 6.00

IDS 401: Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies

This course will provide students with professional experience and training in a public or private organization directly related to each student's academic interest in Interdisciplinary Studies. The number of credit hours will vary with commitment. Potential interns need permission of a qualified IDS-affiliated faculty supervisor, Departmental Chairperson, or BLS Concentration Coordinator. This course is open only to BLS majors or IDS minors.

Credits: 3.00 - 6.00

IDS 461: Seminar in American Studies

This capstone course engages students in an exploration of American Studies scholarship and supports them as they conduct original research. Students will read classic and recent works in American Studies and investigate the topical, theoretical and methodological developments of the field. Each student will develop and complete a substantive research paper related to a current area of inquiry in the discipline. Required of all students in the American Studies Concentration. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisites: W-II course (pre- or co-req.), IDS232 and IDS333 or permission of the Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Commun-Level III

IDS 465: Seminar in Women's Studies

The culminating seminar in the Women's Studies Minor. The focus is on developing theoretical approaches to the study of those groups defined as minority, e.g. women and Third World people. Students will be encouraged to develop areas of inquiry and then to explain them and present their analysis in a variety of modes such as oral, written, film or videotape. Required of all Women's Studies Minors.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 489: Senior Capstone in Interdisciplinary Studies

This course will assist you in undertaking the research and writing process developed in your IDS389 proposal. Working with peer groups and one-on-one with faculty research mentors, you will implement and write up a significant research project that you will present to faculty, peers and members of the Salem State University community. Final projects will be bound and housed in the Interdisciplinary Studies office.
Prerequisite: Senior status and IDS389 or permission of chairperson

Credits: 3.00

IDS 600H: Honors Seminar I

This two semester sequence is intended to prepare students in the Honors Program for their independent research project or creative production required during the Program's senior year. Principally the seminar will involve presentations of faculty and guest speaker research projects. Presentations about the College's computer facilities, Library resources, and Career Planning and Placement Center, the Graduate Record Examination, etc. may also be included.
Prerequisite: Open only to Juniors and Seniors in the Honors Program.

Credits: 1.50

IDS 601H: Honors Seminar II

This two semester sequence is intended to prepare students in the Honors Program for their independent research project or creative production required during the Program's senior year. Principally the seminar will involve presentations of faculty and guest speaker research projects. Presentations about the College's computer facilities, Library resources, and Career Planning and Placement Center, the Graduate Record Examination, etc. may also be included. This course supports the writing of the final senior project/thesis through instruction in writing and peer-editing. Open only to Juniors and Seniors in the Honors Program.
Prerequisite: IDS600H.

Credits: 1.50

IDS 603H: Honors Independent Study

This course is designed as a one or two semester research program (3 credits per semester). It provides Commonwealth Honors Program seniors an opportunity to integrate their undergraduate experiences while preparing for their intended career paths. Working independently students conduct in-depth research within their own major discipline or across disciplines, undertake creative or community-action projects, or work intensively on other scholarly endeavors, all under the guidance of an experienced faculty mentor. Course is limited to Honors Program students. This course may be repeated once for credit.
Prerequisite: IDS600H.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 706: Experiential Scientific Research

Scientific inquiry is based on investigations using the Scientific Method, as an approach to problem solving. After consultation with their advisor and approval by the graduate committee, students will conduct a research project incorporating selective course materials acquired throughout the Middle School Initiative. Students will practice principles of experimental design and data analysis as they implement their projects. Students will present their research both in class and in Graduate Research Symposium using various media.
Prerequisite: Completion of all other coursework.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 710: Critical Thinking and Analytical Writing

Develops high-level critical thinking through the preparation of extensive written work including a substantial research paper that demonstrates ability to reason complexly and recognize the relationships among ideas, to synthesize disparate information into a coherent whole, to order information and arguments according to importance, and to use relevant evidence from reputable sources, correct citation, and correct written English. Course may be used for degree credit at discretion of program coordinator.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 730: Post-wwii Genocides

This course will examine post-WWII genocides through an interdisciplinary perspective of the social sciences and state policy analysis. This course will review the literature related to the complex causes of state sponsored genocide and the policy choices made by the United Nations, the United States, and other individual states in response to genocide.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 731: Perspectives On Evil and the Holocaust

Focusing on the Holocaust as a model of genocidal intent and a case study to help in understanding the psychology and philosophy of evil, the course will explore the mentality of those who designed and carried out the “final solution” as well as those complicit with them.

Credits: 3.00

IDS 738: Refugee and Asylum Law: Policies and Programs

This course will examine the international refugee crisis. The course will cover the international and domestic laws and policies that pertain to refugee rights and state obligations, including the asylum system in the United states. We will explore the causes of the dramatic increase in refugee populations around the world, and we will assess the proposed reforms, humanitarian efforts, and preventive measures of the United Nations, NGOs, the United States, and other state actors.

Credits: 3.00

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