Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum

 

All universities have a general education core. Most require students to select from a cafeteria plan of lower division

courses from various disciplines. USAO is distinctive in offering an interdisciplinary, liberal arts core that spans all four

years of its students’ academic careers. The Interdisciplinary core (IDS) includes two types of classes. There are skills

courses that teach students to express themselves clearly in both speech and writing and to master skills in areas such as

math and computer science. In addition, there are also concept courses that emphasize the complexity and interconnectedness of the human world. The interdisciplinary nature of these courses means that they examine topics from multiple academic perspectives and just not from the view point of a single field or specialization. To emphasize the broad, multi-faceted nature of the interdisciplinary approach, the concept courses are team-taught. This means that a course inAmerican Civilization, for instance, might be taught by a historian and a literature professor who would examine issues of the American past, identity, and values from the perspectives of both their fields, using literature, art, and film to examine the American tradition, as well as more familiar lecture approaches.

 

These concept courses begin in the freshman year with IDS 1133: The Individual in Contemporary Society, which examines the human condition in the early twenty-first-century and the issues and responsibilities that individuals must face in the contemporary world. Later concept courses cover the Physical and Life Sciences, the nature of American Civilization, the development and impact of World Thought and Culture, and an overview of the history of Political and Economic Systems and Theories. A faculty-guided, independent Senior Seminar project provides a capstone experience that completes and closes USAO’s undergraduate curriculum.

 

COURSE LISTINGS IN IDS

 

Preparation 1 hour

IDS 1001 USAO ORIENTATION

This course is required for students who enroll at USAO. 1 hour.

 

All first-time entering students (except transfer students with 31 or more credit hours) must enroll in a section of USAO Orientation.

 

Interdisciplinary Skills 15 hours

IDS 1013 RHETORIC and PUBLIC SPEAKING

Development of skill in analyzing, assessing, and formulating arguments; in understanding the relationships between logic and language; and in organizing and presenting speeches based on these skills and understandings. 3 hours.

 

IDS 1113 WRITING I

Extensive practice in writing, with emphasis on expository and persuasive essays based on a study of rhetoric and the writing process. 3 hours. Prerequisite: basic skills competence.

 

IDS 1213 WRITING II

The writing of critical papers based on the study of drama, fiction, and poetry, together with practice in applying close reading techniques to literature. 3 hours. Prerequisite: grade of "C" or better in IDS 1113.

 

IDS 1223 MATHEMATICS IN THE MODERN WORLD

Exploration of the structure, language, and thought processes of mathematics. 3 hours. Prerequisite: basic skills competence.

 

IDS 2003 INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE

Practice and theory in general computer concepts, including computer capabilities, data representation, and programming techniques. 3 hours.

 

Artistic Expression (Fine and Performing Arts) 2 hours

Two hours must be successfully completed from any of the following:

Art 1003, 1112, 1122, 1212, 1662, 2732

Drama 1403, 1801, 2113

English 2403

Music 1021, 1031, 1041, 1051, 1061, 1081, 1102, 1203, 4901(USAO Show Band, USAO Key Players, or USAO Vocal Jazz Ensemble), 4903 (Song Writing)

Photography 1023, 2133

 

Physical Expression 2 hours

Two hours must be successfully completed from the following:

PHED 1011 and 1 hour chosen from:

PHED 1001, 1021, 1031, 1041, 1061, 1081, 1091, 1111, 1121, 1141, 1151, 1161, 1181, 1191, 2101.

 

Interdisciplinary Ideas (Team-Taught) 30 hours

IDS 1133 THE INDIVIDUAL IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY

These concept courses begin in the freshman year with IDS 1133: The Individual in Contemporary Society,

which introduces the major theories of human nature, individual behavior, and the meaning of society.

Taught primarily from a psychology and sociology perspective, the course also utilizes other social sciences

to allow students to consider the interplay of individuals and major social issues. Later concept courses

cover the Physical and Life Sciences, the nature of American Civilization, the development and impact of

World Thought and Culture, and an overview of the history of Political and Economic Systems and Theories.

A faculty-guided, independent Senior Seminar project provides a capstone experience that completes and

closes USAO’s undergraduate curriculum. 3 hours

 

IDS 2011 FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENCE LABORATORY

An interdisciplinary laboratory offering experiments in both the biological and physical sciences.

Co-requisite: Foundations of Life Science – IDS 2023. 1 hour

 

IDS 2013 FOUNDATIONS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE

IDS 2013 and 2023 should be taken in sequence. Introduction of basic concepts of the scientific method illustrated by the physical sciences of astronomy, physics, chemistry, and geology. Topics include the historical and philosophical development of these sciences and their relationship to modern concerns with technology, environment, and energy. 3 hours

 

IDS 2023 FOUNDATIONS OF LIFE SCIENCE

IDS 2013 and 2023 should be taken in sequence. Continuation of the study of the scientific method with illustrations from the life sciences. Topics include fundamental elements of life sciences, such as cell structure and function, classification systems and evolution, and their relationship to modern concerns with environment, genetics, and population dynamics. Pre-requisite IDS 1223 3 hours

 

 

IDS 2133 AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (HISTORY/GOVERNMENT) I

IDS 2133 and 2143 should be taken in sequence. Examination of American ideas and culture through the Civil War era. The course explores the experiences of American peoples by focusing upon government; values; religious, social, and political concerns; and creative expressions. 3 hours

 

IDS 2143 AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (HISTORY/GOVERNMENT) II

IDS 2133 and 2143 should be taken in sequence. Examination of American ideas and cultures from the Civil War era to the present. The course explores the experiences of American peoples by focusing upon government; values; religious, social, and political concerns; and creative expressions. 3 hours

 

IDS 2880 SPECIAL TOPICS

Special topics in interdisciplinary studies. 1-4 hours. ELECTIVE CREDIT ONLY.

 

IDS 3223 POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS AND THEORIES

Examination of representative global political and economic theories and practices with emphasis on contemporary public policy alternatives for the United States. Includes a discussion of the relationship of geography to the development of political and economic systems and strategies. 3 hours

 

 

IDS 3313 WORLD THOUGHT AND CULTURE TO 500 C.E.

IDS 3313, 3323, and 4333 should be taken in sequence. Examination of representative thought and expression of a number of world civilizations to approximately 500 C.E. The course focuses on significant achievements in architecture, art, drama, literature, music, philosophy, religion, and science. 3 hours

 

IDS 3323 WORLD THOUGHT AND CULTURE FROM 500 C.E. TO 1650 C.E.

IDS 3313, 3323 and 4333 should be taken in sequence. Examination of representative thought and expression of a number of world civilizations from 500 C.E. to 1650 C.E. The course focuses on significant achievements in architecture, art, drama, literature, music, philosophy, religion, and science. 3 hours

 

IDS 4333 WORLD THOUGHT AND CULTURE FROM 1650 C.E. TO PRESENT

IDS 3313, 3323, 4333 should be taken in sequence. Examination of representative thought and expression of a number of world civilizations from 1650 C.E. to the present. The course focuses on significant achievements in architecture, art, drama, literature, music, philosophy, religion, and science. 3 hours

 

IDS 4522 SENIOR SEMINAR

Synthesis of the interdisciplinary program by writing several short papers and completing a formal project. The project may integrate a student’s major field with the IDS program. Prerequisite: completion of IDS courses below the 4000 level. 2 hours

 

IDS 4532 SENIOR HONORS RESEARCH

Synthesis of the interdisciplinary program, culminating in a substantial research or creative project which

should possess the potential for publication or public showing/performance. The research and projects are

guided by a faculty advisor and defended to a faculty committee. The two course sequence will substitute for

IDS 4522 Senior Seminar with regard to graduation requirements. Admission to the courses is by application

only to the Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, and both courses must be completed to successfully meet the

graduation requirement. 2 hours

 

IDS 4542 SENIOR HONORS PROJECT

Defending your research and/or project to a faculty committee. This is two courses and must be done in sequence and both courses must be completed to successfully meet the graduation requirements. 2 hours

 

IDS 4880 SPECIAL TOPICS

Special topics in interdisciplinary studies. 1-4 hours. ELECTIVE CREDIT ONLY.

 

To learn more about IDS, visit our IDS web page conveniently linked to the USAO homepage: www.usao.edu.

 

 

Minor in Liberal Arts

Required Courses (18 hours)

Course Title Hours Required

IDS 3223 POLITICAL & ECONOMIC SYSTEMS & THEORIES 3

IDS 3313 WORLD THOUGHT & CULTURE TO 500 C.E. 3

IDS 3323 WORLD THOUGHT & CULTURE, 500 C.E.TO1650 C.E. 3

IDS 4333 WORLD THOUGHT & CULTURE, 1650 C.E. TO PRESENT 3

Additional liberal arts hours, approved by both advisor and the director

of Interdisciplinary Studies 6

No courses can be substituted for the four specified IDS courses required for the liberal arts minor. No course may count for credit in the liberal arts minor and also count for credit in either a major or another minor.