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Interdisciplinary Minors

Tag clouds for AMST; Italian Studies; Asian Studies; AAST; International Studies; Women, Gender and Sexuality; Disability Studies; Peace Studies; and Neuroscience Behavior and Cognition

Program Overview

An IDIS minor is a flexible, six-course plan of study in the humanities and liberal arts and sciences. Interdisciplinary studies cross between academic disciplines to meet the changing and challenging demands of the academic and professional spheres.

Interdisciplinary courses can be taken in English studies; economics, history, and political science; the humanities; biology and chemistry; and psychological science. Complex issues require knowledge of different disciplines to address complex issues or to redress neglected fields of study.

Interdisciplinary studies provide motivated students with the chance to develop their own unique scholarly and problem-solving skills.

The interdisciplinary studies minors at Fitchburg State include:

Benefits for Students

  • Flexibility in thinking and enhanced knowledge of intersecting disciplines
  • Diversified plan of study to increase your career options
  • Follow your intellectual curiosity and receive college credit
  • An IDIS minor takes only six courses: two courses beyond your already required Advanced LAS option

Coordinator Contact Info

Dr. Frank Mabee, Associate Professor
Interdisciplinary Minors Coordinator
English Studies, Miller Hall 203

African-American Studies Minor

Host Department: English Studies
Contributing Department: EHPS
Contact / Minor Advisor: Chola Chisunka, English Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in African-American studies provides courses which examine the cultures, history, and literature of African-American peoples. This course work provides students with new perspectives on the significant roles played by these peoples.

African-American Studies Minor Course List

American Studies Minor

Host Department: English Studies
Contributing Department: EHPS
Contact / Minor Advisor: Ben Railton, English Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in American studies provides an opportunity for students to explore the culture life of the United States throughout its history. In American studies courses, students apply methods drawn from diverse academic disciplines, including literature, history, music, art history, economics, political science, geography, folklore, communication, and media studies.

American Studies Minor Course List

Asian Studies Minor

Host Department: English Studies
Contributing Departments: EHPS, Humanities
Contact / Minor Advisor: Aruna Krishnamurthy, English Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in Asian studies exposes students to the arts, culture, history and literature of Asian countries and is designed to serve a twenty-first century constituency shaped by the experience of globalization. Students learn to appreciate the issues that dominate this increasingly important but little understood region, and gain awareness about the complexity and diversity of Asian societies and cultures. The minor is based on courses offered through the departments of history, political science, economics, humanities and English.

Asian Studies Minor Course List

Deaf Studies Minor

Host Department: Behavioral Sciences
Contributing Department: Humanities
Contacts / Minor Advisors: Petri Flint, Humanities; Kelly Morgan, Communications Media; Christine Shane, Behavioral Sciences

The deaf studies minor takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of deaf and hard of hearing people in American and world society. The minor promotes the understanding of deaf people as a linguistic and cultural group and encourages students to analyze existing stereotypes and policies relating to deaf and hard-of-hearing people in order to engage and effect change in the community at-large. 

Deaf Studies Minor Course List

Disability Studies Minor

Host Department: Behavioral Sciences
Contributing Department: Biology (Humanities, Comm Media, English Studies, EXSS, Education)
Contact / Minor Advisor: Christine Shane, Behavioral Sciences

Disability studies is an interdisciplinary minor within the Behavioral Sciences Department offering a liberal arts approach to the study of disability. The undergraduate disability studies minor provides students with knowledge of the historical, social, aesthetic, literary, legal, educational, philosophical, biological and political framing of disability. Students develop a strong interdisciplinary foundation, with emphasis on cultural constructions of human ability and the intersections of disability, race, gender, sex age, class and other markers of diversity and difference.

Students may select from a variety of courses concerned with matters of perceived and measured human ability and capacity. The student is required to take a core set of courses supplemented by a choice from a list of related courses.

The minor is open to any student in good academic standing at the University.

Disability Studies Minor Course List

Film Studies Minor

Host Department: Communications Media
Contributing Departments: English Studies, Humanities
Contact / Minor Advisor: Zachary Lee, Communications Media

The minor in film studies allows students to engage in an interdisciplinary study of film history, culture, theory and criticism. The minor provides a range of courses in international and domestic film that enhance a student’s critical thinking, appreciation for the art of cinema and analytical and writing skills. Students in communications media and English studies will be able to add the minor as long as the same courses are not simultaneously being used to fulfill requirements in the major with the exception of the History of the Medium requirement in communications media. 

Film Studies Minor Course List

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Minor

Host Department: Earth and Geographical Sciences
Contributing Department: Computer Science
Contact / Minor Advisor: Jane Huang, Earth and Geographical Sciences

The interdisciplinary minor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is designed to serve students who want a basic understanding of techniques and application potential of GIS and relevant fields, such as remote sensing, GPS (Global Positioning System), web mapping/scripting, and CAD (Computer Aided Drafting). The minor provides students with contemporary geospatial skills that use digital information about earth surface features and location patterns to produce useful maps and analytical solutions to complex problems in physical, environmental, social and economic fields. A total of 6 courses, 18 credits is required for the minor.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Minor Course List

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Crime Mapping and Analysis Minor

Host Department: Earth and Geographical Sciences
Contributing Department: Criminal Justice
Contact / Minor Advisor: Jane Huang, Earth and Geographical Sciences

The interdisciplinary minor of GIS crime mapping and analysis is designed to serve students who want to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to transform crime-related information into actionable intelligence for officers in the field and for crime analysts in police agencies. 

The minor provides students with contemporary geospatial skills and essential criminal justice knowledge that can help them aggregate crime data, identify patterns and clusters, explore the relationship between crime and other types of datasets, and assess the effectiveness of crime-reduction strategies.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Crime Mapping and Analysis Minor Course List

International Studies Minor

Host Department: EHPS
Contributing Departments: The entire LAS curriculum and then some
Contact / Minor Advisor: Josh Spero, EHPS

The international studies minor program provides exciting opportunities to examine and explore international and interdisciplinary challenges of globalization and communication, multicultural awareness and diversity, citizenship and the world, and literature and the arts.

Our goal is to increase global awareness and abilities to interact with peoples from diverse cultures and perspectives. Appreciation of other cultures offers an opportunity for students from all majors to enhance their abilities to become more globally aware and politically active.

This program makes people more knowledgeable about the world's peoples, cultures, and languages so that they become more globally competent and better equipped for an increasingly interconnected and complicated world.

The international studies minor program also organizes and hosts the annual International Studies Keynote Lecture Series for which students, faculty, staff, administration -- and the greater community -- have the opportunity to interact with experts in international studies.

International Studies Minor Course List

Italian Studies Minor

Host Department: Humanities
Contributing Department: EHPS
Contact / Minor Advisor: Rala Diakite, Humanities

The minor in Italian studies offers students in other disciplines the opportunity to incorporate the knowledge of Italian language and culture into their program of studies. In our increasingly global world, this may be particularly valuable to students pursuing business, health, science, and education fields. The minor in Italian can be combined with majors related to humanities, since Italy has made key contributions to these fields. Students will achieve an advanced intermediate proficiency in the Italian language, and become acquainted with major literary, historical and artistic developments of Italy throughout its history.

Italian Studies Minor Course List

Neuroscience, Behavior, and Cognition Minor

Host Departments: Biology & Chemistry and Psychological Science
Contributing Department: None, this is considered a joint effort
Contacts / Minor Advisors: Thomas Schoenfeld, Biology & Chemistry; Hildur Schilling, Psychological Science

The neuroscience, behavior, and cognition minor is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore the biological basis of behavior, consciousness, perception, and cognition. All NB&C minors will take two biology and two psychology core courses designed to provide a basic understanding of the scientific data and theories of cognitive activity and the concomitant biological systems that give rise to cognition and behavior. Students are free to choose two electives that will allow further exploration of such topics as cellular and developmental biology, animal behavior, physiology, cognitive and perceptual processes, and consciousness. The NB&C minor is an excellent complement to such majors as psychological science, biology, education, and computer science, or for any student interested in the biological workings of the mind.

Note: Students who major in biology or psychological science may not apply courses from those disciplines to satisfy both their major requirements and the NB&C minor requirements. Moreover, a psychological sciences major must take an additional elective in lieu of Introduction to Psychological Science, even though it is not required for the major. The range in credits for required and elective courses and the total credits overall reflects these differences in the curriculum for the minor taken by biology majors (18 cr.) and psychological science majors (23 cr.).

Total Number of Courses to be Taken: at least 6 courses
Total Number of Credit Hours Required: 18-23 credits

Neuroscience, Behavior, and Cognition Minor Course List

Peace Studies Minor

Host Department: EHPS
Contributing Department: English Studies, Humanities, Sociology, Psychology
Contact / Minor Advisor: Eric Budd, EHPS

Peace studies in an interdisciplinary minor that guides students toward an understanding of how and why conflicts originate and the multiple ways that conflicts may be successfully managed. The minor introduces students to the background and skills they will need to lead their national and international contemporaries toward a more peaceful world. Students will be better able to recognize the factors that lead to conflict, appreciate different historical, political, ethical and religious perspectives, and draw on a repertoire of techniques for achieving and sustaining peaceful coexistence.

Peace Studies Minor Course List

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor

Host Department: EHPS
Contributing Departments: Behavioral Sciences, English Studies
Contact / Minor Advisor: Patricia Arend, Behavioral Sciences 

The minor in women, gender and sexuality studies provides multicultural and interdisciplinary courses which examine women's roles, history, and issues.

It allows students to understand a broad range of individual and collective experiences at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, disability and age.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor Course List