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Interdisciplinary Studies


Interdisciplinary Majors

Students may choose to complete an interdisciplinary major that they design in consultation with appropriate faculty. Such majors must be approved by the appropriate department chairs and the Associate Provost.

Any student proposing to design an interdisciplinary major must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better, and must submit a self-design plan along with the signed Declaration of Major Form. Self-Design Plans are available in the Associate Provost's Office. Declaration of Major Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar or online.

Interdisciplinary Minors

A minor is not required of any student, but many elect to minor in a departmental or interdisciplinary program. A minimum of 18 semester hours is required for a minor.  Established interdisciplinary minor options at Mount St. Mary's include:

Conflict, Peace, and Social Justice Minor

Co-directors: J. Kristen Urban (Political Science), William Collinge (Theology), Tim Wolfe (Sociology), and Richard Buck (Philosophy)

The minor in conflict, peace, and social justice (CPSJ) studies provides an interdisciplinary examination of the conditions that make for peace. In focusing on both the analytical and normative aspects of conflict, justice, and peace work, it seeks to foster the development of graduates committed to being catalysts for social and personal change, and to promoting the development of a just and peaceful world order.

The particular emphasis of this program is on situating conflicts within the broad framework of peace and social justice. Courses taken to fulfill the requirements of the CPSJ minor can be counted toward only one other major or minor. Sociology students must take SOC 205 and SOC 206 in addition to their Sociology major or minor.

This minor consists of a minimum of six courses (18 credit hours). All students in the CPSJ minor take:

Students then choose an area of concentration from the following list, completing all courses in that concentration in addition to the courses listed above.

Track A: International Order - studying the role of international norms, institutions, and states in a peaceful world order.  Students take:

  • PSCI 342

  • Two courses from the list of Conflict, Peace, and Social Justice electives

Track B: Nation-State - studying the role of domestic norms and institutions in achieving social, economic, and environmental justice. Students take:

Track C:  Normative Behavior - studying the impact of religious, philosophical, and cultural influences on peace. Students take:

  • PHIL 323 or THEOL 208 (soon to be THEOL 4XX)

  • Two courses from the list of Conflict, Peace, and Social Justice electives

► See the Conflict, Peace, and Social Justice Elective Courses listed within the current year's catalog


Creative Writing Minor

Director: Thomas Bligh (English)

Offered jointly by the Communication Studies and English departments, the creative writing minor contributes to our liberal arts mission by exploring connections between the study of literature and the practice of writing. Creative writing minors at Mount St. Mary's take a sequence of courses to develop their talents in a variety of narrative forms, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. All creative writing classes emphasize the value of revision and peer feedback. The minor is open to all students.

In the creative writing minor, students will:

  • Create literary works in a variety of forms.

  • Broaden their knowledge and understanding of literature.

  • Synthesize lived and learned experience by expressing it imaginatively.

  • Develop skills in the use of imagery, metaphor, dialogue, and description.

  • Become better able to evaluate their written work and that of others.

Students may attend readings and lectures by visiting authors, participate in regional and national writing conferences, and share their work in poetry and prose readings on- and off-campus. The program includes opportunities to work on the staff of the Mount's award winning literary magazine, Lighted Corners, and to submit features to the Emmitsburg News-Journal.

The creative writing minor consists of six courses (18 credit hours). All students take:


Cross-Cultural Studies Minor

Director: Michael Sollenberger (Foreign Languages and Literatures)

The minor in cross-cultural studies offers students a wide range of options for the study of human cultures around the globe through a variety of traditional disciplines and interdisciplinary courses. By extending students' exposure to these cultures beyond requirements in the core or the major, this program helps students develop an awareness of the problems and responsibilities involved in global citizenship. Each course in the program seeks to develop an awareness of the theoretical and actual problems involved in the effort of studying other cultures in a sympathetic manner.

Students seeking the interdisciplinary minor in cross-cultural studies develop a course of study with the approval of the director and the Associate Provost. The minor consists of six courses (18 credits). Students will select from among Global Encounters and other courses offered by various departments in the University which involve study of another culture.

Students may begin to take cultural courses at any time - as early as the freshman year. They may also have one course meet multiple requirements. (For example, one Global Encounters course may fulfill three requirements: the Veritas Global Encounters requirement, a major requirement, and a requirement for the cross-cultural studies minor. Students may count up to three courses (9 credits) toward both their major and the cross-cultural studies minor.

Students may count "Life and Culture" courses offered in the University's study abroad program in conjunction with AIFS in Dublin, Florence, London, and Prague, as well as the Study Abroad and Study Tour courses offered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.


Environmental Studies Minor

Director: Rosina Bolen (Science)

The minor in environmental studies offers students the opportunity to explore the role and responsibilities of the individual and society in causing and addressing environmental problems. No more than three courses can dual count for a student's major and minor.

The minor consists of six courses (18 credit hours). All students take:

Students then choose an area of concentration from the following list, completing all courses in that concentration in addition to the courses listed above.

Environmental Science Focus - students selecting this focus will take:

  • Two environmental science courses with their associated labs

  • Two environmental values and policy courses

  • Experiential component course

Environmental Values and Policy Focus - students selecting this focus will take:

  • Four environmental values and policy courses

  • Experiential component course

► See the Environmental Studies Elective Courses listed within the current year's catalog
► See the Experiential Component Courses listed within the current year's catalog


Gender Studies Minor

Director: Maureen Oakley (Political Science)

The interdisciplinary minor in gender studies supports the mission of the University by helping students understand how gender affects their lives, how gender roles have changed over time, and the ways gender drives both change and continuity in our culture.

The minor consists of six courses (18 credit hours), with no more than two courses from one discipline (major).

Students are required to take:

► See the Gender Studies Elective Courses listed within the current year's catalog


Latin American Studies Minor

Directors: Diana Rodriguez-Lozano (Foreign Languages and Literatures), Amanda Beal (Political Science)

The Latin American studies minor is an interdisciplinary program drawing on existing coursework in the fields of modern languages, political science, literature, sociology, economics, history, and fine arts. This minor introduces students to an understanding of Latin American culture, language, politics, and society. The minor will be of particular value for students majoring in disciplines which otherwise lack of regional focus and for which a regional focus would be complementary (business, economics, political science, history, sociology, etc.).

The minor consists of six courses (18 credit hours). Students take:

*Students can choose from the list of Latin American Studies electives or they can participate in one of the 1-credit abroad experiences, or work with one of the directors to fulfill a 3-credit independent study elective.

► See the Latin American Studies Elective Courses listed within the current year's catalog


Legal Studies Minor

Director: Edward T. Egan (Pre-Law Program)

The minor in legal studies provides students from any major with an interdisciplinary understanding of the law, which is a fundamental aspect of life and the world. It is applicable for students interested in graduate school in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, history, international relations, philosophy, sociology, or women's studies; it would be appropriate for students who plan to work in government, politics, social policy, or private industry.

In addition, students who complete the program will gain skills necessary for competency in law school and the legal profession. According to the American Bar Association this requires:

  • Analytical and problem solving skills

  • Critical reading skills

  • Writing skills

  • Oral communication and listening skills

  • General research skills

  • Task organization and management skills

The minor requires students to complete six courses (no more than two of them from the same discipline). Relevant independent studies (including mock trial), internships, and special topics courses may be counted toward the minor with prior approval of the director. All minors must have a course combination approved by the director of the Legal Studies Program. Students take:

► See the Legal Studies Elective Courses listed within the current year's catalog


Contact Us

For more details on these and other interdisciplinary programs at the Mount, please connect with the program most relative to your interest and discuss with an advisor the possibilities of a unique program.

Email the Associate Provost's Office

 
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