The Reinvention Center
Two past Reinvention Center Spotlights have addressed interdisciplinarity in undergraduate education. One of the Spotlights featured recent campus efforts to create interdisciplinary general education curricula, with models drawn from UCLA, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas at Austin, and an essay by Greg Bothun, Professor of Physics at the University of Oregon, on "Achieving Interdisciplinary General Education at the Research University." The second Spotlight focused on the minor as a vehicle for interdisciplinary learning. It has an essay from Katherine Harrington, Associate Provost for Academic Programs at University of Southern California, accompanied by exciting and innovative examples from University of Oklahoma, Emory University, University of Connecticut, University of Massashusetts, Amherst, and Binghamton University.
Listed below are links to exciting and innovative interdisciplinary minors on a variety of campuses. If you would like us to add a link to your campus's program, please send us a short description, the URL and the name of the program.
American Studies Minor
American Indian Studies Minor
Asian Studies Minor
Bioinformatics/Computational Biology Minor
Comparative Ethnic Studies Minor
Disability Studies Minor
Film Studies Minor
Global Studies Integrated Curriculum
Global Studies Minor
History of Science Minor
Human Rights Minor
Information Technology Minor
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment
International Studies Certificate Program
Leadership, Ethics and Social Action Minor
Violence Studies Minor
Women's Studies Minor
University of Southern California
Many items here are drawn from a list complied by Pamela M. Patterson, Program Coordinator, Center for Teaching Excellence, Iowa State University, and posted on the POD Network list serv on July 23, 2002. They are included here with Dr. Patterson's permission.
Ayres, B., and Gibbs, P. (1997). Mythic America: Developing an interdisciplinary course. Teaching English in the Two-Year College, December, 326-332.
The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates at the Research University, Reinventing Undergraduate Education, Section IV. Remove Barriers
to Interdisciplinary Education, available on-line at:
Cowan, M. A., Ewell, B. C., and McConnell, P., "Creating Conversations: An Experiment in Interdisciplinary Team Teaching," College Teaching, 43:4, 127-131.
Davis, James R. (1995). Interdisciplinary Courses and Team Teaching: New Arrangements for Learning. Phoenix, AZ: American Council on Education and the Oryx Press. Note: Davis explores the pros and cons of teaching interdisciplinary courses. He also describes in depth five interdisciplinary team-taught courses at the University of Denver, including courses in professional subjects.
Denofrio, L.; Russell, B.; Lopatto, D.; Lu, Y. “Linking Student Interests to Science Curricula.” Science 2007, 318, 1872-1873.
DeZure, D., Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning.
Do, Ellen Yi-Luen, "Interdisciplinary Programs: Integrating Different Perspectives and Ways of Thinking into Undergraduate Education," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2004): http://www.sunysb.edu/reinventioncenter/Conference_04/proceedings.htm
Fraser, Cassandra L., Aultman, Jennifer, and Malewitz, Raymond. "Designing Matter: Fusing Science and Humanities Approaches to Address Real World Challenges," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2006): http://www.sunysb.edu/Reinventioncenter/conference2006/proceedings.htm
Haynes, C. Ed. (2002). Innovations in Interdisciplinary Teaching. ACE/ORYX Press.
Hertz, David and Giancarlo Maiorino. "Applying Principles of Learning in Undergraduate Education in the Peforming and Fine Arts," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2004): http://www.sunysb.edu/reinventioncenter/Conference_04/proceedings.htm
Huber, M. T., and Morreale, S. P. (Eds.). (2002). Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching, Exploring Common Ground, AAHE and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Interdisciplinary Teaching Web links: http://ss.uno.edu/SS/Links/Interdisc.html
The Journal of Innovative Higher Education: http://www.UGA.edu/ihe/IHE.html
Klein. J. T., and Doty, W. G., (1994). Interdisciplinary Studies Today.
No. 58. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Lattuca, L. (2001). Creating Interdisciplinary: Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching among College and University Faculty, Vanderbilt University Press.
Miller, J. E. (2002). Building Interdisciplinary Bridges between Math, Science, and Engineering Courses,"Journal for the Art of Teaching, Volume IX(1): 56-72. Note: If you cannot easily get a copy contact Judith Miller, Director of Educational Development, Technology and Assessment, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, (508) 831-5579; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nuhfer, E. B. (1999). Motivation in interdisciplinary programs: in M. Theall and others Motivation from Within: Approaches for Encouraging Faculty and Students to Excel: New Directions in Teaching and Learning n. 78, Jossey-Bass, pp. 79-86.
Rosenthal, A., and Rodriguez, R. (2001). "Interdisciplinary Courses and Team Teaching: Crossing Academic Borders," Reflections from the Classroom (Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas), Volume 4, Fall, 1-5. http://www.ku.edu/~cte
Rubin, Clinton. "Integrating Research and Undergraduate Education in the Post-Genomics Era...A Good Idea, but...What About Implementation?" Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2002): http://www.sunysb.edu/Reinventioncenter/conference/Roundtables/reinvent-rubin-11-02.pdf
Vess, D. (2000). Exploration in Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning.
Willis, Holly. "Integrating Core Functions in Fields of Study that Cross Intellectual Domains: Multimedia in the Core," Reinvention Center Conference (Nov. 2006): http://www.sunysb.edu/Reinventioncenter/conference2006/proceedings.htm
Wineburg, S., and Grossman, P. (2000). Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Challenges to Implementation, Teachers College Press, 2000.
CBEL course website (open access): http://atlas.scs.uiuc.edu/chem199L.
The Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis:
University Scholars Program: http://admissions.wustl.edu/USP/Pages/default.aspx
|Exemplary Programs and Practices|
Bridging Disciplines Programs, University of Texas at Austin. A set of programs that allow undergraduates to earn an interdisciplinary certificate through a course of study that integrates classroom, research, and internship experiences. http://www.utexas.edu/ugs/bdp
Community Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz: An interdisciplinary undergraduate (and graduate) program that focuses on the study of social change in the context of the community. http://communitystudies.ucsc.edu/
The Computational Design Lab, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon
The Duke Scholarship with a Civic Mission project, Duke University: Gives students, faculty, and community groups a chance to work together on issues of common concern. For more information visit: http://rslduke.mc.duke.edu
The Electronic Learning Communities, Georgia Tech: Links to several computer-based learning environments including AquaMoose 3D, a math learning environment designed to build connections between mathematical and artistic thinking and IRC Francais, a project designed to help students learn French through active conversations with other students. http://www.cc.gatech.edu/elc/
Gemstone Program, The University of Maryland: A four-year program for Honors students that integrates technological and social issues into team research projects guided by a faculty mentor. http://www.gemstone.umd.edu/
The History of Consciousness Program, University of California, Santa Cruz: An interdisciplinary graduate program centered in the humanities with links to the social sciences, natural sciences and the arts. http://humwww.ucsc.edu/histcon/HisCon.html
The Human-Computer Interaction Institute: An interdisciplinary group of faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon University dedicated to research and education in topics related to computer technology in support of human activity and society. From the site’s homepage, click the ‘research’ link to find information about interesting research projects and computer-based learning tools. http://www.hcii.cmu.edu
SAGES, Case Western Reserve University: An innovative program organized around seminars taken in each of your first three years of study and culminating in a capstone project. http://www.case.edu/sages
At the University of Southern California, students can minor in
a subject offered in a different college or unit than that of their major.
The University of Colorado-based Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities: Uses interdisciplinary research and multi-campus partnerships in the research and development of innovative technologies to enhance the lives of people with cognitive disabilities: http://www.colorado.edu/engineering/cue01/projects/coleman2.html and http://www.cu.edu/ColemanInstitute/
|Course and Curricular Innovation|
and Spatial Reasoning Course and Presentation
Designing Matter, a common course at University of Virginia: a collaborative learning experiment involving students and faculty from numerous departments and disciplines. The course explores cutting edge research in science and other matter related fields, along with implications for society too.
Multimedia in the Core, University of Southern California: A program to teach and promote multimedia literacy through courses across disciplines in the core curriculum: http://iml.usc.edu/html/academic_programs/core/index.htm
Connections in Undergraduate Studies (Connexus), University of Texas at Austin. A cross-college unit that offers a diverse set of academic programs and resources that traverse boundaries between colleges and disciplines and enhances the quality of undergraduate education. http://www.utexas.edu/student/connexus/