The Idea of the Major

The College of Social Science explicitly recognizes that many important and rewarding topics in the study of human beings, their social organizations and behavior, and their physical and biological environments do not fall exclusively within the boundaries of any single social science discipline. While individually distinctive, the six social science disciplines from which student in this major construct their programs (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology) collectively form a closely interlocking set of disciplines with many basic concepts and points of origin in common. Each discipline complements and modifies the theoretical perspectives and findings of the others. Because of the overlapping boundaries of the social sciences, many faculty in the College of Social Science participate in instruction, research and public outreach projects with colleagues in the related disciplines within the college, across the campus, and around the world. For these reasons, the college offers a broadly based, multidepartmental undergraduate major in interdisciplinary social science. 

The Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science (IDS) program recognizes that many students do not wish to limit their studies to the specialization of a single disciplinary department or professional school. Rather, these students seek a well-rounded, bachelor's degree program that will provide a broad exposure to several of the social sciences, even as it prepares them to enter the career market or undertake advanced studies. The IDS majors, then exist to offer students the opportunity to make full use of both the commonality and diversity inherent in the social sciences and to construct from them a well-integrated, multifaceted liberal arts education.