Interdisciplinary Studies

Director, 2013-14: Dana Gross (Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary and General Studies, Psychology), developmental psychology

Interdisciplinary courses use the resources of several disciplines to investigate topics that cut across departmental lines. These courses raise awareness about the distinctive methodologies and conceptual frameworks of different disciplines and their strengths and possible biases in describing, explaining, and evaluating reality.

COURSES

150 Explorations in Science

This interdisciplinary, topics-based course explores contemporary issues in science with emphasis on developing students' understanding of scientific and quantitiative approaches to problem solving. Specific topics, ranging from environmental chemistry and public health to biomechanics and genetics, vary from year to year. Students attend nine hours of lectures or small group discussion sections, two to three hours of quantitative workshops, and four hours of laboratory per week. Does not count toward any major. The course is taught with WRI 109. Prerequisite: acceptance into the Summer Bridge Program. Offered annually during the summer.

230 Communicating Science and Mathematics (.25 Credit)

Oral communication is an essential part of science and mathematics. Students work closely with a faculty member to learn and practice important aspects of communicating technical information to both expert and non-expert audiences. Enrollment by permission of instructor only. Prerequisite: Previous participation in summer communication series. P/N only. Offered each semester.

234 Human Geography of the Middle East

This course provides an examination and application of the key content, skills, and perspectives of human geography. The lens of the geographer focuses on the spatial distribution of phenomena over the surface of the earth, asking the questions "where?" and "why there?". The practices and skills of geography are used to investigate a variety of issues in the Middle East, including environmental problems, the culture and management of sacred places, and the reasons for war and the need for peace. Counts toward environmental studies major (social science track).

237 McNair Research Writing Across the Disciplines

This course prepares McNair Scholars for the rigors of academic writing. Because the enrolled students represent a variety of disciplines, this course serves as a general introduction to writing in research; it is not meant to replace discipline-specific research methods or writing courses. Students read scholarly literature in their disciplines, write a literature review, draft various sections of a research paper, and prepare for a formal poster presentation. Offered every summer.

238 Religion and Politics in Egypt

Students explore how religion impacts political thought and social-political activism in contemporary Egypt after the Egyptian Revolution. Topics include how democracy, rights, and secularism have been interpreted; the statements and influence of religious leaders; the development of religiously coded legal initiatives and political parties; and the experiences of everyday Egyptians, including youth, women, and Christian minorities. Offered during Interim. Counts toward Middle Eastern studies concentration.

249 Mare Balticum (in English abroad)

Starting with Hanseatic and Teutonic traditions of entrepreneurship from the 13th-century, this course focuses on the political and economic history of a region that has transitioned from tribalism to feudalism, then to mercantilism, capitalism, communism, and now EU-style capitalism. The course develops in an itinerant way -- city to city -- starting in Lübeck, Germany, then proceed eastward to the cities of Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, Greifswald, Wolgast, Szczecin, Koszalin, Danzig, Malbork, Ketrzyn, Vilnius, Kaunas, the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg in Germany's East Prussia), Klaipeda, Riga, Tartu, Tallinn, crossing by ship to Helsinki, Finland, and again by ship to Stockholm, Sweden. Students deliver several oral presentations, including a group project of a business plan for a hypothetical start-up. Offered during Interim.

250 Research Opportunity in Science for Sophomores

This course provides a guided summer research opportunity in science for rising sophomores. The course focuses on a research topic(s) to be determined by the instructor. Students learn how to ask and evaluate scientific question(s) with emphasis on quantitative approaches; read from and research the scientific literature; collect and analyze data; and summarize and present their results in writing and orally. Prerequisite: completion of Summer Bridge program or permission of instructor.

255 The Physician in Clinical and Hospital Health Care

Students will explore health care in a clinical and hospital setting through association with a physician in one of the clinics that are a part of the metro area Fairview Health System or the Family Practice Medical Center of Willmar, Minnesota. Students will follow the physician, who serves as their primary mentor, or other designated physicians through their daily activities in pertinent clinical and hospital settings. Students will observe the delivery of health care in primary and specialty areas and in practices dealing with all age groups. Emergency health care and physician support areas are other aspects of medicine to which students will be exposed. Students will keep a journal detailing their observations and their interpretation of and reaction to these observations and will write a research paper on an aspect of current medical care and practice. Selection is based on a review of all applicants (preference given to junior or senior pre-medical students with demonstrated strong academic achievement). P/N grading. Offered annually during Interim. Counts toward biomedical studies concentration.

256 Issues in Global Health

This course examines multicultural health concepts and health care systems from biological, social, psychological and practical points of view. Students examine critical global health issues, including globalization, emerging infectious diseases, women's health and economic development, food and nutrition, trends in global environmental health, chronic disease, cultural considerations, and health policy and advocacy. Students explore the course material through readings, films, case studies, debates, and expert guest speakers. Prerequisites: sophomore standing or above, and completion of at least one of the following courses: any 100-level biology course, Economics 121, Environmental Studies 137, Political Science 117, Political Science 121, Psychology 125, Sociology/Anthropology 121, Sociology/Anthropology 128. Offered occasionally in Interim.

257 Arts and Literature of Australia and New Zealand

This course examines how history and place have shaped artistic expression in unique subcultures of Australia and New Zealand, focusing on literature, drama, dance, and visual arts. Students meet with working artists, attend live performances, and connect literature and art to the built environment and geographical locales on Australia's East Coast and in New Zealand. Assignments integrate research on cultural contexts and analysis of art forms. Offered alternate Interims. Counts toward theater and English majors.

258 Theater in London

A full immersion in the art of theater, students will attend approximately 22 performances at London and Stratford theaters. The course will include the reading of play texts, dramatic criticism, group discussions and backstage tours. England, a theatrical center of the English-speaking world, enables students to experience a wide variety of theatrical performances ranging from traditional to modern. Excursions to Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge, Canterbury and Oxford offer additional cultural perspectives. Offered annually during Interim.

294 Internship

298 Independent Study

394 Internship

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.

398 Independent Research