University Studies is the home of University-wide academic programs and activities that include the following: a nationally recognized, interdisciplinary, general education curriculum, University Interdisciplinary Studies (UIS); a part-time, adult degree-completion program, the Bachelor of Arts in University Studies (B.U.S.); ABA-approved paralegal studies at the certificate, associate, and bachelor levels; an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts; and academic advising programs in Premedical Professions and Pre-Law. In addition, University Studies includes the Center for Reading and Writing (CRW) that assists students in writing and study skills; an intensive English program, the English Language Institute (ELI), for those students whose primary language is not English; and a cocurricular student Mock Trial team.
Beatrice Fox Auerbach Computer and Administration Center provides facilities for University Interdisciplinary Studies, the Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts, and the Bachelor of Arts in University Studies.
The Beatrice Fox Auerbach Hall provides facilities for paralegal degree programs the Access-Ability Program, and the Paralegal Studies program.
The Mortensen Library houses the Center for Reading and Writing.
University Interdisciplinary Studies
The University Interdisciplinary Studies program (UIS) is the University’s nationally recognized interdisciplinary general education program. UIS courses educate students broadly through engagement with fundamental areas of knowledge that challenge students to go beyond their chosen specializations. The curriculum is infused with classical and traditional knowledge that has value for today. It also incorporates knowledge in the social sciences, business, engineering, and technology necessary to prepare graduates for a contemporary world. All of these areas of study are integrated in interdisciplinary courses through which students examine in-depth problems, ideas, and issues from multiple perspectives. Since faculty from all schools and colleges of the University create these courses, the curriculum takes full advantage of the diverse resources of the institution.
In addition to providing students a breadth of knowledge in their liberal education, University Interdisciplinary Studies makes clear the relationships among disciplinary areas of knowledge through integrative, cross-disciplinary courses that emphasize active learning, both within and outside of the classroom. By using creative and interactive teaching styles, the faculty encourages students to take responsibility for learning. The courses are intended to create a challenging and supportive community in which students and faculty join together in shared learning experiences.
Most students in baccalaureate programs are required to take at least four University Interdisciplinary Studies courses over their four years as part of graduation requirements. An array of courses in all four categories are offered each semester. Students are required to take one course from each of the four breadth categories, for a minimum of 12 UIS credits. One of those four courses must be a Diversity (D) designated course, which addresses complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender bias, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, disability, religion, human rights, freedom, empowerment, or the continuing struggles around the world for social equality. This designation follows the course number, e.g., UISS 140D. Students may take an additional UIS course as an elective.
Description of the Four UIS Categories
UISA: Artistic and Creative Expression
Courses in this category engage the imagination, foster flexible ways of thinking, and provide distinctive ways of understanding human beings and nature. Knowledge of architecture, art, dance, drama, literature, and music opens channels of communication and leads to a realization of the complexities and interrelationships of human society. These courses examine how individuals and cultures express themselves and provide opportunities for students to actively engage in the creative process.
UISC: Cultural and Historical Interpretation
Courses in this category seek to develop knowledge of global culture and history, providing access to a diversity of cultures and to the traditions, values, and practices that inform those cultures. We live in a blend of constantly changing societies and need to understand both how such societies function and how they were developed. These courses allow students to appreciate the richness, complexity, and importance of other ways of living. In order to participate effectively as citizens, students need to understand past events and their links to present ones.
UISS: Social Context and Change
Courses in this category are designed to provide students with an understanding of themselves and how they relate formally and informally with others in groups, institutions, and political and economic contexts. Courses emphasize human needs and behaviors: group relationships and processes; the evolution and nature of value systems; and techniques for accumulating, widening, and transmitting experience and knowledge to succeeding generations. These courses examine how groups of individuals interact, the impact of society on the individual, and encourage students to explore the processes and practices by which change occurs in social units.
UIST: Natural, Scientific, and Technological Exploration
Courses in this category seek to develop a greater awareness of science and technology and their human, social and political implications. These courses encourage an understanding and application of scientific methods. Students learn to differentiate between science and technology, understand the limitations that are inherent in scientific inquiry, and evaluate the risks and benefits of technological advances. These courses examine how people interact with and understand the natural world and the tools they use to do so.