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Interdisciplinary Studies in Society And CultureMajor

Degree AwardedBA
Hours To Complete44
Courses Required12
Department Contact


The IDS major requires 44 credits; generally this will involve 5 Frame Courses + 7 Concentration Courses:

Frame Courses = at least 20 credits (2 200-level, Writing Lab courses @ 5 credits/each, IDS 491 Senior seminar @ 4 credits, and 2 others @ 3 or more credits)

Concentration Courses = at least 7 courses carrying 3 or more credits each

Concentration Courses

At least seven of the major's required courses constitute the student's individualized concentration. This list of at least seven courses is designed in close consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) or a faculty advisor, who approves of the concentration at the time the student is admitted into the major. Subsequent changes to the concentration courses must be approved by the DUS.

The concentration courses prepare a student to carry out research into a question that is best illuminated by two or more disciplinary methods. Skills and research launched in the concentration courses culminate in the required IDS senior project.

Frame Courses

Writing as a skill for reflective reading and clear articulation of thought is crucial to success within the IDS major. Frame courses provide structure to a student's experience within the major by emphasizing writing skills and by presenting examples of analysis and illumination of intellectual problems through the methods and resources of multiple disciplines.

  • Two 200-level continuing writing requirement courses that participate in the ILA's innovative Writing Lab initiative are required; the array of options is as follows:
    • IDS 200
    • IDS 201_OX
    • IDS 205
    • IDS 216W or IDS 216_OX
    • An equivalent course, upon consultation with and approval by the ILA undergraduate committee.
  • ENG 223 Rhetorical Grammar (1-credit, S/U) is co-requisite with all of the preceding courses, except Oxford courses. Oxford continuees will be required to take ENG 223 when they arrive at Emory College, either as co-requisite to one of the previous courses (in the case that they have taken only one Frame Requirement at Oxford) or as a separate requirement to complete the major.  
  • One 300-level class focusing on cultural theory is required (generally IDS 385 Critical Cultural Theory)
  • Two senior year courses are required:
    • IDS 491 Liberal Studies Seminar (senior seminar and capstone)
    • Senior Research or Honors research

IDS Senior Project

As a synthesis of a student's course of study, and as a credential demonstrating a student's ability to organize complex ideas, each IDS student completes a significant senior project. Senior projects frequently involve scholarly research, but can be composed of research and other forms of scholarship, such as artistic expression or other forms of broader public engagement. Students begin their projects in the senior capstone seminar and work closely with faculty advisors, who give final approval of the project. If a student meets other requirements set by the Honors Program, the IDS Senior Project can count as the Honors Project.

Language Requirement

Competency and cultural awareness gained through the study of a non-native language other than English at the level of 201 or above.

*Note: non-honors students take IDS 499 at least once, optionally twice in their senior year; honors students take IDS 390 in their junior spring semester in addition to IDS 495 Honor Research, which is required by the Honors Program and must be taken at least once, optionally twice. As an additional support for their senior projects, non-honors students are encouraged to take IDS 390 in spring of their junior years.


IDS major declaration requires approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are encouraged to schedule a meeting to discuss their interests in the IDS major.