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Core Curriculum

Be sure to consult with your advisor to learn more about the courses that INDS offers!

INDS 330/H – Ways of Knowing

Required Course, 3 Credits 

A writing intensive introduction to interdisciplinary studies usually taken during the sophomore second semester or junior year. Meets “WI” (Writing Intensive) requirements for GEP general education requirements.

How can the insights from various disciplines inform our understanding of difficult issues? This course explores the methods of different academic disciplines and their implications for an interdisciplinary understanding of complex problems. Each year students will examine a compelling issue (e.g., AIDS, energy policy) by integrating the contributions of several disciplines. Students will develop skills in interdisciplinary research and problem solving, oral and written communication, and in integrating diverse perspectives.

Department permission required.

Prerequisite: You must complete ENGL 100 or equivalent with a C or better.

Recommended Course Preparation: ENGL 226 Grammar and Usage of Standard English


INDS 335- Degree Plan Writing Seminar

Required Course, 2 Credits

This seminar guides students through the process of writing an interdisciplinary degree plan proposal including: a cogent description of an integrative degree; learning objectives and a course list to actualize the degree plan; ideas for capstone research projects; and a professional cover letter. Students will focus on the processes of close editing, re-writing, and collaboration as important techniques for developing an interdisciplinary degree plan but also project and grant proposals of many types. This course is repeatable up to 2 credits or 2 attempts.

Department permission required.

Prerequisite: INDS 330 with a C or better. It can also be taken concurrently.

Recommended Course Preparation: ENGL 100.


INDS 399- Guided Reading in Interdisciplinary Studies

Required Course, 1 Credit

Directed studies carried out under the supervision of faculty mentors previously identified within a student’s INDS degree proposal, under administrative oversight of the student’s primary INDS program advisor. The purpose of this course is to obtain a thorough grounding in key literature pertaining to the area of undergraduate research identified within the student’s degree proposal as a target of the capstone research experience (INDS490). This course is repeatable up to 2 credits or 2 attempts.

Department permission required.

Prerequisite: You must complete INDS335 with a C or better and have an approved degree plan.

Recommended Course Preparation: A passed INDS degree proposal.


INDS 400/H – Independent Study

Recommended Course, 1-3 Credits 

INDS students with an approved degree plan may create an independent study with the approval and guidance of a UMBC faculty mentor. This course enables the student to pursue study in a field that may not be offered in a traditional course format so long as he has support from a faculty member.

Department permission required.


INDS 410 – Internship

Recommended Course, 1-6 Credits 

We strongly recommend that students gain professional experience in the field in which they plan to work. You may take INDS 410 as a way to gain credit for doing research and internships relevant to your degree. Students are required to add the 0-credit PRAC 98A to provide a richer experience through the Career Center.

Department permission required.


INDS 430 – Special Topics

Required Course, 3 Credits 

A seminar course that examines the integrative nature of interdisciplinary studies applied to a specific focus. Different instances of the course deal with fundamentally different topics that each cut across academic disciplines. Each instance of the course is usually offered for 3 credits, but the course is repeatable for a maximum of 6 credits.

Fall 2016 Course Offerings:

01 – Religion and Science

02 – Creative Survey Design

03 – Kinetic Sculpture Project

 In the past, INDS 430 has covered such topics as:

  • Special Topics in Health Care: A Case Study Approach
  • Integrative Medicine
  • The Business of Medicine
  • Sustainable Design: the University and Beyond
  • Travel Narratives and the Formation of Global Identity
  • The American Entrepreneur in the 21st Century

Department permission required.


INDS 480 – Capstone Project Seminar

Required Course, 2 Credits

With consultation from faculty mentors, students with an approved degree plan will develop and submit a proposal for a capstone project. Strategies for conducting interdisciplinary research and designing a cohesive, integrated, manageable project will be discussed. Learn more about the capstone project in our Capstone Presentation section.

Department permission required.

Prerequisite: INDS399 with a grade of P.


INDS 490/H – Capstone Project 

Required Course, 3 Credits 

An independent study or other creative effort demonstrating the accomplishment of the approved objectives in the student’s interdisciplinary studies proposal. Permission to register will be granted from the Interdisciplinary Studies Office after the student submits a written statement describing the capstone project, which has been approved and signed by the faculty advisors. Learn more about the capstone project in our Capstone Presentation section.

Department permission required.

Prerequisite: INDS480 with a grade of C or better.


Required Classes– As part of your INDS degree, you will be required to take a few classes with the express purpose of learning about integrative studies and interdisciplinary problems that we face  today. These courses are taught  by departmental faculty as well as professors from other departments.

Recommended Classes– Being in Individualized Study, you will no doubt engage in a great variety of exploration and seek out real world experiences. We encourage that mentality as it incorporates precisely what it means to be an interdisciplinarian, so we also offer two courses that can be arranged and may grant a variable number of credits depending on your activities.