INTS Core Curriculum

Required courses

INDS 330/H – Ways of Knowing

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

3 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.

Recommended Course Preparation: ENGL 100.




INDS 480 – Capstone Project Planning Seminar

3 credits

With consultation from degree 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.

Department permission required.

Prerequisite: Completion of INDS335 with a C or better and an approved degree plan

INDS 490 – Capstone Project

3 credits

An independent study or other creative effort demonstrating the accomplishment of the approved objectives in the student’s degree 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.

Department permission required.

Prerequisite: INDS480 with a grade of C or better.

INDS 410 – Internship 

3 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

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.

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

Kinetic Sculpture

Interactive Food Game Design


Department permission required.

Recommended/Optional Course Offerings

INDS 399 – Guided Reading in Interdisciplinary Studies

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.

INDS 400/H – Independent Study

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.