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Interdisciplinary Social Science

Mission Statement

Major and Degree Requirements



Dr. Sue E. Spivey, Coordinator

Phone: (540) 568-6964
E-mail: spiveyse@jmu.edu

Mission Statement

The interdisciplinary social science major offers a program of integrated study that exposes students to diverse methodologies, philosophies and controversies that define the social sciences.

Goals

  • Provide students with historical and theoretical perspectives from the social science disciplines such as Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
  • Enable students to identify and analyze different disciplinary approaches and conceptualize the linkages among the social science disciplines.
  • Sharpen studentsí ability to think critically, to practice sound methodological skills, and to communicate effectively.
  • Teach students how individual, community and national identities shape and are shaped by access to freedom, power, and justice.

The major in interdisciplinary social science is designed for students who desire a broad yet integrated education in the social sciences as preparation for careers in government, business, law, teaching or pre-professional training in one of the social sciences. The interdisciplinary social science major incorporates the following disciplines: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Through this major students may complete either the B.S. or the B. A. degree.

The program includes three major sets of requirements.

  • Core: A synthesis of three courses required of all students.
  • Track #1: A depth component in social science.
  • Track #2: A breadth component in a second discipline or theme.

Depending upon studentsí disciplinary and thematic choices, the program involves a total of 33 to 41 credit hours. The ISS major is subdivided into two separate concentrations. Students pursing the common program enroll in the General Concentration. Students who are seeking middle or secondary education certification and wish to qualify for the teaching licensure should enroll in the Licensure Concentration.


Major and Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Social Science

Degree Requirements

Credit Hours

General Education1

41

Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required)2

0-14

Philosophy course (in addition to General Education)2

3

University electives

26-43

Major requirements (listed below) 

33-36


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student's chosen language (typically 232), or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Language's placement test.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Science

Degree Requirements

Credit Hours

General Education1

41

Quantitative requirement (in addition to General Education)2

3

Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education)3

3-4

University electives

36-40

Major requirements (listed below) 

33-36


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 Students are strongly encouraged to complete on of the following sequences: GISAT 141-ISAT 142, MATH 107-108, MATH 155-220, MATH 156-220, MATH 205-206 or MATH 235-236.
3 Social science to be chosen from courses in economics, geography, political science, sociology or anthropology.


Major Requirements

General Concentration

Three major sets of requirements:

  • Core: Required of all students.
  • Track #1: Students select among the social science discipline options.
  • Track #2: Students select among the social science discipline or theme options. Theme options are available only for students with a 3.0 GPA and prior approval of the adviser.

Courses taken for General Education credit may not be double counted as part of the major, excluding MATH 220.


Core (3 courses)

Credit Hours

ISS 200. Introduction to Social Sciences
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
ISS 400. Senior Seminar in Social Science

3
3
3

Track #1: Disciplines (complete requirements for one discipline prior to enrolling in ISS 200)

Anthropology Cognate

GANTH 195. Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 196. Biological Anthropology
ANTH 197. Archaeology (Students who have completed GANTH 195 for GenEd credit must take ANTH 196 and ANTH 197)
Any 200 or 300 level Anthropology course
Any 300 level Anthropology course

3
3


3
3

Economics Cognate

GECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics
ECON 201. Introduction to Microeconomics 
ECON 385. Economics
Any 300 or 400 level Economics course
Any 300 or 400 level Economics course
Any 300 or 400 level Economics course

3
3
3
3
3
3

Geography Cognate (recommended courses are in bold)

GEOG 200, Geography: The Global Dimension, or 
GEOG 280. Cultural Geography
GEOG 240. Natural Resource Conservation, or 
GEOG 280. Cultural Geography
GEOG 210. Physical Geography
GEOG 230. Quantitative Methods, or
GEOG 265. Thematic Cartography, or
GEOG 285. Aerial Photograph Interpretation, or
GEOG 366. Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 344. Economic Development, or
GEOG 336. Geography North America, or
GEOG 337. Geography of Latin America, or
GEOG 349. Geography of East Asia
GEOG 415. Climatology, or
GEOG 440. Wilderness Management
GEOG 450. Topics in Geography, or
GEOG 490. Special Studies in Geography

History Cognate 

GHIST 101. Global Culture to 1650 or
GHIST 102. Global Culture Since 1650
(Students must take whichever course was not taken as part of General Education)
GHIST 225. U.S. History
(If student completed GHIST 225 for GenEd credit, student must take any other 200 level history course)
HIST 395. History Seminar
Approved upper-level History course
Approved upper-level History course

3
3


3


3
3
3

Political Science Cognate

GPOSC 225. U.S. Government
POSC 295. Research Methods
POSC 201. Introduction to Western Political Theory, or
POSC 230. International Relations, or
POSC 240. Comparative Politics
Any 300 or 400 level Political Science course
Any 300 or 400 level Political Science course

3
3
3
3
3
3
3

Psychology Cognate

GPSYC 101. General Psychology
(If GPSYC 101was taken for GenEd, student can select a psychology course elective)
PSYC 210. Psychoeducational Measurement and  Statistics
PSYC 211. Experimental Psychology
Any Social Science Psychology Area A course (See Psychology major for a listing of Social Science Psychology (Area A) classes.)
Any 300 level Psychology course

3


4

4
3


3

Sociology  Cognate

SOCI 200. Development of Sociological Thought and Methods
Any  100 or 200 level Sociology course
SOCI 380. Critical Analysis, or
SOCI 382. Interpretive Analysis, or
SOCI 384. Naturalistic Analysis
Any 300 or 400 level Sociology course
Any 300 or 400 level Sociology course

4

3
3
3

3
3

Track #2: Discipline or Theme (complete requirements for a second social science discipline or thematic option. Theme options are available only to students with a GPA of 3.0 and prior approval of the adviser.)

Discipline/Theme concentration course work
Discipline/Theme concentration course work at the 300/400 level
Discipline/Theme concentration course work at the 400 level

3
3

3


 

33-36

Thematic Guidelines for Cognate #2: 

Some possible options include social science courses from the following

  • Africana Studies
  • American Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environmental Studies
  • Human Services
  • Latin American Studies
  • Russian Studies
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Womenís Studies

ISS Licensure Track

Secondary Education Minors 

Social Studies Licensure Requirements

To be licensed to teach secondary school social studies, the student must satisfactorily complete requirements for a baccalaureate degree in an arts and sciences discipline and a minimum of the courses listed below in social studies or their equivalent. Middle Education minors only: Middle Education minors who wish to enroll in this major must get permission from the Middle Education program coordinator prior to declaring this major. Additional content course work will likely be required. Courses taken for General Education credit may not be double counted as part of the major, excluding MATH 220.

Three major sets of requirements:

  • Core (required of all students)
  • Track #1
  • Track #2

Core (3 courses)

Credit Hours

ISS 200. Introduction to Social Sciences
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
ISS 400. Senior Seminar in Social Science

3
3
3

Track #1: Discipline: History

GHIST 101. Global Culture to 1650 or
GHIST 102. Global Culture Since 1650
Students must take whichever course was not taken as part of General Education)
GHIST 225. U.S. History (if student completed GHIST 225 for GenEd credit, student must take another 200 level History)
HIST 395. History Seminar
Any 300 or 400 level History course1
Any 400 level History course1

3
3





3
3
3

1 At least three credits of history electives must be a non-U.S./non-European history course.

Track #2: Themed Endorsement Requirements

GPOSC 225. U. S. Government
GECON 200. Macroeconomics or
ECON 201. Microeconomics
GEOG 280. Introduction to Cultural Geography or
GGEOG 200. The Global Dimension
Two courses from the following, from two different disciplines. Consult your adviser for a list of approved courses.
GEOG 300 or 400 level
POSC 300 or 400 level
ECON 200, 300 or 400 level

3
3

3

3

3
3
3

 

 

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