General Information
Academic Programs

General Education

Interdisciplinary Programs

Academic Units

Course Descriptions


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Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies

Dr. Ann-Janine Morey, Associate Dean, Cross Disciplinary Studies
Phone: (540) 568-7998
E-mail: moreyaj@jmu.edu

Dr. David Dillard, Area Director, Humanities Social Sciences
Phone: (540) 568-3757
E-mail: dillarpd@jmu.edu

Dr. Steve Baedke, Area Director, Mathematics, Science & Technology
Phone: (540) 568-6156
E-mail: baedkesj@jmu.edu


Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies for Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Special Education Licensure Students
IDLS Advisement
IDLS Major and Education Minors


The major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (IDLS) is the undergraduate major for students who are pursuing teaching licensure in any of the following education licensure programs: Early Childhood (PreK-3); Elementary (PreK-6); Middle Grades (6-8) and Special Education (K-12). IDLS offers extended breadth and integration across the content areas of English/language arts, history/social sciences, mathematics/science/technology, and the requirements support Virginia teacher licensure competencies. Students with this major who are seeking teacher licensure must complete the education minor program corresponding to their licensure interests. Further information about the education licensure programs can be found at the end of this entry in the “IDLS Major and Education Minors” section and in the section for the College of Education.

IDLS requirements vary depending upon the licensure program, as outlined below. A current IDLS checksheet is available at the Cross Disciplinary Studies Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/idls/student_checklist_0708.shtml.

Students who do not complete their licensure program or students who do not wish to pursue teaching licensure may complete or elect the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies major, but they must complete an additional major in order to graduate.


Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies for Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Special Education Licensure Students

Degree Requirements

IDLS and General education core
Remaining General Education
IDLS Upper-level concentration
Education Program (minor)
5 (maximum)



Core Requirements

Language Arts & Communication
Credit Hours

Writing (Choose one)


G WRIT 103. Critical Reading and Writing

Oral Communication (Choose one)

G COM 121. Fundamental Human Communication: Presentations

G COM 122. Fundamental Human Communication: Individual Presentations

G COM 123. Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations

Literature (Choose one)

G ENG 235. Survey of English Literature: From Beowulf to the 18th Century

G ENG 236. Survey of English Literature: 18th Century to Modern

G ENG 247. Survey of American Literature: From the Beginning to the Civil War

G ENG 248. Survey of American Literature: From the Civil War to the Modern Period

G ENG 239. Studies in World Literature

G ENG 260. Survey of African-American Literature

History/Social Sciences
Global History (Both required)

G HIST 101. World Culture to 1500

G HIST 102. World Culture Since 1500

U.S. History

G HIST 225. U.S. History


G POSC 225. U.S. Government

Economics (Choose one)

G ECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics

ECON 201. Principles of Economics (Micro)

Geography (Choose one)

GEOG 280. Introduction to Cultural Geography

G ANTH 195. Cultural Anthropology

G PSYC 160. Life Span Human Development
Health (Choose one)

G KIN 100. Lifetime Fitness and Wellness

G HTH 100. Personal Wellness


Fundamentals of Math (Both required)

MATH 107. Fundamentals of Math I

MATH 108. Fundamentals of Math II

MATH 207. Mathematical Problem Solving
Natural Science

IDLS students should select Track II in Cluster 3

G SCI 161. Science Processes

G SCI 162. The Science of the Planets
G SCI 163. The Matter of Matter
G SCI 164. Physical Science: Learning Through Teaching
G SCI 165. The Way Life Works
G SCI 166. Environment in Context


Upper Level Concentration requirement: 21 hours in either Math/Science or Humanities/Social.

When students in ECE, ELED or SPED declare the IDLS major, they also select an upper-level concentration in either mathematics/science or humanities/social sciences. The concentration provides depth and integration beyond the core requirements. The specific course requirements for each concentration are listed in the IDLS checksheet, which can be found by visiting the Cross Disciplinary Studies Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/idls/.


Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies for Middle Education Licensure Students

Degree Requirements
IDLS and General education core
IDLS Upper-level concentration
Education Program (minor)


The IDLS Middle Education curriculum consists of 46 hours of General Education Core requirements and 36-42 hours in the content concentrations, depending upon which concentrations are selected. Students will select two concentrations from four: Science, Mathematics, Social Science and Language Arts. Mathematics and Science concentrations are 18 hours. Language Arts and Social Studies concentrations are 21 hours. Any combination of concentrations will satisfy the teacher licensure endorsement requirements for Middle Grades licensure in Virginia. The Middle Grades curriculum of IDLS is open only to Middle Grades licensure students.


General Education Core Requirements for IDLS Middle Education

Students follow the General Education check sheet for their catalog year, and complete these specific IDLS core requirements:

Cluster 2: Must select G HIST 102 from Tier 1
Cluster 3: Must select Track 2 (the G SCI 16X series); must complete the series with G SCI 166;
must take MATH 108 in addition to MATH 107
Cluster 4: Must select G ECON 200
Cluster 5: Must select G PSYC 160


Middle Education Concentration Options

ME students will complete the required courses for any two of the four areas: Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies.
Credit Hours



GEOL 301. Earth Science for Teachers

BIO 366. Plants and the Environment

CHEM 280. Practical Applications in Chemistry for Teachers

PHYS 301. Searching for Life in the Universe

ISAT 454. Computer Applications in BioTechnology

Social Science

HIST 350. Virginia History

ANTH 368. Modern American Culture

GEOG 280. Introduction to Cultural Geography

Choose one:

ANTH 340. Race, Nation and Culture
HIST 453. Patterns of Global History

Choose one:

REL 305. Islamic Religious Tradition
REL 310. Hindu Traditions
REL 312. Religions of East Asia
REL 320. Judaism
REL 385. Buddhism
HIST 339. Selected Themes, when topic is American Religious History

POSC 240. Comparative Politics

IDLS 400 Seminar in Liberal Studies*


MATH 207. Mathematical Problem Solving

MATH 304. Principles of Algebra

MATH 305. Principles of Geometry

MATH 306. Principles of Analysis

MATH 307. Principles of Probability and Statistics

Choose one:
Mathematics elective

Language Arts

Choose one:

ENG 421. Traditional English Grammar
ENG 422. Modern English Grammar

Choose one:

ENG 325. Romantic Poetry
ENG 331. Modern Poetry
ENG 332. Contemporary Poetry
ENG 362. African American Poets
ENG 367. Women’s Poetry

Choose one:

ENG 299. Writing about Literature
WRIT 340. Teaching about Writing
ENG 396. Advanced Composition

Choose one:

ENG 440. Texts for Teachers I (poetry or drama)
ENG 441. Texts for Teachers II (fiction or nonfiction)
Any upper level English elective

Choose one:

ENG 456. Shakespeare’s Comedies and Tragic Histories
ENG 457. Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Comic Histories

Choose one:

ENG 330. The Nineteenth Century Novel
ENG 355. Southern Literature
ENG 356. Modern American Novel
ENG 357 Contemporary American Fiction
ENG 361. African American Fiction Writers
ENG 368. Women’s Fiction

IDLS 400. Seminar in Liberal Studies*

*Students who select endorsements in Social Science and Language Arts will take IDLS 400 once, and then a 300-400 elective in one area. The IDLS 400 is an interdisciplinary course drawing upon materials from language arts and social science disciplines. As such, the course is suitable for students coming from an LA endorsement concentration, SS endorsement concentration, or both.

IDLS Advisement

The IDLS major is assigned two advisers. One adviser is the adviser for the education minor who will guide the student through the licensure program requirements. The other adviser is the IDLS adviser who will guide the student through the IDLS major requirements. Students should plan on consulting both advisers regularly. Typically, the education adviser is assigned when the student meets with the head of his or her licensure programs and elects the licensure program. This may be as early as the first semester of the first year. The IDLS adviser is assigned when the first year student advising folders are transferred to the IDLS office (second semester, first year). Students are required to check with advisers regularly to ensure timely graduation.


IDLS Major and Education Minors

Licensure Area: Early Childhood Education PreK-3
Degree Required: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Major Field of Study: IDLS with early childhood education minor

Licensure Area: Elementary Education PreK-6
Degree Required: Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)
Major Field of Study: IDLS with elementary education minor

Licensure Area: Middle Education Grades 6-8
Degree Required: Master of Arts In Teaching (M.A.T.)
Major Field of Study: IDLS with middle education minor

Licensure Area: Special Education Grades K-12
Degree Required: Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Major Field of Study: IDLS with special education minor