General Education

Interdisciplinary Programs

Academic Units

Academic Programs

Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies

Dr. Fletcher Linder, Director

Location: Maury Hall, Room 118
Phone: (540) 568-5260
Web site:

[Printable Version]

IDLS Advisement
Major and Education Pre-Professional Programs

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 pre-professional licensure 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 Pre-Professional Programs" 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

In the unusual circumstance that a student exits the education licensure pre-professional program late in his/her college career, the IDLS director may permit the student to complete the IDLS degree with the addition of an appropriate minor.

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
5 (maximum)


Core Requirements

Language Arts & Communication
Credit Hours
Writing (Choose one)
     GWRIT 103. Critical Reading and Writing
Oral Communication (Choose one)
     GCOM 121. Fundamental Human Communication: Presentations
     GCOM 122. Fundamental Human Communication: Individual
     GCOM 123. Fundamental Human Communication: Group
Literature (Choose one)
     GENG 235. Survey of English Literature: From Beowulf to the
        18th Century
     GENG 236. Survey of English Literature: 18th Century to Modern
     GENG 247. Survey of American Literature: From the Beginning to
        the Civil War
     GENG 248. Survey of American Literature: From the Civil War to
        the Modern Period
     GENG 239. Studies in World Literature
     GENG 260. Survey of African-American Literature
History/Social Sciences
Global History (Both required)
     GHIST 101. World History to 1500
     GHIST 102. World History Since 1500
U.S. History
     GHIST 225. U.S. History
     GPOSC 225. U.S. Government
Economics (Choose one)
     GECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics
     ECON 201. Principles of Economics (Micro)
Geography (Choose one)
     GEOG 280. Human Geography: The Cultural Landscape
     GANTH 195. Cultural Anthropology
     GPSYC 160. Life Span Human Development
Health (Choose one)
     GKIN 100. Lifetime Fitness and Wellness
     GHTH 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 Sciences
IDLS students should select Track II in Cluster 3
     GSCI 161. Science Processes
     GSCI 162. The Science of the Planets
     GSCI 163. The Matter of Matter
     GSCI 164. Physical Science: Learning Through Teaching
     GSCI 165. The Way Life Works
     GSCI 166. Environment in Context

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

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


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 studies 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 GHIST 102 from Tier 1
     Cluster 3: Must select Track 2 (the GSCI 16X series);
          must complete the series with GSCI 166;
          must take MATH 108 in addition to MATH 107
     Cluster 4: Must select GECON 200
     Cluster 5: Must select GPSYC 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. Human Geography: The Cultural Landscape
     Choose one:
          ANTH 327. Ancient North American Civilizations
          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 Tragedies and Romances
          ENG 457. Shakespeare's Comedies and 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 pre-professional licensure program 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 Pre-Professional Programs
Licensure Area: Early Childhood Education PreK-3
Degree Required: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Major Field of Study: IDLS with early childhood education pre-professional program

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

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 education pre-professional

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

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