The IdLS Upper-Level Concentration

In addition to completing the IdLS core, students minoring in IECE, ELED and SPED-T must also choose a concentration area. The goal of your concentration area is to deepen your content-area knowledge in a range of disciplines and promote interdisciplinary thinking among the courses you take. There are four concentration choices: 

  • Math/Science/Technology
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Math and Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Science and Humanities and Social Sciences

Each concentration entails seven upper-level classes (no more than one may be at the 200-level) in at least four different disciplines (SOCI, REL, IDLS, MATH, PHIL, etc). See "Approved Courses" below. 

How to Choose a Concentration

You'll select a concentration on MyMadison's "Student Center" in the same area you select/change your major and minor. You may change your concentration at any time.

Humanities and Social Sciences Concentration: IDLS400 and "Tracks"

IDLS400: Like the other three concentrations, coursework in the Humanities and Social Sciences entails seven upper-level coures. Unlike the others, however, one of those courses will be IDLS400. IDLS400 is a seminar-style capstone designed for seniors or advanced juniors as a culminating, integrative experience of the IdLS major. Offered every semester on a range of topics, the course stimulates thinking about how the various courses in the IdLS major fit together to build a coherent knowledge base.

Tracks: Students who choose the HSS concentration (or a blended concentration--see below) must also select one of seven "tracks." A "track" is essentially a theme to promote weaving thematic coherence among the upper-level coursework you complete in many different disciplines. Select a track at the same time you choose your concentration on MyMadison:


Blended Concentrations

Two of the concentration choices blend Humanities and Social Sciences with Science or with Math. These choices maximize interdisciplinary exploration across the liberal arts and sciences. You'll still take seven upper-level courses but may select three in Math or Sciences and four in the Humanities and Social Sciences (or vice versa). Note that blended concentrations require the selection of an HSS "Track." Also note that blended concentrators may select IDLS400 (pending its availability) as one of their HSS approved courses. 

Approved Courses

To ensure the courses you take are appropriate and open to non-majors without prerequisites, the IdLS program maintains a list of courses that are approved for IdLS students. The list is updated each semester and available on the front page of the IdLS website before semester registration begins. Be sure to select courses only from this list. There are, however, exceptions: With the approval of the IdLS Director, transfer students, major-changers, and study-abroad participants may have upper-level coursework that could satisify part of the concentration requirment. Please contact a central advisor in main IdLS office for more information.

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