Career Guide to JMU Majors:
Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies

Career Guide to JMU Majors

The Major

Who Succeeds



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The Major

The Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies major is under University Studies.


Humanities & Social Science
Science & Technology
Middle School Education (options for Science, Mathematics, Social Science, Language Arts)

Admission and Progression Standards:

Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Description of Major:

Interdisciplinary liberal studies (IDLS) is the undergraduate major for students pursuing teaching licensure in the following areas: inclusive early childhood (birth-grade 3); elementary (pre K-6); middle grades (6-8) and exceptional education (K-12). IDLS offers extended breadth and integration across content areas of English and language arts, history and social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and technology. The IDLS major requirements support Virginia teacher licensure competencies. For information concerning IDLS, contact Dr. Scott Paulson, IDLS Director, at 540-568-45675270 at or

ONLY students planning on teaching in the areas of inclusive early childhood (IECE), elementary (ELED), middle grades (MIED) or special education (SPED) major in IDLS. If you choose to declare the IDLS major, you will also declare the pre-professional education program corresponding to your teacher licensure interest. You will NOT major in IDLS if you are interested in teaching at the high school level (with the exception of special education). Future high-school level teachers must major in the relevant discipline (e.g. English, math, Spanish, biology, etc.) and minor in secondary education (SEED). If you are interested in teaching high school history or social studies, contact Dr. Alison Sandman (

Characteristics of Successful Students

Strong communication skills, in both oral and written expression, are very essential. A dedication to learning many subject areas is essential.Leadership ability, patience, enthusiasm, and an ability to handle a variety of situations are also important.


Most IdLS majors will seek teacher licensure, and teaching remains in high demand in Virginia and beyond.

The listing on the Education Programs Career Guide page offers examples of possible career paths, but is not meant to be comprehensive.

Internships and Practica Experiences

Students pursuing teacher licensure are required to have various practicum experiences and to student teach. Student teaching allows students to implement skills and knowledge learned in their teacher education programs under the guidance of a cooperating teacher and university supervisor. These experiences are coordinated through the Education Support Center. Practicum opportunities also exist through other education courses.

View our list of internship coordinators for each major.

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What are JMU graduates doing with this major?
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