School of General Studies Given a New Name

Interdisciplinary Studies More Accurately Depicts Program Offerings

Oct. 20, 2008

What’s in a name? Plenty, if you’re trying to communicate what you studied in school to a potential employer.

The School of General Studies has changed its name to the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (IS).

Dr. George Fair, dean of the renamed school, says the change is about more than semantics.

“Our students are seeking a customized education that crosses traditional university degree-track boundaries,” said Fair. “Our new name better reflects our mission and purpose, and communicates it better to students, employers and other members of the University community.”

Interdisciplinary Studies includes Gender Studies, the Teacher Certification Program, Interdisciplinary Studies degree programs, the Academic Bridge Program and more. The school serves students with a wide range of career goals and prepares them with portable skills for a variety of industries.

Alumna Debrah Landa, General Studies ’79, is fully in favor of the change.

“I’ve been waiting for this day,” said Landa. “The name sounds more academic to me; it better describes the well-rounded nature of the education students receive with the school.”

The school helped Landa to realize her educational goals. Landa attended another college earlier in her life, but personal circumstances interrupted her studies.

When UT Dallas began to offer undergraduate degrees in 1975, she came to campus to learn whether her previous coursework would be accepted. The then-school of General Studies accepted her transfer hours, and after completing remaining coursework, she graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree.

“The program gave me an opportunity to discover what I was good at by exposing me to many areas of study,” said Landa. “I discovered I was good at marketing.”

Landa’s UT Dallas education has supported careers in real estate, public relations and radio. She is now part owner of the Artist’s Showplace gallery in Dallas.

The Interdisciplinary Studies name will be phased in, replacing the School of General Studies title on student, faculty and alumni materials.

“We’re excited about this change,” said Fair. “It brings a new energy to the school, energy that the school’s faculty and staff will use to serve the hundreds of students in our classes each semester.”


Media Contacts: Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, 972-883-4329, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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