Interdisciplinary Studies

While the processes of education rest upon the foundation of clearly defined disciplines, there are many problems and issues that require a broader approach. Hence, The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to developing interdisciplinary studies. Some of these problems arise initially out of the traditional disciplines but cannot be solved by exclusive reference to them. For example, social historians have found it imperative to emancipate themselves from the methods of the traditional historian and to enlist the support of the social anthropologist, the sociologist, and the art historian. Other problems and ideas, by their very nature, involve the integrated activity of scholars in disparate fields, as in the case of issues posed by contemporary medical ethics, which require the integrated perspectives of the moral philosopher, the psychologist, the sociologist, and the physician. Furthermore, in some instances the processes of interdisciplinary fusion result in the emergence of new disciplines, as in the case of molecular biology, which arose largely out of the work of physicists and chemists working in the field of biology. In other words, from whatever perspective it is viewed, interdisciplinarity is an intellectually enriching and potentially creative process which can be an important component of the educational experience at The University of Texas at Dallas.

The Interdisciplinary Studies courses which follow are sponsored by particular schools but are open to all students at the University.

Interdisciplinary Studies Course Descriptions

BIS 2V90 Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 semester hours) May be repeated for credit as topics vary. (6 hours maximum). ([1-6]-0) R

BIS 3190 Library Research Skills (1 semester hour) Through this online course, students will develop the skills to identify what information is needed for their research, how to find and evaluate scholarly resources, and how to organize the information for a paper or other course project. Plagiarism, copyright, and citation management will be included. (1-0) R

BIS 3310 Environmental Studies Project (3 semester hours) This course is designed to provide students with a new learning experience in environmental issues. This may be at a faculty-supervised work situation in business, government, or other approved setting. Sites may be local, out of state, or abroad. The internship option provides exposure to a professional working environment, application of theory to working realities, and an opportunity to test skills and clarify goals in environmental studies. Experience gained may also serve as a work credential after graduation. Course requirements include writing a journal and research paper connecting theory to practice. Students may also choose a straight research option to meet the requirements of this course but the permission of the instructor must be obtained before any work is undertaken. (3-0) Y

BIS 3320 The Nature of Intellectual Inquiry (3 semester hours) Core course designed to enhance the student's critical thinking and reasoning in order to understand and utilize the methodologies of scholarly pursuits. To be taken during the student's first twelve hours as a junior in the Interdisciplinary Studies program. (There is an honors section of this course for those interested in honors in the major.) May not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. (3-0) S

BIS 3390 Theory and Practice of Group Motivation and Leadership (3 semester hours) An elective course designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the theoretical knowledge and skills needed to lead and motivate groups engaged in personal or professional transitions. Includes supervised and paraprofessional experience. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit (6 hours maximum). (3-0) Y

BIS 3V03 Educational Issues (1-6 semester hours) This course is designed to allow students to study and analyze various educational issues under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Students must have the prior approval from the faculty member willing to supervise the course and the permission of the Associate Dean of the School of General Studies. Topics may vary. May be repeated for credit (6 hours maximum). ([1-6]-0) R

BIS 4303 Senior Honors in Interdisciplinary Studies (3 semester hours) Required for graduation magna cum laude and summa cum laude. See requirements for Graduation with Latin Honors in this catalog. Consent of the instructor and Associate Dean of General Studies is required. (3-0) S

BIS 4305 Learning Studies Practicum (3 semester hours) Supervised instructional experiences with school-age students. Focus is on enrichment activities that meet the learning needs of individual students. Consent of the faculty member is required. (3-0) Y

BIS 4306 Strategies for Diversity in Education (3 semester hours) This course prepares teacher certification candidates to meet the challenges of student diversity in the general education classroom. Students will examine the roles of various professionals, overview the identification and needs of special education and gifted and talented students through the lenses of gender, ethnicity, culture and language. Students will learn about IEPs, ARDs, legal requirements, collaboration, instructional differentiation, cooperative learning, inclusion, and assessment techniques applicable for diverse learners in the general education classroom. (3-0) S

BIS 4310 Co-op Education (3 semester hours) Students completing this course will integrate academic learning with their co-op work experience. To attain this goal, students will keep a journal of their workplace experience, maintain contact with the instructor, and prepare a written report that focuses on the accomplishments and insights gained through their co-op experience. Topics may vary. May be repeated for credit (6 hours maximum) (3-0) T

BIS 4V01 Special Topics (1-3 semester hours) Subject matter will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 hours maximum). ([1-3]-0) R

BIS 4V02 Independent Study (1-9 semester hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction. An Independent Study course may be used in the Interdisciplinary Studies degree plan wherever appropriate. An Independent Study course involves an individual contract between the student and a faculty member, specifying what requirements the student will meet. This usually involves some combination of reading, research, papers, examinations, and meetings with the faculty member. To undertake an Independent Study, the student must arrange with an appropriate faculty member for supervision of a particular topic. For written papers, 10 pages are required for each hour of credit. Consent of the faculty member is required. May be repeated for credit (9 hours maximum) ([1-9]-0) S

BIS 4V04 Internship (1-6 semester hours) Students undertake a new learning experience at a faculty-supervised work situation in business, government, or social service agency, arts institution, or other setting appropriate to the student's concentration. Sites may be local, out of state, or abroad. An internship provides exposure to a professional working environment, application of theory to working realities, and an opportunity to test skills and clarify goals in a specific field. Experience gained may also serve as a work credential after graduation. Course requirements include writing a journal and research paper connecting theory to practice. This course is open to all majors at UTD. May be repeated for credit (6 hours maximum) ([1-6]-0) S

School of Arts and Humanities

ISAH 3130 Careers for A&H Majors (1 semester hour) This course provides students with assistance in exploring careers in the arts and humanities and in making effective career decisions. (1-0) R

ISAH 3131 Careers for ATEC Majors (1 semester hour) This course provides students with assistance in exploring careers in art and technology and in making effective career decisions. (1-0) R

ISAH 4350 Internship (3 semester hours) Students undertake a new learning experience at a supervised work situation related to their academic interests. An internship provides exposure to a professional working environment, application of theory to working realities, and an opportunity to test skills and clarify goals. Course requirements include formal and reflective writing. May be repeated for credit (6 hours maximum). (3-0) R

ISAH 4V88 Special Interdisciplinary Topics in the Arts and Humanities (1-6 semester hours) Subject matter will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit (9 hours maximum). ([1-6]-0) R

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

ISHD 3343 Children in a Changing World (3 semester hours) Issues relevant to childhood in the 20th century. Topics include day care, divorce, parenting styles, and parental leave. The influence of social policy, socioeconomic factors, and family structure on childrearing will be discussed. (3-0) Y

ISHD 4365 Language in Culture and Society (3 semester hours) An investigation of the influence of language on nonlinguistic aspects of culture and society. Topics will include patterns of communication, speech community, communication and social structure, varieties of language, and the analysis of communicative competence and communicative performance. (3-0) Y

School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences

ISSS 3349 World Resources and Development (3 semester hours) Analysis of resource mobilization, technological changes and economic development from a multidisciplinary perspective. Primary focus on the problems of the less-developed countries. Topics include: technology transfer, industrialization strategy, education policy, population growth, nutrition and foreign aid. (3-0) R

ISSS 4320 Social Entrepreneurship (3 semester hours) This course is about providing those interested in entrepreneurial ventures with primarily a social focus with the skills and knowledge necessary to accomplish their goals. The course will be seminar style and require a practicum. Topics to be included are entrepreneurship in the nonprofit sector, entrepreneurship in political campaigns, new public management and the role of entrepreneurship in government and public services, urban planning, and geographical information sciences as a tool all entrepreneurs can use in the creation of new opportunities. (3-0) R

ISSS 4358 National and International Security (3 semester hours) Investigates problems associated with national and international security in the post-Cold War world. Includes analysis of the use of military force, nuclear arms, terrorism, international treaties, and the economic dimensions to national security. (3-0) R

ISSS 4377 Alternative Approaches to National Security (3 semester hours) There is a pressing need to reconsider how nations can best achieve security in the face of drastic changes in the international arena in the last decades of the twentieth century. The Cold War has ended, the Soviet Union has collapsed, yet regional conflicts abound, ethnic antagonisms threaten the peace, and international terrorism is still a real danger. At the same time, important progress has been made in arms reduction, international cooperation, and the speed of democracy. In the light of these changes, this course explores a variety of alternatives to the traditional threat or use of massive military force as a means for achieving national and global security. (3-0) R

ISSS 4V86 Special Interdisciplinary Topics in the Social Sciences (1-6 semester hours) Subject matter will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit (9 hours maximum). ([1-6]-0) R

ISSS 4V96 CV Honors Project (1-3 semester hours) Independent study to produce a senior project under the direction of the Collegium V Honors Director. Credit/no credit. ([1-3]-0) R

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

ISEC 4102 Computer Art Laboratory (1 semester hour) This course involves the creation and use of algorithms for art on microcomputers. Will not satisfy core requirement in Natural Sciences. Corequisite: ISEC 4201 The Computer and the Artist. (0-2) R

ISEC 4201 The Computer and the Artist (2 semester hours) This course explores the problems, tools, and opportunities presented to the artist by the birth of this new medium. From the analytic aspects of computer graphics to the aesthetics of interactive design, the wide range of extant techniques foreshadows the richness of future computer art. Will not satisfy core requirement in Natural Sciences. Corequisite: ISEC 4102 Computer Art Laboratory. (2-0) R

ISEC 4395 Computing in Society (3 semester hours) Computing in society and business. The internet. Information Technology: principles, practices, risks, and opportunities. Tour of a computer system. Software systems. The social context of computing. Careers in computing. Popular culture in the Digital Age. The risks of technology: ACM code of ethics, computer crime, system disasters. Human rights and privacy issues. Computers and education. (3-0) R

ISEC 4V87 Special Interdisciplinary Topics in Engineering or Computer Science (1-6 semester hours) Subject matter will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (9 hours maximum). ([1-6]-0) R

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

ISIS 3305 Humans: Our Place in Nature (3 semester hours) The history of the human lineage is a complicated but fascinating combination of biological and cultural changes. (3-0) Y

ISIS 3306 Human Female: Biology and Culture (3 semester hours) This course takes a life cycle approach to the major biological events in a woman's life, and the various cultural observances or lack thereof, which accompany these changes. (3-0) Y

ISIS 3308 Bones, Bodies, and Disease (3 semester hours) An introduction to the wealth of knowledge that can be ascertained through an analysis of skeletal and mummified remains. (3-0) Y

ISIS 3310 Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Multidisciplinary Investigation (3 semester hours) Examines childhood sexual abuse in America using multiple cultural forms: psychiatry, fiction, drama, film, news stories, and television. Considers how the definitions of sexual abuse evolve and change from the late 1800’s to the 21st century. (3-0) R

ISIS 3312 Women in Management (3 semester hours) Earnings differences, employment policies, and other critical issues affecting the status of women in managerial and professional positions. (3-0) S

ISIS 3315 The Politics of Reproduction: U.S. and Global Contexts (3 semester hours) This course assesses the ways in which reproduction and access to reproductive healthcare services are influenced by myriad factors including gender, age, marital status, race/ethnicity, geography and ability, among others. Grounding our discussion in broader discourses of equality, human rights, citizenship, and non-discrimination, we will explore human reproduction as an inherently charged political domain, one that has been and continues to be shaped at the intersection of political, medical/scientific, ethical and religious ideologies. Compares the political dimensions of reproduction in both the industrialized and developing nations. (3-0) R

ISIS 3335 United States and East Asia (3 semester hours) This course examines the interaction between the United States and East Asia. Topics include sociocultural differences, conflicts in political ideals, economic relations, and trans-Pacific diplomacy. The course highlights the spread of American culture and the rise of East Asia's economic power. (3-0) Y

ISIS 3338 Native American Cultures (3 semester hours) This course provides an overview of the Indian, Eskimo, and Aleuts of North America from first contacts with the European world to the present. Native Americans will be viewed from an interdisciplinary and culture area perspective. Topics discussed include pan-Native American ideologies and problems. (3-0) Y

ISIS 3384 North American Archaeology (3 semester hours) This course is an introduction to the prehistory of North America from the entrance of the first people into the New World about 10,000 years ago to the arrival of European settlers and their impact upon native cultures. The course traces the changes in technology and subsistence techniques through the archaeological record. (3-0) T

ISIS 3390 Costa Rica Field Trip (3 semester hours) Costa Rica is world famous for its dedication to the concept of sustainability. This field trip class will visit different locations in Costa Rica to better understand the diversity of its environment, its non-human primates, its practices that help sustainability and related ecological and social issues. The emphasis on particular aspects of the course may vary from year to year but the major emphasis is sustainability. This course has a service learning component. Students must be in good academic standing. Permission of instructor required. (3-0) R

ISIS 4303 Business, Law and Culture (3 semester hours) Study of the interactions among business, law and culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course examines business tangles, legal complexities, ethical dilemmas, and cultural contradictions in the capitalist system. (3-0) T

ISIS 4309 Diversity and Globalization (3 semester hours) This course studies the meanings, processes, and impacts of globalization. It highlights sensitivity to global diversity and examines how global companies cope with a wide array of political/legal forces and transform social/cultural differences into competitive advantages. Topics include conflict resolution in business diplomacy and strategies of managing global diversity. (3-0) Y

ISIS 4350 International Development: Cultural Impacts (3 semester hours) This interdisciplinary course explored the social, political and economic factors that shape international development. Central course themes include the history of international development, poverty and economics, education, sustainability and the environment. (3-0) R

ISIS 4V89 Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 semester hours) Subject matter will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit (6 hours maximum). ([1-6]-0) R

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

ISNS 3331 History of Modern Physics (3 semester hours) History of the major fundamentals of modern physics: Classical Physics and Newton’s Theory of Gravitation; The Maxwell Theory of Electrodynamics; Special Theory of Relativity and General Theory of Relativity; Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation. Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Electrodynamics, the Quantum Theory of Weak Interactions and Quantum Chromodynamics. The unification of the Quantum Theory of Electromagnetic and Weak Interactions. The Standard Model of Fundamental Elementary Particles and the Interactions. Recent development of String and M-Theory. (3-0) Y

ISNS 3332 Future Energy Resources (3 semester hours) Major Energy Consuming Sectors: Residential, Industrial, Transportation and Electric Energy Generating Sectors. Present major energy resources: oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, and nuclear. Energy mix used in consuming sectors. Imported energy. Domestic and world resources in conventional energies. Future energy resources: nuclear fission (conventional and breeder reactors), fusion reactors, technology and safety aspects, nuclear proliferation and terrorism, nuclear waste disposal, solar energy, solar heating and cooling. Non-conventional energy resources. Major problems of energy transportation. An energy mix for the future. Possible scenarios for a U.S. energy plan. Major fields of research and development. (3-0) Y

ISNS 3333 Nuclear Safety and Terrorism (3 semester hours) Practically all scientists, politicians, statesmen and other leaders of our society agree that the ultimate most tragic danger confronting our whole civilization is nuclear terrorism. The invisible terrorist with a shielded (invisible) nuclear weapon. The physical principles of nuclear weapons, access to them, possibility to smuggle them into the US, nuclear proliferation, the possibility of escalating a nuclear attack into full scale nuclear war, and the technical possibilities to reduce this terrible danger are discussed. (3-0) Y

ISNS 3359 Earthquakes and Volcanoes (3 semester hours) Earthquakes and volcanoes appear capricious and devastating in human terms, but they are also a regular part of geological history. This course will integrate current geological thinking with elements of statistics, physics, chemistry, human history, sociology, psychology, and religion to develop an understanding and to provide pragmatic strategies for living with these events. (3-0) Y

ISNS 3367 The Oceans (3 semester hours) Physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of oceanography. Description and origin of features on sea floor; evolution of ocean basins; chemistry of sea water; influence of oceans on weather and climate; formation of waves, tides, currents; factors affecting biological productivity; economic resources and environmental problems. Can only receive credit for ISNS 3367 or GEOS 3401. (3-0) S

ISNS 3368 Weather and Climate (3 semester hours) An overview of the fields of meteorology and climatology. The approach is scientific yet nonmathematical, and students will be exposed to a wide spectrum of ideas from folklore, history, law, economics, and environmental issues. (3-0) S

ISNS 3371 The Phenomena of Nature: Forces, Gases, Motion, Heat, Light and Electricity (3 semester hours) The purpose of the course is to cultivate in students an intuitive perception of the nature of observable physical reality through the presentation and analysis of striking experimental demonstrations. No substantial prior training in science is assumed, but students with a background in science may profit from this course. There will be considerable reference to the historical growth of scientific knowledge and to the aesthetic quality of the explanations offered by science. (3-0) Y

ISNS 3373 Our Nearest Neighbors in the Sky (3 semester hours) A description of the tools and principles the astronomer and space scientist use in exploration of the solar systems; the earth, moon, the sun, planets, asteroids, meteors, and comets; the origin of the solar system; classroom demonstrations, multimedia presentations, and telescope observations. NATS 4173 may be taken with this course to satisfy a General Education laboratory science requirement. (3-0) Y