Areas of Concentration

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In Interdisciplinary Studies

All IDS/PACE majors must choose an “Area of Concentration” that serves to focus their studies. We offer four such areas: American Studies, Comparative Cultures, Environmental Studies, and Global Studies. Below are brief descriptions of each area. Samples of possible course choices for each of these areas are available to download. If you are participating in the Weekend College, please choose between American Studies and Global Studies.

Within the IDS/PACE major, the concentration in American Studies focuses on the study of United States’ literary, social, cultural, political, and environmental history from the pre-colonial era to the new millennium.  American Studies crosses all the disciplines but centers on the humanities and social sciences, using not only the wide lens of the nation as a whole but also the increasingly precise focus of the American West, of California, and of our local region to provide students with an exemplary understanding of our complex national identity. The uniquely American experience of race, class, and gender is highlighted across the American Studies curriculum.

In IDS/PACE, the concentration in Comparative Cultures offers students the opportunity to study the world’s cultures from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. Students can develop their own individualized focus by combining IDS departmental offerings in areas such as world literatures and internationally-focused social sciences with courses from other departments, especially Anthropology, History and Philosophy, and/or the Division of World Cultural Studies. An IDS concentration in Comparative Cultures should bring students to a new consciousness and appreciation of cultural development, diversity, and experience.

In IDS, a concentration in Environmental Studies applies an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the natural world and the implications of individual, community, and governmental decisions on the environment.  Students with an Environmental Studies concentration will learn the basic science needed to apply to environmental problems such as global warming, endangered species conservation, fisheries preservation, and energy production and conservation.  In addition, students can also use and apply the interdisciplinary approach to understand how environmental changes can affect human health, and how the alteration of the human environment can affect how diseases evolve and spread.

Within IDS/PACE, the concentration in Global Studies focuses on critical knowledge and awareness of world political, economic, social, cultural, and ecological systems. The concentration familiarizes students with leading debates in the field, including those around poverty, militarization, cultural independence, development, and global justice. Global Studies provides students with analytical tools for understanding and articulating world contemporary issues.

Possible courses for an American Studies Area of Concentration [PDF]
Possible courses for a Comparative Cultures Area of Concentration [PDF]
Possible courses for an Environmental Studies Area of Concentration [PDF]
Possible courses for a Global Studies Area of Concentration [PDF]