/ Interdisciplinary Studies

Pathways and Programs

Good learning is always moving toward interdisciplinary study because life is not divided up into subjects like school is. The more you learn, the more connections you see between your courses.

Certain groups of courses are set up to build interdisciplinary connections around important topics and areas of study. This page gives you an overview of such pathways and programs, especially so that you can see how choosing general education courses early in your time at Hope can get you started in an interdisciplinary direction. Note that in almost all cases, these courses are not arranged in sequences with required pre-requisites but are merely grouped by topics and can be entered at any point.


With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grand Challenges Initiative, several teams of Hope faculty are developing courses in multiple disciplines that address important issues facing the world in which students will live and work. Each group of Grand Challenge courses includes at least one General Education course. Grand Challenges pathways planned thus far include:

Disability in Contemporary Societies

General education course on disability starting in fall 2017:

  • IDS 172, Disability in Global Societies (CH2), section taught by Dr. Wei Yu Wayne Tan (full description available on the Cultural Heritage website)

Upper-division courses with a disability focus starting in spring 2018:

  • SWK 295, Disability and Community, Dr. Dennis Feaster
  • NURS 385, Gerontological Theory and Practice, Dr. Melissa Bouws
  • PSY 325, Health Psychology, Dr. Alyssa Cheadle
The Historical and Sociological Imagination of Peace Movements

General education course with a focus on peace movements:

  • SOC 101, Introduction to Sociology and Social Problems (SS1), section taught by Dr. Pamela Koch starting in fall 2017

Upper division course:

  • HIST 200, Peace Movements in the 20th Century United State, Dr. Jeanne Petit starting in spring 2018

Both courses are also electives within the Peace and Justice minor (see below).

Nations, Citizens, and Outsiders: Paris Stories

General education courses:

  • IDS 172, Revolutions, Expatriates and Empire: Defining Nations in Paris (CH2), section taught by Dr. Lauren Janes starting in fall 2017 (full description available on the Cultural Heritage website)
  • IDS 100, Paris: Shaping a City and Defining Nations (FYS), Dr. Heidi Krause, Dr. Lauren Janes starting in fall 2017
  • COMM 151, Media and Society (SS2, GLI), sections taught by Dr. Marissa Doshi starting in fall 2017
  • Paris May Term, Defining Nations, Defining Ourselves, Dr. Lauren Janes and Dr. Heidi Krause, offered for senior seminar (SRS) credit starting in 2018

Upper division courses:

  • ART 241, Modern Art and Architecture, Dr. Heidi Krause starting in spring 2018
  • ENGL 371, American Writers in Paris: From Franklin to Stein, Dr. Natalie Dykstra starting in fall 2018
Building Meaningful Connection across Cultural Divides

General education courses with a focus on building empathy through stories starting in fall 2017:

  • IDS 100, Telling Our Stories (FYS), Dr. Michelle Bombe
  • GEMS 295, Abrupt Climate Change (NS2), Dr. Joanne Stewart
  • ENGL 253, Introduction to Creative Writing (FA2), section taught by Dr. Elizabeth Trembley
The Healing of Memories in Post-conflict Societies

General education course:

  • ENGL 234, Modern Global Literatures (CH2, GLI), Dr. Ernest Cole starting in fall 2017

Upper division course:

  • COMM 395, Special Topics in Communications, Dr. Dierdre Johnston starting in fall 2017

 General education course:

  • IDS 100, Immigrant Stories (FYS), Dr. Debra Swanson, Dr. Berta Carrasco starting fall 2017


Each interdisciplinary program has its own website and section in the college catalog with complete information about requirements and options. The listings below show general education courses that contribute to each program.

American Ethnic Studies

Required course:

Elective options include:

View the American Ethnic Studies website and catalog information.

Asian Studies


Electives options include:

Altogether, 16 of the 20 required credits for the Asian Studies minor can be filled with general education courses.

View the Asian Studies website and catalog information.

Environmental Studies

Required courses include eight credits of GEMS courses chosen from:

Electives include:

Thematically related courses include REL 100, Earth and Ethics (RL1) and some sections of IDS 100 (FYS) and English 113 (EW).

View the Environmental Studies website and catalog information.

International Studies

Required course options include:

View the International Studies website and catalog information.


Required courses include a choice of one of the following:

Some tracks within the minor also includes choices from general education courses.

View the studies in ministry minor website and catalog information.

Peace and Justice

Elective options include:

View the Peace and Justice website and catalog information.

Women's and Gender Studies

Required courses for the major and minor include:

Elective options include:

View the Women's and Gender Studies website and catalog information.