College of Social Sciences


Undergraduate Program

The Interdisciplinary Social Science Program provides a broad background for understanding public affairs and an education for useful citizenship in the American democracy. It is especially designed for students who have varied interests in social issues. The program is flexible so that students may pursue individual specialized and pre-professional interests. Special concentrations in urban studies, public, law and society, and environmental studies are offered and described below.

Requirements for Students Majoring in Social Science

Students seeking the major in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences must complete 42 hours of coursework chosen from the eight departments that participate in the degree program. A maximum of nine hours of coursework taken to meet Liberal Studies or AA requirements may be used to satisfy this requirement. Work must be taken in at least three of the participating departments. At least 21 of the forty-two hours must be completed in courses numbered above 2999. Students must have a GPA of at least 2.0 in the ISS major, as well as an overall GPA of 2.0.

One of two strategies may be employed in order to complete the 42 hours needed.

Strategy 1: Departmental Concentration

The first strategy requires students to select courses from at least three of the departments named above. The student identifies one of the departments as his or her primary concentration and selects 18 hours from that department . He or she then selects a second department, or secondary concentration, and completes 12 hours from that department. Finally, an additional 12 hours must be completed from any combination of the remaining six departments. This strategy provides students great flexibility in designing a course of study.

Strategy 2: Substantive Concentration

If a more substantively oriented approach is preferred, students may adopt the second strategy and select one of four interdepartmental concentrations that have been developed for the program. These are:

1. Law and Society Concentration – POS 3691: Introduction to Law and Society; and either ECP 3451: Economics and the Law; or SYP 3540: Sociology of Law, are required, plus four further courses chosen from an approved course list. This concentration requires two 12-hour secondary concentrations, one of which must be economics, political science, or sociology.

2. Urban Studies Concentration – This entails a required set of six courses as the primary concentration and two twelve-hour secondary concentrations chosen from a list of four departments.

3. Public Service Concentration – This requires a primary concentration of six courses chosen from an approved list of political science and public administration courses, a secondary concentration of four courses in sociology chosen from an approved list, and the remaining courses chosen from another approved list and including courses from at least two departments.

4. Environmental Studies – This concentration requires students to choose six environmentally related courses from an approved list and additional courses from related departments.

The requirements in each of these concentrations are described in more detail below.

Normally it is not possible to mix portions of the interdisciplinary concentration programs (e.g. combine Law and Society with Public Service) because the substantive concentrations place restrictions on the full 42 hour major. Students who have special reasons for wishing to take substantive mixes not covered by the approved concentrations should consult the ISS director.

Further information on each of these interdisciplinary concentrations is available from the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Social Sciences.

Because the ISS major for most students usually requires only 33 hours beyond FSU Liberal Studies or AA-requirements, it leaves considerable room for electives in most students' programs of study. The ISS program does not require a minor, but many students have ample space in their program of study for one or more minors in addition to the ISS major. It is also possible to double-count a maximum of 12 semester hours used for the ISS major toward a second major; this permits many students to complete a double major without exceeding the minimum of 120 total semester hours required for graduation. Consider the double major possibility; it looks good on your record.

Honors: The ISS program participates in upper-division honors in the major. Entry requires junior standing, a 3.2 GPA on at least 15 semester hours at FSU and all transfer work, and completion and defense of an honors thesis for 6 hours credit under the direction of a faculty committee. To graduate with honors is a worthwhile distinction. For more information, contact the ISS director, Dr. Robert E. Crew, (644-4418), or the Honors Program office (644-1841).

Panama City Campus: The ISS program is offered at FSU's Panama City Campus. Contact Panama City Campus, or the Director for more information. The substantive interdisciplinary concentrations are not offered in Panama City.

Distance Learning Program: The ISS program is offered via the Distance Learning Program. Contact Claire Aguda for more information. The substantive interdisciplinary concentrations are not offered through the Distance Learning Program.