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Welcome to Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

at Florida State University

Our world is highly complex. An interdisciplinary orientation to the social sciences allows students to pursue a holistic study of the complex issues and problems facing the social world. Our students are encouraged to apply a spectrum of perspectives to specific public policies and social issues. They are guided to identify an interdisciplinary “discipline” that draws on various fields of research and scholarship as they choose from several flexible options to pursue their individual interests.

Undergraduate Spotlight

Kayla Mathai

“My major is Interdisciplinary Social Science, with a concentration in Law and Society. Initially, I was a political science major. But I wanted to learn more about the social sciences instead of focusing on just one aspect. So, I decided to change my major in a way that would allow me to gain knowledge on the social sciences but also prepare me with an interdisciplinary skill set for the real world. In this major, I am also able to choose a primary and secondary concentration.”

Rodney Wells

Rodney Wells, a sophomore Interdisciplinary Social Sciences major from Jacksonville, Fla. joins a cohort of eight scholars selected from colleges across the country for the John Robert Lewis Scholars & Fellows Program. The John Robert Lewis Scholars & Fellows Program was founded by the Faith and Politics Institute in honor of former congressman, civil rights and voting rights icon John Lewis.

“In studying the principles that guided John Lewis, these principles of nonviolence serve as the north star in the pursuit of civil rights and social justice. I’m not only grateful, but very hopeful that this makes me a better leader at FSU and in my home community in Jacksonville.”

Designing Your Major

The Interdisciplinary Social Science degree can be attained through several optional academic plans. Academic plans can be focused in flexible multidisciplinary academic paths, or through structured specializations. The ISS major consists of 43 credits that can be organized in various ways. Students are encouraged to work with academic and faculty advisors to plan the best options for pursuing a cohesive, multidisciplinary path toward their learning goals.

Multidisciplinary Academic Plans

Students will use at least two social science disciplines in pursuit of their academic goals. The major coursework can be organized to include primary and secondary departments, and the integration of departmental perspectives as a successful academic path.
Specialized areas of study support a structured multidisciplinary plan of study related to specific interest areas. The specialized areas of study include pre-organized multidisciplinary options to advance student interests and learning within a specific area of study.

Mission Statement

The Interdisciplinary Social Science program engenders individually-driven social goals that guide student vision and learning attainment. We do this by promoting academic freedom and teaching intellectual capacities that support innovation and collaboration through interdisciplinary curriculum and experiential engagement. We focus our efforts on providing an environment which promotes holistic understandings of complex social dynamics through the integration of various disciplinary, social, economic, and political perspectives. Through student-centered teaching and purpose-driven advising, we cultivate conscious multidisciplinary dexterity and an integrative vision of complex social phenomena.