Jan 28, 2022  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Ann Marie, Kinnell, Ph.D., Interim Co-Director
Cyndi H. Gaudet, Ph.D., Interim Co-Director

118 College Drive, Box 5112
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Gulf Park Campus
730 East Beach Blvd.
Long Beach, MS 39560


J. Anderson, T. Anderson, Annulis, Brown, Christensen, Coleman, Eickelmann, Funk, Gaudet, Greene, James, Kinnell, Lunsford, Malone

The school of interdisciplinary studies and professional development offers students a variety of majors and minors that allow them to blend coursework from a variety of disciplines in unique and personalized ways. The school offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in applied technology, a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS), and Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS), as well as minors in American Indian studies, Black studies, and women's and gender studies.  The school is also home to the exploratory studies program, which offers guidance to students who have not selected a major, and the University foundations program, which assists students with transitioning to a four-year university.

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) at Southern Miss is an institutional member of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, an international professional organization founded in 1979.

BS in Applied Technology

The BS in applied technology program is designed for professionals who have completed technical coursework and desire to advance their careers. By allowing up to 36 hours of technical credits to transfer as electives, this program allows students working in technical fields the opportunity to obtain a BS degree with an applied focus.

Professionals in this program integrate important skills in business, information technology and production processes. By applying these to the development of a highly skilled workforce and the integration of new technologies in the workplace, graduates of the program are prepared to meet the challenges of the new economy with an entrepreneurial spirit.

To earn the degree, students must complete a minimum of 120 hours of coursework, which includes the University's General Education Curriculum as well as a minimum of 62 hours from a four-year institution. At least 45 hours must be earned at the 300- or 400-level. Specific course requirements for the program also include:

Business skills requirements  
  ACC 200 , MGT 300 , MIS 300 , MKT 300   12
Computer skills requirements  
  CSC 309 , CSS 331  or IT 361 , CSS 404  or IT 363 , CSS 333  or IT 375   12
Engineering technology skills requirements  
  IET 405 , IET 406 , IET 414   9
Applied technology skills requirements  
  APT 400 , HCD 460 , APT 410   9

In addition, students must select 40 hours of electives as needed. Note that MGT 300 , MIS 300 , and MKT 300  require junior standing.

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program (BIS)

The BIS program is designed for students who want to create their own "major" by combining coursework from more than one discipline into one degree. Students take classes in those disciplines to form a "concentration," and they also take courses in interdisciplinary studies that will help them learn the skills they need for interdisciplinary work. Students may create their own concentrations, in consultation with an advisor, or choose from available concentrations (see below as well as the school website). Students leave our program prepared for lives and careers in a rapidly changing global society that requires complex problem solving, an awareness of and respect for diversity, and a commitment to the public good.

Students in the BIS program must complete a minimum of 36 hours of concentration coursework selected from two or more disciplines; a 13-hour Interdisciplinary Studies core (IDS 201 , IDS 301 , IDS 401 , IDS 402 , and IDS 350 ); and either ENG 332  or ENG 333 .

BIS with a Southern Studies concentration

The BIS degree with a concentration in southern studies is earned by completing an interdisciplinary series of courses on issues and research concerning the study of the southern United States totaling at least 36 hours, in addition to the following IDS core classes: IDS 201 , IDS 301 , IDS 350 IDS 401 , and IDS 402 ; and either ENG 332  or ENG 333 .

To earn the southern studies concentration, students must complete:

  1. Either ENG 370  or ENG 371  
  2. Either HIS 201  or HIS 202  
  3. Nine additional courses in at least 4 different disciplines, including (recommended courses are marked with an *): *ANT 334 , ANT 426 , ANT 433 , ENG 372 , ENG 473 , *ENG 485 , GHY 400 , *HIS 370 , HIS 373 , HIS 374 , *HIS 463 , HIS 467 , *HIS 468 , *HIS 469 , HIS 470 , HIS 475 , MUS 360 , MUS 364 , PS 306 , *PS 407 , *PS 409 , PS 489 , SOC 311 , SOC 350  and/or SOC 355 .

The following courses may also count toward the concentration in southern studies if their content in the given semester is based on southern studies: ANT 416 , ANT 429 , ENG 410 , ENG 489 , ENG 470 , HIS 478 , HIS 479 , PS 453 , PS 459 , PS 473 , REL 490 , SOC 421  and SOC 425 . Please talk with the school director regarding with particular classes in a given semester will count towards the degree.

IDS 491   - serves as a course in the practical application of an IDS concentration in Southern Studies and may be counted towards the degree. Please see the school director for details.

BIS with a concentration in Environmental Studies

The BIS degree with a concentration in environmental studies is earned through an interdisciplinary series of courses whose goal is to provide a program of study geared to those with career goals in environmental policy, journalism, law, or activism, who seek a sufficient scientific background to be able to communicate relevant ideas to the public, or apply them in their own work, but who do not seek training in conducting environmental science themselves.

Major area of study requirements (13 hours): IDS 201 , IDS 301 , IDS 350 IDS 401 , and IDS 402 .

Additional requirements (40 hours) include:

  1. 12 hours of coursework chosen from this list: BSC 111 , BSC 111L , CHE 106 , CHE 106L , GHY 104 , GHY 104L  or GHY 105 , GHY 105L , or GLY 101 , GLY 101L  
  2. 10 hours of coursework chosen from this list: CHE 251 , CHE 251L , BSC 340 , GHY 472  or GHY 422  
  3. 12 hours of coursework chosen from this list: PHI 457 , PS 403 , ANT 422 , CJ 431 , GHY 370 , ECO 225 , COA 306 , HIS 470 , HIS 472  
  4. One of the following classes: IDS 492  (CA), GHY 443 ; IDS 491 , if it includes an approved environmental field experience or internship.  
  5. ENG 332  or ENG 333  

BIS with a concentration in Disability Studies Concentration

The disability studies concentration BIS degree is earned through an interdisciplinary series of courses whose goal is to introduce students to the social, cultural, and institutional systems that both shape the experience of, and provide services to, persons with disabilities, and their support networks, at all stages of life. This degree also provides students with the skills to understand disability as one dimension of social diversity. Students will take 6 hours of required courses before selecting one of three 18-hour 'tracks'. The concentration is completed with 12 additional hours of electives, as well as the 13 hours of interdisciplinary coursework required of all majors.

To complete the degree, students must take:

  1. Core Concentration requirements (6 hours): IDS 151  and SPE 121  
  2. The courses associated with one of the three tracks below (18 hours):

        1) Community Living Track: IDS 351 , SWK 300 , PSY 331 , SPE 492  and SPE 498  
        2) Development and Education Track: SPE 405 , SPE 420 , SPE 498 , PSY 436 , SHS 211  and SPE 492  
        3) Disability and Diversity Track: SOC 423  or SOC 450 , CMS 440 , HE 319  or HE 492 , SWK 415  or SWK 315  
            Select 2: ANT 420 , SOC 350 , SOC 415 , SOC 301 , PS 406 , PSY 413 , WGS 301  

    3. Four electives from the following list (12 hours): SHS 211 , SHS 323 , SHS 329 , SHS 340 , SOC 340 , SOC 424 , SOC 405 , PSY 210 , PSY 330 , PSY 432 , PSY 400 , PSY 446 , SPE 421 , SPE 422 , PSY 477 /SPE 477 /CD 477 , PSY 478 /SPE 478 , SPE 497 , SPE 492 , SPE 421 , SPE 422 , SWK 300 , SWK 315 , SWK 415 , PSY 210 , PSY 313 .

Bachelor of Liberal Studies Program

Designed with the needs of a wide variety of students in mind, the Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) offers a structured, but flexible, path to a bachelor's degree. This degree plan is particularly well-suited to students who have earned many hours but are not close to completing a degree in any major, often as a result of changing their major multiple times. The BLS provides a flexible path to degree that allows students to combine courses in ways that are interesting and relevant to them in order to earn a degree.  In addition to the General Education Curriculum of the University, students completing the BLS take 36 hours of coursework from three of six areas to design their own general studies degree. Students also choose an 18-hour concentration from among the minors offered at USM. Seniors complete a four (4) credit hour Capstone Experience by developing and implementing either an individual research project or an experiential learning project. Please talk with an advisor in the school for details about this program.

Interdisciplinary Centers and Minors

Center for American Indian Studies

American Indian studies provides students with an opportunity to learn about the contributions and perspectives of the indigenous people of North America through courses that explore the ancient civilizations, historical experiences, languages, artistry and cultures, as well as contemporary issues and variations from tribe to tribe that make up the rich and varied nations of the North American Indians.

Minor in American Indian Studies

The undergraduate minor in American Indian studies requires 18 hours of coursework, including AIS 301  and fifteen hours of coursework from the following choices (students must take classes from at least two disciplines:  ANT 315 ; ANT 333 ; HIS 474 ; HIS 475 ; REL 322 ; SWK 488 . For questions regarding other possible classes, please talk with the school director. Courses from the student's major may not be applied towards the minor.

Center for Black Studies

The Center for Black Studies offers a minor based on multidisciplinary inquiry into a wide range of topics related to contemporary and historical experiences of peoples in Africa and the Black Diaspora. The mission of the Center is two-fold: to promote research and provide educational opportunities related to the history and culture of African-Americans and the Black Diaspora and to facilitate connections between the university and the various social, political, and economic entities that address black experiences.

Minor in Black Studies

The aim of the minor is to engage students in the center and increase their knowledge, involvement, and critical awareness of race in the human experience. Students are required to complete 18 hours of coursework in Black studies, including:

  1. BLKS 301 - Introduction to Black Studies  
  2. HIS 307 , HIS 373 , OR HIS 374  
  3. 9 hours of courses chosen from across various disciplines (see director for list of options)
  4. BLKS 491 , a three-hour project that involves application of course material through an internship or service-learning project.

Women's and Gender Studies Program

Women's and gender studies is an interdisciplinary field that draws ideas, information, and methods from many traditional academic disciplines to explore the important role of gender throughout society. It examines how gender organizes knowledge and is embedded in our social institutions, including politics, economics, education, religion, and the family, and explores how gender influences people's everyday lives. Courses in women's and gender studies examine the relationship between gender, race, class, and sexuality in addition to integrating perspectives from global feminisms and transnationalism. Women's and gender studies courses are for all students - male and female, white students and students of color, middle class and working class, straight and GLBTQI - who are interested in gaining new insight into gender issues.

Minor in Women's and Gender Studies

The minor in women's and gender studies requires 18 credit hours, including WGS 301 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies  and 15 additional credit hours from at least three disciplines. Please see the director of the school for details regarding options across the University.

University Foundations

The over-arching purpose of University foundations courses is to help students make successful transitions to the institution. These courses encourage the development of active learning skills, promote responsible decision-making, facilitate exploration of academic majors and career planning, and help students establish rewarding human relationships in college with peers, professors, and University staff. University Studies courses support student academic success and that provide structured opportunities for out-of-class learning.

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development administers two academic courses designed specifically for new students, UNV 110  for new freshmen and UNV 301  for new transfers. These courses are intended to facilitate students' transition to University life and seek to provide a common experience for first-year students at The University of Southern Mississippi, regardless of major. Both courses are a two-hour, letter-graded course that may be used to fulfill degree requirements. The University of Southern Mississippi strongly encourages all new students to enroll in the appropriate seminar (UNV 110  or UNV 301 ) during their first semester of enrollment.

  1. UNV 110  for new freshmen
  2. UNV 120  student leadership seminar
  3. UNV 301  for new transfer students
  4. UNV 310  job-seeking skills course
  5. UNV 312  mentor training course
  6. UNV 315  course for resident assistants
  7. UNV 325  course for peer educators
  8. UNV 450  and UNV 451  research seminars for McNair Scholars
  9. UNV 392  

Learning Skills (LS) courses

  1. UNV 101 - Academic Support I  for students placing into intermediate algebra math (MAT 99 ), intermediate reading (CIE 99 ) and intermediate writing (ENG 99 ) courses, according to the IHL policy (Section 600-608 - D)
  2. UNV 250 - Strategic Learning  for underachieving students needing to improve their overall performance, including those on academic probation, probation continued or suspension

Developmental Education Program

The Developmental Education Program (DEP) provides an academic foundation for underprepared students to make the transition to college-level courses. The DEP offers students who do not meet regular admission criteria an opportunity to enroll in a four-year public institution of higher learning in the state of Mississippi. The entire program consists of three semesters (summer, fall and spring) of prescribed study, determined by current IHL Board policy.

The summer component, an intensive nine-week remediation program, frequently referred to as the Summer Developmental Program, includes the following courses: English (ENG 90 ), reading (CIE 90 ), mathematics (MAT 90 ) and support lab (LS 90L ). Each course is three credit hours for a total of 12 credit hours. Students who successfully complete the summer term by passing all four courses will be considered to have made satisfactory academic progress in the first phase of the program and will be eligible to continue in the fall. This includes mandatory participation in the Developmental Education program in the fall and spring immediately following the student's enrollment.

The fall component includes enrollment in UNV 101 - Academic Support I . The spring component includes enrollment in UNV 102 - Academic Support II . Students must pass the fall and spring components of the Developmental Education Program immediately following the completion of the student's summer enrollment to maintain their enrollment status.

Students who fail to satisfactorily complete all three semesters of the Developmental Education Program are considered to have made unsatisfactory academic progress and are not eligible for continued enrollment. These students will be counseled to explore other postsecondary opportunities.

Exploratory Studies Program

The program for exploratory students provides an organized plan of study for students who are undecided on their academic major. It is the appropriate place for students at The University of Southern Mississippi who wish to sample university life and various fields of study before committing to a definite major. While an exploratory studies student, students pursue the University's General Education Curriculum and work with specially trained academic advisors. Advisors encourage students to explore, select and eventually commit to an appropriate major, thus facilitating the timely completion of an undergraduate degree. The program works closely with Career Services to help the exploring student.


    Bachelor of Interdisciplinary StudiesBachelor of Liberal Studies
    Bachelor of ScienceNon-degreeCertificate