Interdisciplinary Studies

Students may choose to pursue a major in Interdisciplinary Studies. These majors represent a rich variety of interdisciplinary study, blending complementary disciplines to encourage new avenues of academic investigation.

Each interdisciplinary studies degree has a concentration. These concentrations may be faculty or student- initiated. The following faculty-initiated concentrations are available.

Bachelor of Science

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology concentration is designed for students interested in these rapidly developing fields of science. Biochemistry and molecular biology are areas of rapid development in science today. Students with training in these fields can pursue careers as researchers in academic or industrial settings or they can pursue further study in graduate or professional schools. Students must complete 40 graduation credits before application to the program, generally in the spring of the sophomore year. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/department_biological_sciences.html.

Environmental Science
Graduates from this concentration will be well qualified for a broad range of positions within the highly interdisciplinary field of environmental science. Consulting firms, industry, federal and state government agencies all require employees with this type of training. The demand for individuals with such a degree is anticipated to remain strong as our society attempts to cope with and address myriad environmental impacts that are occurring on local, regional, national and global scales. Additionally, graduates with this degree are well prepared to consider advanced degrees in the sciences, or other fields such as business administration (M.B.A.) or law (J.D.). For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_environmental_science.html.

Financial Market Regulation
The academic program within the Institute for Financial Market Regulation offers an interdisciplinary concentration preparing undergraduates for careers in regulation and supervision of the financial markets. It educates students in four essential areas: the business of financial markets and how regulations affect that business; the laws of financial market regulation; public policy of financial market regulation; technology of information management and data analysis essential to modern regulation and supervision. Graduates have classes and experiences encompassing each of these areas. They will enter careers in financial market regulation and supervision appreciating its issues and necessary skills, prepared to learn more efficiently from on-the-job experience and continuing professional education. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/39661.php.

Public Health
The mission of the undergraduate coursework in the School of Public Health is to instill in a diverse group of educated individuals the awareness, values and knowledge of the various disciplines within public health.

Many students have a genuine interest in helping people and want to enter professions that allow them to make meaningful contributions to society. Studying public health is an effective way to enable students to fulfill this goal. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/school_public_health.html.

Bachelor of Arts

Documentary Studies
The interdisciplinary concentration in Documentary Studies combines a solid grounding in the academic and theoretical literature of documentary work in a range of disciplines (communication, history, art, journalism, and music) with intensive research and fieldwork in video/film, radio, hypermedia/multimedia, photography, and nonfiction print writing. Students are prepared to more effectively engage in the media-infused global marketplace as citizens, consumers, educators, scholars, and practitioners.

The Documentary Studies curriculum combines a solid grounding in the academic and theoretical literature of documentary media with an opportunity for intensive fieldwork. Students will learn not only to produce documentary work but also to understand its history and range and be able to critically analyze it in terms of both content and craft.

This concentration of the Interdisciplinary Studies major prepares students for employment in fields that require in-depth research, writing, and editing skills, including archival, library, and audiovisual research; the ability to analyze, critique, and produce visual and aural communications, such as for entertainment, education, or advocacy; and a broad understanding of fact-based communication that can be applied in a range of corporate, educational, service, or government settings. Students are also prepared for advanced study in a range of fields. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_documentary_studies.html.

Globalization Studies
Globalization Studies, one of the newest areas of study at the University at Albany, is an interdisciplinary concentration designed to help students function more effectively in the rapidly changing world of the 21st century. The concentration enables students to:

  • Gain a systematic awareness of the global forces and processes that shape our lives:
  • Explain why we need to engage new ways of acquiring and applying knowledge; and
  • Broaden the notion of diversity beyond the limits of a U.S. context to encompass wider hemispheric and global realities.

The Globalization Studies concentration enables students to take a variety of courses focusing on the comprehensive and multidisciplinary analysis of globalization processes. It prepares students to ‘think globally’ by providing them with an undergraduate education that responds effectively to today’s global interconnectedness and fosters a thorough knowledge and a critical understanding of the social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental forces that are reshaping the lives of peoples and nations around the world. At the same time, the major demonstrates that globalization is always implicated and embedded in the cultural and historical context of the ‘local’, which emphasizes the importance of a specific place, a community, or even an individual household. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_globalization_studies.html.

Information Science
Information science investigates the uses and impacts of information and technology on individuals, organizations and society. Students learn how information is created, organized, represented, stored, accessed, retrieved, managed and protected in both traditional and non-traditional media.

Graduates help people navigate through the flood of today’s traditional and cyber-based information to reach their goals. For students who are interested in helping organizations manage, use, and preserve the information they collect and create, the concentration in information science can give them the knowledge, skills, and experiences to prepare for these professional roles. 

The undergraduate degree provides students with essential skills and a sound knowledge base with which to enter the information industry or to pursue graduate studies. Information science prepares students to pursue careers in web development, call center support services, and technology in government. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/department_informatics.html.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies
The concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies gives students a broad, multidisciplinary training in the history and culture of Europe from late antiquity through the early modern period. This concentration offers a wide range of courses and serves as a guide for anyone with a special interest in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It is especially recommended as a second major for anyone considering going on to graduate study in some aspect of medieval and early modern studies. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_medieval_renaissance.html.

Religious Studies    
Religious Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration reflecting a wide variety of academic interests and disciplines. Its purpose is to produce a formal structure for the study of the religions of humankind.

“Religion” is that which is to be studied; “religious studies” is the official title for the formal structure produced for the study of religion. Religious belief will not be necessary in order to take courses or to participate in the program.

Religion, one of the most basic of human concerns, has occupied a leading place in the thought and activities of all peoples from the earliest civilizations (as shown by archaeology), through early literate societies, (as seen in their religious texts), to the present, where religious beliefs and their consequences continue to shape the daily news. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/program_religious_studies.html.

Urban Studies and Planning
The Urban Studies and Planning concentration is designed for students interested in a liberal arts education focusing on urban and suburban environments, and on urban, community and neighborhood development. The program of study mixes conventional classes with fieldwork and computer-based learning, and it requires considerable awareness of international, multicultural and policy issues. Students with training in Urban Studies and Planning may enter careers in housing and community development, real estate, local and state government, local economic development, or local planning. They can pursue further study in graduate or professional schools to specialize in city and regional planning, public policy, real estate, architecture, or landscape architecture. For requirements of the concentration, go to http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/department_geography_planning.html.

 

Student-Initiated Concentrations

In addition to Interdisciplinary Studies majors with faculty-initiated concentrations and to existing majors and minors offered by the University’s departments, schools and programs, an Interdisciplinary Studies major with a student-initiated concentration is available. Students can also propose an interdisciplinary minor. In both cases, students work with faculty from at least two different departments. Proposals are approved through the Undergraduate Academic Council’s Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. These options are designed to allow highly motivated students to meet special educational goals not available from the many existing majors and minors at the University.  Specific guidelines can be found at: