Interdisciplinary Majors & Minors

African American Studies 

The major in African American Studies has provided focus on the experience of African Americans and their connections to the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America.  Coursework addresses such topics as cultural practices, with reference to literature, history, and film, as well as inequality as it relates to issues of nationality, race, class, and gender. The major provides students with a solid theoretical and research basis to pursue either graduate professional study or employment in business or industry and can often be completed with a second liberal arts major such as English, history, communication, psychology, or sociology.

American Studies 

American Studies introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of America as a place, a political and social idea, a set of values and traditions, and a people. The major provides students with the opportunity to examine America through the diversity of its ideas, texts, objects, institutions, practices, and histories as well as the complex social and political relationships that have shaped and continue to shape the world to which they belong. The major in American Studies strives toward a balance of flexibility and structure. Students are allowed a great deal of freedom in their course selection within a basic framework of required course types and a declared area of concentration. The flexibility and small size of the major permits undergraduates to devise an interdisciplinary academic program best suited to their individual needs and academic interests. The American Studies major can often be completed with a second liberal arts major such as English, History, Sociology, or Political Science.

Asian American Studies 

The undergraduate Asian American Studies Program, now within American Studies at Purdue offers students the opportunity to pursue a minor in Asian American Studies. The program focuses on the complex cultural heritage of Asian Americans and provides students a way to deepen their understanding of issues such as ethnicity, gender, identity, and racial history, linking the Asian American experience to the development of America and its multicultural consciousness. 

Comparative Literature 

Comparative Literature takes as its special mandate the teaching and comparing of world literature, not only as social documents but also as works of art whose full appreciation depends on the study of languages, an understanding of diversity and globalization, and an appreciation of various media. The program encourages the study of literature by promoting the study of a second or third foreign language and by sponsoring courses and dissertations that cut across national boundaries. The three introductory courses, Introduction to Comparative Literature, World Literature: From the Beginning to 1700 A.D., and World Literature: 1700 to the Present, give students a base upon which to build their studies.  The Comparative Literature program is designed so that students can individualize their plans of study.

Critical Disability Studies 

A minor in Critical Disability Studies enhances students’ educational experience at Purdue by bringing received ideas about the body under critical scrutiny; by deepening students’ understanding of how social and political categories affect individual human beings and our common life; by expanding students’ exposure to diverse groups of people; and by readying them to interact with all sorts of people in our global economy. After leaving Purdue, students with training in critical disability studies will be ready to help create workplaces that can accommodate the great variety of human beings who live on our planet and make the most of their heterogeneous talents.

Film and Theatre Production 

Film and Theatre Production is a professionally-oriented program with a strong liberal arts foundation. It brings together faculty and courses from the School of Languages & Cultures, English, Theatre, and Computer Graphics and Technology as well as from Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), and the Elliott Hall of Music. The goal of this program is to help prepare students to meet the new challenges they will encounter as citizens and professionals in the information age, and to qualify them for immediate entry into professional careers or graduate programs in film or theater. The program helps students learn how to analyze, integrate, and apply the theories that form the basis of the film/video discipline, and to work in a practical, professional capacity.

Global Studies 

The Global Studies Program provides Purdue undergraduates with a flexible yet rigorous interdisciplinary education in key issues confronting today's globalized world. Global Studies students at Purdue are ready for the world. Our students are not simply given the tools to understand the processes of globalization and their consequences, they are also encouraged and empowered to intervene in those processes and shape their world.

Interdisciplinary Film/Video Studies 

The interdisciplinary film and video studies major is a professionally-oriented program with a strong liberal arts foundation. It brings together faculty and courses from the School of Languages & Cultures, English, Theatre, and Computer Graphics and Technology as well as from  Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), and the Elliott Hall of Music. The goal of this program is to help prepare students to meet the new challenges they will encounter as citizens and professionals in the information age. The program helps students learn how to analyze, integrate, and apply the theories that form the basis of the film/video discipline.

Islamic Studies

The Religious Studies Program offers a uniquely interdisciplinary minor in Islamic Studies. Bringing together the expertise of faculty in a wide range of departments and programs, this minor provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore the history, languages, theology, culture, and politics of Islamic civilization. The aim of the minor is to promote learning and understanding for diverse student career paths, as well as to foster dialogue about all of the dynamic traditions both within and around the Muslim world.

Jewish Studies 

Jewish Studies promotes an understanding of all aspects of Jewish life, culture, language, literature, religion, and history. As a multidisciplinary program, it is composed of faculty members from the Departments of Anthropology, English, Languages & Cultures, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology.

Latin American and Latino Studies 

Latin American and Latino Studies minor (LALS) is a vibrant cross-territorial, interdisciplinary program that brings together the study of Latin America, Latino communities in the U.S. and the Caribbean. You can complete a 15-credit minor that will internationalize your course of study and enhance potential career objectives. As a student in LALS you will study the similarities and differences among the histories, cultures, social institutions and political systems of countries throughout the Americas and in the Caribbean island-nations.

LGBT Studies 

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Purdue University offers courses that critically assess the historical and social context and meanings attached to the categories of man and woman as well as the salience of gender identities that exist outside and beyond that dichotomy. Our courses provide students with the opportunity to examine systematically the role and politics of sexuality and to interrogate the discriminatory practices disadvantaging those who reject or fall outside of compulsory heteronormativity. Our program sponsors student engagement on issues central to feminism, promotes equality for all people regardless of the way they express their gender or sexuality, and nurtures academic research and scholarly inquiry that supports these core values.

Linguistics 

Students explore the basic concepts of linguistics and language analysis methods, and discover the role of language in society.  They are introduced to articulatory phonetics, sounds of languages in the world, mechanisms of production of speech sounds, and ear training for discriminating speech sounds. They analyze parts of speech, constituent phrases, sentence structure, representations, ambiguity, and applications of current theory.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies 

Unlike the vertical orientations of departmental disciplines, which follow one field of study from its beginnings to the present, the medieval and renaissance studies program at Purdue cuts horizontally across fifteen subject areas such as art, architecture, drama, history, music, vernacular and Latin literature, philosophy, and political science. The program presents a variety of ways to acquire perspectives concerning the nature and origins of the world in which we live.

Native American and Indigenous Studies 

The Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) minor, offered by the College of Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental minor that focuses on the history, cultures, religions, languages, arts, and literatures of American Indians of the Americas. Participating departments include History, Anthropology, English, and Linguistics.

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Program exposes students to arts, cultures, histories, and literatures beyond the dominant narratives of western European culture and its legacy. A minor in NAIS can open doors to new and different ways of viewing the world, new approaches to the environment and science, new concepts in history, politics, and religion, new ways of telling stories, of maintaining families and cultures, and even perceptions of time and space.

Peace Studies 

Minoring in Peace Studies gives you the opportunity to explore causes of war, conditions of peace, and how to avoid the former and promote the latter. The program adopts an interdisciplinary approach to examine some of the basic questions of our time: what is peace, what is conflict, and how can one be promoted and the other prevented? Peace Studies includes analyses of issues involving class, race, gender, sexual preference, the environment and international relations of all kinds.

Religious Studies 

The religious studies program at Purdue offers students the opportunity to investigate how the different religious traditions of the world seek and understand ultimate reality, how this understanding influences human action and belief about the world, and how historical contexts influence religious thought and practice. By learning about the different religious traditions of the world and their historical contexts, students will cultivate a critical appreciation of diverse religious traditions.  Students will have the opportunity to study this major from the perspective of different departments at Purdue, such as English, history, philosophy, sociology, and anthropology. 

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

As a student in the  Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program you will learn to critically assess the historical and social context and meanings attached to the categories of “man” and “woman” as well as the importance of gender identities that exist outside and beyond that dichotomy. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to examine systematically the role and politics of sexuality and to interrogate the discriminatory practices disadvantaging those who reject or fall outside of compulsory heteronormativity. Our program sponsors student engagement on issues central to feminism, promotes equality for all people regardless of the way they express their gender or sexuality, and nurtures academic research and scholarly inquiry that supports these core values.

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