Requirements, Categories, and Classes


All students in baccalaureate programs are required to take at least four University Interdisciplinary Studies courses, from each of the four breadth categories (for a minimum of 12 UIS credits) over their four years as part of graduation requirements.  Each student must take at least one Diversity (D) designated UIS course, which addresses complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender bias, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, disability, religion, human rights, freedom, empowerment, or the continuing struggles around the world for social equality.  Students may take an additional UIS course as an elective.

See regular course descriptions in our Undergraduate Catalog.

See Special Topics course descriptions.

Breadth Categories

Courses in this category engage the imagination, foster flexible ways of thinking, and provide distinctive ways of understanding human beings and nature. Knowledge of architecture, art, dance, drama, literature, and music opens channels of communication and leads to a realization of the complexities and interrelationships of human society. These courses examine how individuals and cultures express themselves and provide opportunities for students to actively engage in the creative process.


Courses in this category seek to develop knowledge of global culture and history, providing access to a diversity of cultures and to the traditions, values, and practices that inform those cultures. We live in a blend of constantly changing societies and need to understand both how such societies function and how they were developed. These courses allow students to appreciate the richness, complexity, and importance of other ways of living. In order to participate effectively as citizens, students need to understand past events and their links to present ones.


Courses in this category are designed to provide students with an understanding of themselves and how they relate formally and informally with others in groups, institutions, and political and economic contexts. Courses emphasize human needs and behaviors; group relationships and processes; the evolution and nature of value systems; and techniques for accumulating, widening, and transmitting experience and knowledge to succeeding generations. These courses examine how groups of individuals interact, the impact of society on the individual, and encourage students to explore the processes and practices by which change occurs in social units.

Courses in this category seek to develop a greater awareness of science and technology and their human, social, and political implications. These courses encourage an understanding and application of scientific methods. Students learn to differentiate between science and technology, understand the limitations that are inherent in scientific inquiry, and evaluate the risks and benefits of technological advances. These courses examine how people interact with and understand the natural world and the tools they use to do so.