Interdisciplinary Studies


Bachelor of Arts l  Minor Program  l  Associate of Arts  l Faculty

The Interdisciplinary Studies program prepares students for a future of service in Christian missions in the tradition of the Society of the Divine Word through training primarily in the social sciences, the humanities and environmental studies.  To participate in ministry which honors diverse cultural expressions and the Gospel imperative to strive for the common good, students build a foundation of intercultural knowledge, strengthen their intellectual capabilities, and assemble a toolkit of practical intercultural skills.  Traditional academic approaches combine with experiential and technologically-enhanced learning models to facilitate awareness of and respect for cultural difference, the ability to contextualize cultures, and an understanding of the processes and consequences of culture change.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a major in Intercultural Studies:

  • Intercultural Competency - Possess the necessary knowledge of different cultures, attitudes towards cultural difference, and behavioral/communication skills to interact with unfamiliar cultures and people in mutually enriching ways.
  • Social Science and Environmental Studies Proficiency - Comprehend core social science and environmental studies knowledge, concepts, approaches, and theories and can speak and write logically, coherently, and convincingly about topics in these fields.
  • Applied Techniques - Apply skills and methodologies of observation, research, interpretation, critical analysis, synthesis, and critique learned in the program to new situations both in an academic setting and outside the classroom, particularly in missions.
  • Humanities Proficiency - Demonstrate the skills and background knowledge required to describe, contextualize, appreciate and communicate clearly and persuasively about works of art, literature, and music from across the cultural spectrum.
  • Historical Contextualization - Recognize the dynamics and consequences of large-scale sociocultural developments including colonialism, industrialization, globalization, technological innovation, and environmental change.
  • Current Affairs Literacy - Identify and evaluate current events and trends and integrate them into a larger constellation of knowledge, values, and faith to enable meaningful engagement with contemporary issues.
  • Social and Environmental Responsibility - Interpret social and environmental challenges in the light of SVD principles based on Catholic social teaching and respond using the knowledge and the disposition acquired in the major. 

Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies Curriculum

Required Courses   31 Credit Hours  
Group A Intercultural Core      
(All courses required for majors)   25 Credit Hours  
ICS 281/381/481 Current Affairs  3 (3 x 1cr)  
TRS 293 World Religions  3  
MUS 376 World Music                                                       3  
ENS 312 Environment & Society I  3  
ICS 111 Intercultural Communication  3  
ENS 212 Intro to Environmental Science  3  
ART 377 Contemporary and World Art  3  
ENG 354 Contemporary World Literature 3  
ICS 490 Senior Capstone 1  
Group B  Approaches to Culture*    3 Credit Hours  
ICS 253 Human Geography  3  
ICS 275 Culture Area Study  3  
ICS 377 Women & Gender Across Cultures  3  
PSY 394 Cross-cultural Psychology  3  
Group C Intercultural Electives   8 Credit Hours  
 PSY 246  Diversity in Human Sexuality  3  
 ENG 353  Mythology  3  
 PHI 219  Asian Philosophy  3  
  ICS 275  2nd Culture Area Study  3  
 ICS 341  Language and Culture  2  
 ENS 412  Environment & Society II 3  
 ICS 445  Theories of Society and Culture 2  
TRS 377 Inter-religious Dialogue 3  
ANT 371 Anthropology and Mission 3  
ICS 482 Current Affairs Elective 1  
ICS Special/Advanced Topics in ICS ** 1-4  
ICS Special/Advanced Topics *** 1-4  
Total Credits for the Intercultural Studies Major: 36  
*        Credits in the group over 3 required will be applied to major electives  
**      Includes ICS courses (200 level and up) not regularly offered  

***    Includes courses outside ICS (300 level and up) not regularly offered and with
          significant intercultural content; by permission of ICS department 








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Minor in Intercultural Studies

The Intercultural Studies minor acquaints students with cultural diversity and develops an ability to understand cultural systems other than their own. Students learn the role of missions in other cultures. They take courses that introduce them to world cultures and focus on specific regions of the world.  All students majoring in Philosophy will earn a minor in Intercultural Studies, unless an exception is granted by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (See Academic Regulations, Minor program). 
The normal Intercultural Studies minor is 18 credit hours, as follows:

Requirements   9 Credit Hours  
ICS 111 Intercultural Communication 3  
TRS 293 World Religions 3  
Group B   3  
AND   6 Credit Hours  
Group A and/or B   6  
AND   3 Credit Hours  
Group C   3  
Total       18 Credit Hours  



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Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Intercultural  Studies

General Objectives

The Associate of Arts in Intercultural  Studies degree offers a broad general education as well as a program of studies which fosters an appreciation of the nature, organization, and dynamics of culture.

This degree program is primarily designed for brother candidates.  Since brothers are trained in many occupations and professions, the Associate of Arts degree provides a foundation for further academic studies or advanced training in technical fields.

Students in the program are classified as freshmen and sophomores.  Admission requirements, academic probation regulations and all other policies and procedures not specifically outlined here are identical to the four-year programs.  Students are served by an advisor who is appointed by the program chair.

Requirements for the Associate of Arts Degree in Intercultural Studies are as follows:

An application for candidacy in the Associate of Arts Degree program is generally filed with the Vice President for Academic affairs at the time of matriculation.  A student who applies for the A.A. Degree must be officially accepted to this program, preferably at the beginning of his/her first semester in the regular College program.  Until a student is accepted as an official candidate in this program, s/he is considered an undeclared degree candidate and is subject to the normal College General Education requirements.
Sixty credit hours, as stipulated in the curriculum, must be satisfactorily completed.
The candidate must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
The candidate must spend at least the last two semesters of instruction in residence at Divine Word College.

Student Learning Outcomes

See appropriate sections in the Core Curriculum and the Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies section.  


Associate of Arts in Intercultural Studies Curriculum

Communication Literacy   12 Credit Hours  
ENG.111 Expository Communication 3  
ENG 112 Academic Writing 3  
COM 112 Public Speaking 3  
COM 113 or COM 114 or TRS 232   3  
Quantitative and Critical Thinking   7 Credit Hours  
HUM 101 Freshman Seminar 1  
MAT 121 Introduction to College Mathematics 3  
PHI 102 Logic 3  
Theology and Religious Studies   15 Credit Hours           
TRS 121 Catechism of the Catholic Church 3  
TRS 211 Old Testament 3  
TRS 212 New Testament 3  
TRS 293 World Religions 3  
TRS 370 Missiology 3  
Humanities and Arts   6 Credit Hours  
ART 110 Elements of Art 1  
MUS 110 Elements of Music 1  
ENG 110 Approaches to Literature 1  
HIS 211/212 World History I or II 3  
Natural Sciences   4 Credit Hours  
BIO 221 Life Sciences    
Social and Behavioral Sciences   9 Credit Hours  
ANT 163 Cultural Anthropology 3  
ICS 111 Intercultural Communication 3  
PSY 113 Introduction to Psychology 3  
Electives from ICS Major Requirements   7 Credit Hours  
(Groups A & B)      
Total credits for A.A. Degree in Intercultural Studies   60 Credit Hours