Ithaca College

Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies

Tanya R. Saunders, Dean
Mary Turner DePalma, Professor and Assistant Dean

For full faculty listing:
Faculty and Administration


The Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies was established in the fall of 2002 to provide an organizational structure in support of interdisciplinary study at the College and to recognize the importance of interdisciplinary programs to the intellectual vitality of the campus community. Recognizing that knowledge is a continuum, the division encourages the development of interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and cross-disciplinary programs that help students make the important connections between fields of study and bring to bear the insights from many disciplines in seeking solutions to the complex problems facing our world (e.g., hunger, disease, illiteracy, war, energy, poverty, the environment). Interdisciplinary programs at Ithaca College allow students to draw on the expertise of faculty from across the five schools and allow faculty to cross academic boundaries to better develop an integrated understanding of, and approach to, issues facing the larger global community.

The Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies encourages pursuit of interdisciplinary study wherever it may occur at the College, within or between courses, departments, and/or schools. According to national scholar Julie Thompson Klein, at the core of interdisciplinary endeavor is the "interplay of perspectives that occurs in balancing depth, breadth, and synthesis. Depth insures the necessary disciplinary, professional, and interdisciplinary knowledge and information for the task at hand. Breadth insures a multidisciplinary variety of perspectives. Synthesis insures integrative process and construction of a holistic perspective that is greater than the simple sum of its parts" ("Mapping Interdisciplinary Studies," Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges and Universities, 1999).

Interdisciplinary majors and minors within the division, as well as those residing in the schools, can enhance a student's undergraduate study. Many students consider a double major, or a major with one or two interdisciplinary minors, in order to take best advantage of the wealth of academic opportunities offered at Ithaca College and to acquire the breadth and depth of knowledge so important to professional and personal development. The programs of study now offered within the division, as well as those planned for the future, will help our students to thrive and successfully adapt in an increasingly complex and dynamic global community.

Presently the division embraces the following academic units and programs:

• Aging Studies (major, minor)

• Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity

• Culture and Communication (major, minor)

• Gerontology Institute

• Health Communication (minor)

• Legal Studies (major, minor)

• Native American Studies (minor)

• Office of International Programs

• Project Look Sharp

• Washington Semester Program

All of these programs, described in the following pages, create challenging and intellectually invigorating opportunities for students and faculty.

Interdisciplinary programs are based not only in the division but also in the five schools of the College.

Classical Studies (minor)

Environmental Studies (major, minor)

Integrated Marketing Communications (major)

Integrative Health Studies (minor)

International Business Studies (minor)

Jewish Studies (minor)

Latin American Studies (minor)

Communication Management and Design (major, minor)

Planned Studies (major)

Women's Studies (minor)

Academic Achievement and Advising

Dean's List

At the end of each semester, students who have shown outstanding academic achievement are placed on the dean's list. To be included on the dean's list in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies, a student must have

1. a minimum semester grade point average of 3.70 (3.50 for freshmen);

2. completion of at least 15 letter-grade credit hours (not pass/fail or S/D/F option); and

3. no final grades of D, F, or I.


Facilitating student learning and intellectual growth is a priority for faculty and staff within the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies. All majors are assigned an adviser to assist with progress toward completing degree requirements and to serve as a resource for exploring interests and career goals. DIIS majors are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisers at least twice each semester, once at the beginning of the term and again prior to online course registration.

Academic Status

The general academic status policy of the division follows the all-College guidelines for warning, suspension, and dismissal. To meet minimum academic standards, students must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average; full-time students must pass at least 12 credits during any given semester and 24 credits in any consecutive 12-month period.
Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal