Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies

Tanya R. Saunders, Dean
Margaret L. Arnold, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean

For full faculty listing, see "Faculty and Administration."
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. Understanding 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 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 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 schools.

Interdisciplinary majors and minors within the division, as well as those in the schools, 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 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 students thrive and successfully adapt in an increasingly complex and dynamic global community.

Presently the division embraces the following academic units and programs:

  • African Diaspora Studies (minor)
  • Aging Studies (major, minor)
  • Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity
  • Culture and Communication (major, minor)
  • Gerontology Institute
  • Health Communication (minor)
  • Latino/a Studies (minor)
  • Legal Studies (major, minor)
  • Muslim Cultures (minor)
  • Office of International Programs
  • Project Look Sharp

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. For more information, see the following:

  • Classical studies (minor)
  • Communication management and design (major, minor)
  • Environmental studies (major, minor)
  • Integrated marketing communications (major)
  • Integrative health studies (minor)
  • International business studies (minor)
  • Jewish studies (minor)
  • Latin American studies (minor)
  • Native American students (minor)
  • Planned studies (major)
  • Women's studies (minor)

Project Look Sharp

Project Look Sharp is an initiative of Ithaca College, in collaboration with local school districts, New York State Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), the Alliance for Media Literate America, and other national media literacy organizations. The program is designed to promote the effective integration of media literacy and critical thinking into classroom curricula at all educational levels and instructional areas by providing teachers with materials, training, and support. Project Look Sharp offers internships to Ithaca College students, as well as courses in media literacy through the culture and communication degree program.

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 GPA of 3.70 (3.50 for freshmen);
  2. at least 15 letter-grade credit hours completed (not pass/fail nor 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. Each major is 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 required to meet with their advisers at least twice each semester, once at the beginning of the term and again before 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 GPA; full-time students must pass at least 12 credits during any given semester and 24 credits in any consecutive 12-month period. In order to graduate from the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in required courses in the major and no more than two grades below C- in required courses in the major.
Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal