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General Bulletin 2004-2006

Programs of Study

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies (Western College Program)

General Information

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies (Western College Program) offers team-taught interdisciplinary curriculum, a residential learning program that emphasizes student-faculty interaction, and an advanced program of study that may be directed toward specific career or professional goals.

Located in a historic district of Miami University's campus, formerly the site of Western College, the program has the educational style of a small college within a major university. It offers faculty in residence, discussion classes, opportunities for research and study in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and environmental issues, and participation in a wide range of student activities. In addition, you have full access to courses and activities of a major university.

The program features an interdisciplinary studies curriculum, an advanced program, peer education, tutoring and research opportunities in writing, natural science, and computing, and a residential learning program.

Special Admission Requirement

Enrollment is on space-available basis. More information is available from the Office of the Assistant Dean.

Transfer Policy

Change of major, relocation and transfer students are welcome when space is available. Requirements can be adjusted in most cases to accommodate completion of the program. Students interested in the interdisciplinary studies major are advised to transfer during their first year or before the beginning of their second year. The environmental science and studies majors traditonally require four years to complete, beginning with a first semester registration.

Interdisciplinary Studies Curriculum

Team-taught courses focus on issues and concepts by bringing together information and analysis from more than one field. The goal of study is to place knowledge into perspective. Each area of humanities (creativity and culture), social sciences (social systems), and natural sciences (natural systems) is treated in integrative courses.

Majors in the program take Western College courses as well as courses elsewhere in the university throughout their four years. In this way, goals of both general education and preprofessional or career interests are met. Interdisciplinary Studies majors meet all Miami Plan Foundation requirements through Western College Program (WCP) seminars.

Advanced Program

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors complete a program that includes advanced seminars, a senior project completed in a research workshop, and 32 semester hours of advanced course work selected from university offerings with assistance of an academic adviser, focused on a particular academic or career goal.

Each student, in consultation with a faculty adviser, develops a Statement of Educational Objectives (curriculum plan) during the sophomore year. This statement guides the selection of specific course work in the last two years. This approach allows both flexibility and clear direction. Successful programs have been developed in many fields, including pre-law, pre-medicine, social service, historic preservation, art therapy, international business, cultural studies, fine arts, and others. Environmental science and studies majors create Statements of Educational Objectives that include some prescribed courses. Areas of emphasis might include acquatic environments, atmospheric processes, terrestrial environments, ecological perspectives, scientific principles and methods of analysis, assessment and control, environmental writing, environmental education, environmental policy, or environmental law.

Upon completion of the first two years of interdisciplinary studies courses and the advanced program, students are awarded a Bachelor of Philosophy with a major in interdisciplinary studies, environmental science, or environmental studies. Students may receive only one of these majors.

Residential Learning Program

The Western program intentionally relates informal learning activities to formal class work. Majors live together in residence halls during their first two years. Classrooms and faculty and staff offices are also located in a residence hall.

Learning outside the classroom is encouraged by frequent informal activities. Relatively small, discussion-oriented classes that accompany weekly lectures are held in residence halls and classrooms. Students are active on committees dealing with curriculum, government, and community life.

Thematic Sequences

Western College Program thematic sequences will not be available to students until revisions, currently underway, are completed. For more information, contact the Office of the Assistant Dean.

Minor

The School also offers an interdisciplinary studies minor, a shorter program that may be taken with any major. Requirements include completion of 18 semester hours of - and 300-level courses, with at least one course from each of these areas: creativity and culture, social systems, and natural systems.

Study Abroad

Each year opportunities for students to study abroad expand. You are encouraged to consider adding such an experience to your advanced program. Western College Program students have successfully completed study abroad programs for a semester or a year, typically in their junior year or in the summer. You may participate in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and choose from many institutions in more than 30 countries, or exchange with the established Miami program in Austria, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, or Scotland. The Study Abroad Office in the Office of International Programs helps students select the program that best suits their academic objectives.

Nonmajors

Architecture and interior design students take three required Western College Program courses each semester of their first year. When space is available, other Miami students may enroll in courses. Many interdisciplinary studies courses apply toward the Miami Plan requirement; these courses include WCP 111, 112, 121, 122, 131, 132, 141, 142, 221, and 211 or 231. Priority for registration in these courses is given to Western College Program students and to students who are taking several courses simultaneously (for example, those taking WCP 111, 121, and 131 together).

Major Requirements

Interdisciplinary Studies: Bachelor of Philosophy

Freshman and Sophomore Curriculum: 43 semester hours of designated interdisciplinary course work, 32 meet the Miami Plan for Liberal Education requirement.

Residency: Two years of residency in a hall designated for the Western College Program (typically in the first and second years of study).

Advanced Program: Nine semester hours of advanced seminar and 10 semester hours of senior project workshop. Completion of an approved Statement of Educational Objectives submitted sophomore year. This statement lists 32 semester hours of course work focused on an interdisciplinary topic or theme.

Program Outline

Freshman Year (30-36 semester hours)
All of these:
WCP 111, 112 Creativity and Culture I, II (3, 3)
WCP 121, 122 Natural Systems I, II (3, 3)
WCP 131, 132 Social Systems I, II (3, 3)
WCP 141 Interdisciplinary Fine Arts (3)
WCP 142 Interdisciplinary Technology (3)
Electives (6-12) taken in other divisions of the university.

Sophomore Year (30-36 semester hours)
All of these:
WCP 211 Creativity and Culture III (4)
WCP 221 Natural Systems III (4)
WCP 231 Social Systems III (4)
Learning Community Seminar (1)
WCP 261 Integrative Seminar (4)
WCP 262 Integrative Lab (2)
Electives (11-17) taken in other divisions of the university.

Junior Year (30-36 semester hours)
All of these:
WCP 333, 334 Advanced Seminar (3, 3; take 3 seminars)

Additional Course Work (21-27 semester hours) taken in other divisions of the university, or perhaps study abroad, to meet the Statement of Educational Objectives program.

Note: One advanced seminar may be taken during the second semester of the sophomore year.

Senior Year (30-32 semester hours)
Both of these:
WCP 444, 445 Senior Workshop (5, 5)

Additional Course Work (20-22 semester hours) taken in other divisions of the university to meet the Statement of Educational Objectives program.

Environmental Science: Bachelor of Philosophy

Freshman and Sophomore Curriculum: 22 semester hours of designated interdisciplinary course work, 15 meet the Miami Plan for Liberal Education requirements. Foundation course work in science and math.

Residency: Two years of residency in a hall designed for the Western College Program (typically the first and second years of study).

Advanced Program: Six semester hours of advanced seminar and 10 semester hours of senior project workshop. Completion of an approved Statement of Educational Objectives submitted sophomore year. The statement lists 26 semester hours of natural science perspectives and six semester hours selected from social science, business, and the humanities.

Program Requirements

All of these:
BOT/MBI/ZOO 115,116 Biological Concepts (4,4)
CHM 141/144 College Chemistry (5)
CHM 142/144 College Chemistry (5)
GLG 121 Environmental Geology (3) or
GEO 121 Earth's Physical Environment (4)
IES 431 Principles and Applications in Environmental Science (3) or
GEO 271 Conservation of Natural Resources (3)
PHY 181/183 The Physical World (5)
PHY 182/184 The Physical World (5)
MTH 151 Calculus I (5)
STA 261 Statistics (4) or
STA 368 Introduction to Statistics (4)

Program Outline

Freshman Year (30-36 semester hours)
All of these:
WCP 111,112 Creativity and Culture I,II (3,3)
WCP 121 Natural Systems I (3)
WCP 131 Social Systems I (3)
WCP 141 Interdisciplinary Fine Arts (3)

Additional Course Work (15-21 semester hours) must be taken in other divisions of the university to meet requirements and/or academic program described in the individualized Statement of Educational Objectives. Students are strongly encouraged to begin College Chemistry or the Biological Concepts series.

Sophomore Year (30-36 semester hours)
Both of these:
Learning Community Seminar (1)
WCP 261 Integrative Seminar (4)
WCP 262 Integrative Lab (2)

Additional Course Work (23-29 semester hours) must be taken in other divisions of the university to meet requirements and/or academic program described in the individualized Statement of Educational Objectives.

Junior Year (30-36 semester hours)
Both of these:
WCP 333,334 Advanced Seminar (3,3)

Additional Course Work (24-30 semester hours) must be taken in other divisions of the university to meet requirements and/or academic program described in the individualized Statement of Educational Objectives.

Note: one advanced seminar may be taken during the second semester of the sophomore year.

Senior Year (30-34 semester hours)
Both of these:
WCP 444,445 Senior Workshop (5,5)

Additional Course Work (20-24 semester hours) must be taken in other divisions of the university to meet requirements and/or academic program described in the individualized Satement of Educational Objectives.

Environmental Studies: Bachelor of Philosophy

Freshman and Sophomore Curriculum: 22 semester hours of designated interdisciplinary course work, 15 meet the Miami Plan for Liberal Education requirements. Foundation course work in science and math.

Residency: Two years of residency in a hall designed for the Western College Program (typically the first and second years of study).

Advanced Program: Six semester hours of advanced seminar and 10 semester hours of senior project workshop. Completion of an approved Statement of Educational Objective submitted sophomore year. The statement lists a minimum of 12 semester hours from selected social science courses, nine semester hours from selected humanities courses, and nine semester hours from selected courses related to public policy and professional proficiency.

Program Requirements (29 semester hours)

All of these:
AER/PHY 118 Introduction of Atmospheric Science (3), or
PHY 121 Energy and the Environment (3)
BOT/MBI/ZOO 115,116 Biological Concepts (4,4)
CHM 131 Chemistry of Life Processes (4) or
CHM 111 Chemistry in Modern Society (4)
GEO 121 Earth's Physical Environment (4)
GLG 121 Environmental Geology (3)
IES 431 Principles and Applications in Environmental Science (3)
STA 261 Statistics (4), or
STA 368 Introduction to Statistics (4)

Program Outline

Freshman Year (30-36 semester hours)
All of these:
WCP 111,112 Creativity and Culture I,II (3,3)
WCP 121 Natural Systems I (3)
WCP 131 Social Systems I (3)
WCP 141 Interdisciplinary Fine Arts (3)

Additional Course Work (15-21 semester hours) must be taken in other divisions of the university to meet the requirements and/or academic program described in the individualized Statement of Educational Objectives. Students are strongly encouraged to begin the Biological Concepts series.
WCP 111,112 Creativity and Culture I,II (3,3)
WCP 121 Natural Systems I (3)
WCP 131 Social Systems I (3)
WCP 141 Interdisciplinary Fine Arts (3)

Additional Course Work (15-21 semester hours) must be taken in other divisions of the university to meet the requirements and/or academic program described in the individualized Statement of Educational Objectives. Students are strongly encouraged to begin the Biological Concepts series.

Sophomore Year (30-36 semester hours)
All of these:
Learning Community Seminar (1)
WCP 261 Integrative Seminar (4)
WCP 262 Integrative Lab (2)

Additional Course Work (23-29 semester hours) must be taken in other divisons of the university to meet requirements and/or academic program described in individualized Statement of Educational Objectives.

Junior Year (30-36 semester hours)
Both of these:
WCP 333,334 Advanced Seminars (3,3)

Additional Course Work (24-30 semester hours) must be taken in other divisions of the university to meet the requirements and/or academic program described in the student's individualized Statement of Educational Objectives.

Note: one advanced seminar may be taken during the second semester of the sophomore year.

Senior Year (30-34 semester hours)
Both of these:
WCP 444,445 Senior Workshop (5,5)

Additional Course Work (20-24 semester hours) must be taken in other didivsions of the university to meet the requirements and/or academic program described on the individualized Statement of Educational Objectives.


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