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  • Interdisciplinary Studies

    The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recognizes that students' academic and professional interests may include more than one discipline and that some majors are not formally available at the university. Because interdisciplinary approaches, research and curricular activities are becoming increasingly appropriate and valuable within the liberal arts and sciences and other fields, UF students have the option to develop and pursue interdisciplinary (IDS) majors that cross the boundaries of numerous disciplines.

    IDS is a limited-access major that requires a minimum 3.0 UF GPA. Students must select two tenured or tenure-accruing faculty members who agree to work with them from the planning stages to completion of the thesis research proposal. At least one faculty advisor must be a member of CLAS; faculty advisors cannot be from the same department.

    Students should begin planning early. They should declare a related major and then apply to IDS as early as semester four or at the latest by semester five. Transfer students must complete their first semester with a UF GPA of 3.0 before they can apply to this program. Late application may result in denial of admission to the program. Students interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary major should contact the director of the particular specialization listed below or view the IDS information on the college's website.

    Each applicant and his or her interdisciplinary program must be approved by the college Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies and include at least 20 credits of 3000/4000-level coursework taken in two or more departments. All other college degree requirements (e.g., foreign language, basic distribution, electives, etc.) must be met. The student must also take at least seven credits of IDS 4906 (or equivalent courses) under the direction of one or both of the supervisory faculty members and produce a senior thesis.

    Interdisciplinary majors may also graduate with honors recognition. Requirements are the same as for department majors, with the additional provision that magna cum laude or summa cum laude recognition must be recommended by two members of the student’s supervisory committee (including the principal supervisor), who will affirm that the student conducted an individual project in IDS 4906 (or equivalent).

    Students in science tracks who are enrolled in IDS 4905 work 3-4 hours per week in the laboratory for each credit earned.

    All students with IDS majors are required to complete IUF 1000 What is the Good Life (GE-H) in semester 1 or 2.

    In addition to the ten established concentrations below, students may design a customized course of study in consultation with faculty advisors relevant to the interdisciplinary thesis project. If interested in this option, students should first contact the associate dean for IDS majors.

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    American Indian and Indigenous Studies

    The Department of Anthropology and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have established a concentration in American Indian and Indigenous Studies (IDS-AIIS). The AIIS concentration is an extension of the minor and is open to all students with an interest in American Indian topics.

    About this IDS Major

    The concentration offers courses which cut across all disciplines, including anthropology, botany, geology, history, Latin American studies, religion and wildlife studies. This concentration deals with the issues and concerns of indigenous peoples. Students will have the opportunity to pursue research, write a senior thesis and prepare themselves for graduate work in the field of American Indian and/or indigenous studies.

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    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Applicants with a good background in basic chemistry and biology can pursue advanced-level work, including required courses in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, research in biochemistry and molecular biology and other electives in biochemistry and molecular biology, botany, chemistry, microbiology, neuroscience, pharmacology and zoology.

    About this IDS Major

    Graduates will have excellent backgrounds for research in a variety of the basic medical sciences and are qualified for graduate and professional school programs.

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    Biological Illustration

    This program provides a broad program in biological illustration to students preparing to work with museums, university botany, zoology, entomology, anthropology or medical departments and botanical gardens or research organizations.

    About this IDS Major

    Enrollment is restricted because of the tutorial nature of much of the instruction. The program admits only a few well-qualified students each year.

    For this specialization only, students need to apply in their second semester at UF.

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    Film and Media Studies

    The interdisciplinary B.A., with a concentration in film and media studies, enables students to pursue a liberal arts approach to audio-visual studies. The courses offered provide a range of training from professional and applied (anthropology, architecture, education and theatre) to historical and experimental (art, English, Germanic, Slavic and Romance languages).

    About this IDS Major

    The film and media studies major encourages students to integrate these offerings by working in both theory and production. For the senior thesis, a student may choose an essay, a film script, a short film or video, or work in a related medium.

    The major requires 27 credits minimum, 20 from the courses listed below and seven from IDS 4906 senior independent work. Majors should take ENG 3115 Introduction to Film: Criticism and Theory, because it serves as the prerequisite for ENG 4136 Film and Video Production. Students and sponsors select courses for CLAS electives.

    Because many of the courses in the departments of Art, English and Theatre have prerequisites, students should plan their freshman and sophomore work with the major in mind. Under certain circumstances, instructors will waive some prerequisites for IDS majors, but with space at a premium (especially in studio and production classes), students should not try to avoid any requirements. Students may, however, use up to nine credits of 2000-level prerequisites as electives.

    Early preparation for the major should include ENG 2300 Film Analysis. Other useful courses are GET 3520 Early German Cinema - 1945, TPP 2100 Acting for Non-majors, TPP 2110 Acting 1: Instrument and Discipline, TPP 2260 Acting for the Camera, ARH 2051 Introduction to the Principles and History of Art 2, ART 2622C Video Art: Montage, PGY 2441C Photography: Images Order and Idea, and PGY 2442C Photography: Figure and Ground.

    The major is selective, requiring a 3.0 minimum GPA, two sponsors chosen from faculty in the program and approval of the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. The application form and information are available online.

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    Latin American Studies

    The Latin American studies concentration offers students the opportunity to pursue individualized study in an increasingly important region of the world (e.g., Brazil is Florida’s largest trading partner), making use of UF’s extraordinary resources.

    About this IDS Major

    The UF Center for Latin American Studies was founded in 1930 and is one of the largest and most prestigious institutions of its kind in the United States. UF has approximately 180 faculty members whose teaching and research focus to a significant extent is on Latin America and the Caribbean. The Latin American Collection of the George A. Smathers Library is one of few stand-alone collections in the United States and features extraordinary holdings on Brazil, the Caribbean and other areas of Latin America.

    This program is built upon the social sciences, humanities, languages and area studies. It requires 21 credits of 3000/4000-level coursework in Latin American and Caribbean area courses, intermediate proficiency in a language of Latin America and the Caribbean (typically Spanish, Portuguese or Haitian Creole), a senior thesis and at least seven credits of IDS 4906 Interdisciplinary Thesis Research.

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    Medieval and Early Modern Studies

    This major focuses on medieval and early modern European culture and its influences on the modern world. Students examine the distinctive forms of cultural organization in these periods, obtain knowledge about medieval and early modern communities (monastic, chivalric, peasant, early urban) and familiarize themselves with some of the world's greatest literature.

    About this IDS Major

    Students are encouraged to seek historical perspectives that can contribute to current discussions about ethnicity and nationality, colonialism, technologies and their effects, gender and sexuality and the characteristics of historical and fictional narratives. This IDS major involves critical thinking, textual analysis and creativity, and is excellent preprofessional preparation for careers in law, journalism, government services, medicine, library science, international work and teaching.

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    Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

    Students design a concentration that focuses on an Arabic or Hebrew language and culture. Students acquire knowledge of relationships among language, literature, politics, religion, arts and economics. The major consists of 33 credits and culminates in a senior thesis.

    About this IDS Major

    This program provides a two-track major, Arabic and Hebrew. In addition to the major's other requirements and electives, all students must take at least one course (language or content-based) in the track of the second language.


    The Arabic language is the key to understanding the culture and history of more than 22 nations and more than 206 million speakers. It is the language of an ancient civilization and today is spoken widely across North Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. Arabic is also the liturgical language of more than a billion Muslims, and it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The interdisciplinary major in Arabic language and culture enables students to develop an appreciation for the complexity of the many facets of the Arab world: its society, culture, history, arts, religions and literary heritage. This major is therefore ideal for students considering careers in diplomacy, journalism, consulting, business, foreign service, translation and academia. Future graduates would be in great demand for advanced studies in any of these fields.

    Arabic Requirements

    • ARA 3300 and 3301 Third-Year Arabic 1 and 2, 6 credits
    • ARA 4420 Arabic through the Texts, 3 credits
    • ABT 3130 Arabic Literary Heritage (GE-H and N; WR), 3 credits
    • ABT 3131 Arabic Literary Heritage 2 (GE-H and N; WR), core course and 3 credits
    • ARA/HBR 4930 Special Topics - Introduction of Semitic Languages, core course and 3 credits
    • IDS 4906 Interdisciplinary Thesis Research, 7 credits

    Three to six credits from courses with these prefixes

    • ARA, ABT, REL (with reference to Islam or Judaism)
    • AFH (with reference to North Africa) and
    • CPO and WHO (with reference to the Middle East)


    By assuming an interdisciplinary approach to Hebrew language and culture, students acquire knowledge of the close relationship between politics, history, religions, arts and cultures in Israel. In addition to working toward proficiency in Hebrew, students will develop close reading and critical thinking skills. Students graduating with this major will find job opportunities in Jewish community organizations, the government and consulting. In addition, due to the interdisciplinary nature of the major, students will be well prepared for the rigor of graduate studies in the humanities.

    Hebrew Requirements

    33 credits

    • HBR 3410 and 3411 Advanced Modern Hebrew 1 and 2 (GE-H and N), 6 credits
    • HMW 3201 Introduction to Modern Hebrew Literature 2, 3 credits
    • HMW 4930 Special Topics: Images of Women in Modern Hebrew Literature, 3 credits
    • HMW 4930 Special Topics: Israeli History in Contemporary Israeli Novels, 3 credits
    • ABT 3131 Arabic Literary Heritage 2 (GE-H and N; WR), 3 credits
    • ARA/HBR 4930 Special Topics: Comparative Semitic Languages, 3 credits
    • IDS 4906 Interdisciplinary Thesis Research, 7 credits
    • Three to six elective credits from prefixes: REL, HBR, HMW, JST, POS (courses related to Judaism, the Bible or the Middle East).

    An intensive summer study abroad program in Fez, Morocco, is recommended for students at all levels from beginning to advanced. The six-week program earns six transferable credits or 10 credits for beginners.

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    Modern European Studies

    The concentration in modern European studies provides the opportunity to study the geographic region of Europe from an interdisciplinary perspective that incorporates area and language studies. MES students gain extensive language proficiency and experience in modern European studies by fulfilling an expanded language requirement (two additional semesters) and participating in available study-abroad programs.

    About this IDS Major

    The requirements for IDS-MES major are commensurate with the requirements for established IDS concentrations within CLAS. A 3.0 GPA and approval of the CLAS IDS committee are required.

    Students choose appropriate disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, history, modern languages, political science and/or sociology to design the core of a major that culminates in a thesis. Through such experience students acquire a thorough knowledge of cultural, economic, political and social interrelationships. If unable to participate in study abroad program, students may choose to complete the capstone requirement through internship in an organization that enables them to practice the chosen language and/or fits their selected area of study.

    Detailed information is available on the website and students are encouraged to discuss their interests with the Center for European Studies.

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    Neurobiological Sciences

    This major focuses on the characteristics and functions of the nervous system. Core courses ensure that students acquire a background in basic sciences, biology and brain science. Through elective courses and completion of an independent research project, supervised by one of the 45 faculty within the Center for Neurobiological Sciences, students can specialize in area(s) of particular interest to them. These areas can include neurochemistry, neurophysiology, neuroembryology, neuroplasticity and brain/ behavior relations. Concentrations are available in behavioral neurobiology, cellular and molecular neurobiology and cognitive neuroscience.

    About this IDS Major

    Many graduates continue their study in neural sciences, including graduate school, professional school in health sciences and the pharmaceutical industry.

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majors: interdisciplinary-studies