About the Department

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies provides a progressive, open model for an academic department that promotes creative and imaginative investigations of complex systems and problems. We support innovative scholarship and teaching that is responsive to changes in fields of study inside and outside of academia. We foster courses and programs of study that are engaged with the needs of global and local communities as well as social justice issues. We support new modes of teaching, learning, and research that cut across disciplinary boundaries and explore interstitial areas of concern. Our department recognizes the diversity of our students, faculty, staff, and community, and we cultivate diversity in our teaching, scholarship, and community engagement.

"There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don't ask, walk!" — Nietzsche

Appalachian Studies

Appalachian Studies

The Appalachian Studies academic program, in partnership with the Center for Appalachian Studies, broadcasts the value of a deeper understanding of global mountain regions both as cultural and environmental settings.

Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies (GWS)

Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies (GWS)

GWS is an interdisciplinary academic field that critically engages beliefs, attitudes, assumptions and norms about gender, women and sexuality and their intersections with other axes of difference including race, ability, nationality and class.

Global Studies

Global Studies

Global Studies is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary academic program devoted to the understanding of historical, social, political, geographic, cultural and artistic dimensions of international, transnational and global processes.

Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) - Self-Designed

Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) - Self-Designed

IDS majors work with faculty to individually design a degree and select courses from across campus to achieve their goals. This degree is effective for students interested in emerging fields or who want to remain open to changing career plans.

Watauga Residential College (WRC)

Watauga Residential College (WRC)

WRC is a student and faculty community that fosters creativity, thoughtfulness and civic engagement through experiential, inquiry-based learning both in and out of the classroom. Watauga students live, share meals and take classes together in a unique hillside residence hall on campus.

Departmental News & Events

3rd Annual Boone Docs Film Fest happening at Appalachian Theatre Saturday, 24 February 2024.
Supporting events include a workshop with Elaine McMillion Sheldon and a screening of the film King Coal on 23 February.

Watauga Residential College professor, Dr. Clark Maddux, contributed to a recent article about the importance of learning communities. Great stuff!

IDS professor Joseph Bathanti is to be inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2024. Well deserved.

IDS faculty and staff received 2023 College of Arts and Sciences Awards:

  • Jim Burniston, Outstanding Staff Award
  • Tom Hansell, Excellence in Engagement Award
  • Laura Ammon, Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award

Honor former IDS professor, Dr. Derek Stanovsky, by donating to the Derek J. Stanovsky Social Justice Fund.