About Us

Welcome to the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies at Villanova University! The Institute is comprised of two major academic units--the major in Global Interdisciplinary Studies, and the minors in Critical Language and Cultural Studies, which include Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian studies. In addition to these are other affiliated interdisciplinary programs which include Africana Studies, Sustainability Studies, and Irish Studies. Please feel free to browse our web site to learn  more about our programs.

The Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies is tasked with the primary purpose of providing students with a set of skills that will foster critical and analytical thinking and the problem solving tools that will prepare them to assume their roles as responsible global citizens. Students who elect to major in this highly rigorous and relevant course of study do so under the guidance of a caring, dedicated, and nurturing faculty, highly skilled in their specific disciplines, who also collaborate with each other to help students integrate their coursework. The major consists of 12 courses totaling 36 credit hours. This includes the equivalent of at least one semester of study abroad which focuses on language and cultural immersion. The culmination of this course of study, after the writing of a Senior Thesis and its defense, is a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences in the field of Global Interdisciplinary Studies.

The central dynamic of the Global Interdisciplinary Studies major is five global interdisciplinary seminars, three of which are mandatory (the Proseminar: Introduction to Global Interdisciplinary Studies, the Junior Research Seminar, and the Senior Capstone Colloquium). In addition to these three, are two more seminars designated as 'GIS Selectives'. These consist of any other GIS seminars that a student might choose to fulfill the entire complement of the GIS course of study. Finally, in the senior year, majors will also take Thesis I and II, our thesis-supervision cluster.

In any given course of study, designed by the student, his or her faculty mentor, and the Institute director, the student will also select five courses from across the varied array of intellectual experiences they will have had throughout their academic careers at Villanova. These courses, along with the other unique experiences of the semester-long study abroad experience, will serve as the core of a singular, and totally individualized major whose crafting has been essentially that of the student her- or himself.

The major in global interdisciplinary studies is a reiteration of the Augustinian vision of an engaged community of learners within the global context. The purpose of the Institute centers on the service of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to the broader University community in the humanization, globalization, and integration of the disciplines and the professions.

For more information about the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies, please contact Chiji Akoma, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies.