Villanova expands arts college with new major

Lee Betancourt

In a move to create “greater coherency among interdisciplinary studies,” Villanova has created an institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies, said Dr. Maghan Keita, the institute’s director. The institute will offer a global interdisciplinary studies major to students and three courses next semester.

The College is offering global interdisciplinary studies as a major but not as a minor in the hope that students will participate in other disciplines as well through double majors, minors and concentrations.

Sophomore Raul Garcia, who participated in developing ideas for the shaping of the new major, expects to double major in global interdisciplinary studies and political science, with a concentration in international law.

“I think that it’s one of the few majors which really allows you to be not only successful in a new kind of global society but also allows you to be a well-rounded individual,” he said.

Keita also emphasized that students will be well-rounded and taking part in an education across areas of course study.

“[The major] will be exciting, rigorous and challenging,” Keita said. “Students will be able to talk across boundaries. For example, women’s studies can talk to Russian area studies; this will allow for a richer, fuller interdisciplinary experience.”

In addition, the major will globalize the interdisciplinary experience, Keita said. However, the new major is not simply a different term for a course of study in international relations.

Keita explained that while international studies programs focus on nation-states as the world’s key players, Villanova’s global interdisciplinary studies major takes into account other actors, including such groups as the United Nations, Al Qaeda and women’s organizations, making it more inclusive.

Students choosing to major in global interdisciplinary studies will take 10 courses including three mandatory seminars. Students are also required to study abroad for a semester.