The mission of Integrated Liberal Studies (ILS) is to provide an integrated exploration of the great themes of human inquiry and expression in scientific, literary, political, economic, historical and artistic thought. As an alternative to scattered electives, ILS offers a set of related courses specially tailored to meet the breadth requirements of the College of Letters & Science. ILS draws exemplary, dynamic faculty from departments across campus to create courses that challenge students with a rigorous program of interdisciplinary study emphasizing critical thinking and judgment rather than passive absorption of information. Although these courses may be taken as single electives, the purpose of the program is to counter the fragmentation of undergraduate education by providing a common ground of learning.

Because ILS courses are interdisciplinary, students are encouraged to make connections between the various subject areas. They study the relations between literature and the arts; science, technology, and philosophy; and political, economic, and social thought. The content of the curriculum has been developed in the belief that historical perspective is required for a full understanding of contemporary issues. Courses numbered 201-206 progress from historical to contemporary topics in each of the three core areas. Those numbered 250 and above cover interdisciplinary special topics in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, including "Magical Realism," "Modern Jewish Thought," and "Machiavelli and His World." ILS also includes a course (ILS 200 Critical Thinking and Expression) in Critical Thinking and Expression to sharpen communication and research skills necessary for college work. This course satisfies the university's Communications B requirement. ILS 400 Capstone Integration Seminar, a senior capstone seminar addressing an interdisciplinary topic, is required in order to complete the ILS certificate.


Richard Avramenko, Professor of Political Science; Director of the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy

William Aylward, Professor of Classics; Herbert and Evelyn Howe Bascom Professor of Integrated Liberal Studies

Beatriz Botero, Lecturer of Integrated Liberal Studies

Karen Britland, Halls-Bascom Professor of English

Chad Goldberg, Professor of Sociology

Florence C. Hsia, Professor of History of Science; Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Arts and Humanities

Dan Kapust, Professor of Political Science, Judith Hicks Stiehm Chair in Political Theory

Devin Kennedy, Assistant Professor of History

Timothy Lindstrom, Lecturer of Environmental Studies; Student Intern Program Manager for the Nelson Institute

Laura McClure, Halls-Bascom Professor of Classical Literature Studies

Grant A. Nelsestuen, Professor of Classics; Director of ILS

Adam Nelson, Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History; Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs, School of Education

Kristin Phillips-Court, Associate Professor of Italian and Art History

Ulrich Rosenhagen, Lecturer of History; Director of the Center for Religion and Global Citizenry

Michelle Schwarze, Associate Professor of Political Science

Howard Schweber, Professor of Political Science

Basil Tikoff, Professor of Structural Geology and Tectonics

Mike Vanden Heuvel, Professor of Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies

John Zumbrunnen, Professor of Political Science; Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Administrative Staff


Laura Bradley, ILS Academic Advisor

Grant Nelsestuen, Director of ILS

Beth Shipman, Program Administrative Manager