About - SOH Interdisciplinary Studies

The Bachelor of Arts major in Interdisciplinary Studies was introduced as a response to the need sounded in the academia for the greater dialogue among departments and scholars, and to the more practical need of the students for flexibility. Since its institution in the late 1970s, the program has produced graduates active in the fields of law, business, education, sports, and the arts.

The program rests on the belief that reality is complex and multidimensional. Thus, any attempt at understanding reality and discoursing on the same can be reached - and only provisionally so - after the critical synthesis of the various methodologies and knowledge of the different disciplines. What is learned is not only "truths," but also the premises underlying and legitimizing these "truths." The program, therefore, prizes open-mindedness, broadness of vision, reflexivity, and a commitment to knowledge.

The program also recognizes the individuality of each student. Instead of dismissing the particular (and sometimes idiosyncratic) inclinations of students, the program mines and hones these in the belief that education is self-perfection for the better service of society. Thus, in addition to receiving the humanistic training required by the Ateneo core curriculum, I.S. majors design their own course of studies, based on their interests and strengths, and given the actual means and services of the university, under the supervision of the Department Chair.

The terminal requirement for the degree is a monograph (called the senior paper) in which the I.S. major integrates the skills, knowledge, and methodologies learned from the classes he or she took, to probe, critique, and explain issues, to suggest feasible and sound solutions to specific problems, or to produce substantial creative work.

With proper guidance and the student's own commitment, the I.S. program hopes to engender students equipped in the intellectual rigors - and pleasures - of creativity and synthesis, critical thinking and analysis, reflection and self-reflexivity. It is the mission of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department to develop well-rounded students who are able to see beyond disciplinary lines, who are able to synthesize knowledge gained from different disciplinary perspectives, who have professional skills in disciplines of their own choosing, and who are equipped to view and respond to the world from a holistic perspective.