College of Letters and Science
Integrated Liberal Studies
228 North Charter Street, Madison, WI 53715; 608-262-2190; www.wisc.edu/ils
Participating Faculty: Allen (Botany), Avramenko (Integrated Liberal Studies), Aylward (Classics), Brower (Social Work), Desan (History), Elder (Sociology), Gamoran (Sociology), Hsia (History of Science, Medicine, and Technology), Hunt (Integrated Liberal Studies), Kleinman (Rural Sociology), McClure (Classics), Middlecamp (Chemistry), Nadler (Philosophy), Newlands (Classics), Nyhart (History of Science, Medicine, and Technology), Schweber (Political Science), Sell (Integrated Liberal Studies), Shank (History of Science, Medicine, and Technology), Sharlin (Integrated Liberal Studies), Staley (History of Science, Medicine, and Technology), Tikoff (Geology), Vandenheuvel (Theatre and Drama), Wandel (Religious Studies), Werner (Afro-American Studies)
The program in integrated liberal studies (ILS) serves as a useful background for many majors, professions, and careers. 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 and Science.
A total of 12 credits is offered in each of the subject areas defined by the L&S breadth requirements: humanities, natural sciences, and social studies. 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.
Students who plan to enter the schools of Business, Education, or Journalism, or who wish to combine ILS with a premedical program, can also satisfy some of the requirements of these fields through ILS courses.
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 courses numbered 201-208 are organized historically. Together, these courses provide a comprehensive introduction to the achievements of Western culture. Those numbered 251-372 cover contemporary topics in the natural sciences, social studies, and humanities. ILS also includes a course (200) in Critical Thinking and Expression to sharpen communication and research skills necessary for college work. This course satisfies the university's Communication B requirement. ILS 400, a senior capstone seminar addressing contemporary issues, is required in order to complete the ILS certificate.
The ILS certificate program is open to all undergraduates. Students must complete 18 credits of ILS courses in order to earn a certificate. Six of these credits must be in courses numbered 230 and above, including ILS 400, the required senior capstone seminar. The certificate attests to the student's accomplishment in completing a program of interdisciplinary study, in addition to a major.
ILS professors are volunteers drawn from a wide range of departments. They are selected on the basis of their commitment to general education and their interest in undergraduate teaching. The program encourages student-faculty contact.
The ILS program is affiliated with the Bradley Learning Community, a residence hall. ILS faculty participate in activities and offer courses taught in the residence hall.
This page was updated 2/4/13.