About the Program

The vision of the Interdisciplinary Studies (INTD) major is to allow you to expand your academic focus to include multiple disciplines, so that you’ll be better prepared to meet the growing complexity of the world. However, this doesn’t simply mean sampling different disciplines, or combining various course offerings in a casual or offhand way.

The INTD program allows you to chart your own course of study, but for this reason, requires you to be an organized and self-directed student.

At Naropa, pursuing multiple areas of study can be accomplished in several ways: double majoring, combining major(s) and minor(s), or by majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. Double majoring, for example, can enable students to deeply explore two distinct disciplines on their own terms. One advantage of INTD is that in “Gateway to Design Thinking” (INTD 301), you identify and articulate your own values and educational vision, deepening your understanding of interdisciplinary changemakers in the arts, education, healthcare, social justice, and ecological sustainability. You examine and experiment with integrative mindsets, models, and practices in the context of a vibrant learning community—working alone and together to connect your prior learning and future selves. Joining contemplative and creative practices with scholarship and action, you research, write, and design your own website, providing a compass for your interdisciplinary studies at Naropa and beyond.

Some students enter the INTD driven by a complex real-world problem, research question, or focused area of interest, for example, food justice, restorative justice, the arts and trauma healing, or socially conscious travel. Faculty and academic advisors work with these students to design a course of study to gain a deeper understanding of their unique areas of inquiry. On the other hand, some students enter INTD with the desire to explore broadly. We mentor these students to provide as much breadth as possible before committing to a focused area of inquiry in their capstone projects.

If you are interested in an approach to learning that values contemplative inquiry and artistic expression as well as scholarship, community, and social action, then Interdisciplinary Studies might be right for you!

An Inspiring Journey

If you are wondering how to combine your passion for creativity and the arts with interdisciplinary scholarship, Anna Guterman’s journey may inspire and inform your own.

Anna wrote a capstone thesis titled “Eco Linguistic Perspectives on Pratyabhijñā: The Influence of Language on the Human Nature Relationship.” The same semester, she joined with INTD student Malena Ordung to create this performance.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Students demonstrate interdisciplinary understanding by integrating knowledge and understanding across an adequate breadth of material.

Students demonstrate adequate understanding of their two or three chosen concentrations.

Students bring their strands of concentration together to form an original synthesis, communicated through clear integrative language and methods.

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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