Interdisciplinary Courses

Courses approved for IDS Requirement in Breadth of Knowledge

The following courses currently are approved as acceptable to satisfy the Breadth of Knowledge requirement for interdisciplinary learning.

CHC 100 Introduction to Community Health

CO/ED 285 Children and the Media

ED/HU 102 Foundations of Education

HI/HU 231 Reflecting on Contemporary Events

IDS 100 Special Projects

IDS/WS 101 Defining Women: Landmark Issues in Women’s Studies

IDS 105 Environmental Studies from Global Perspectives

IDS/AN 120 Communicating Identities in the Global Culture

IDS 123 A World of Patterns: Mathematics in Nature and the Arts

IDS 141 Law, Literature, and Popular Culture

IDS 150 Techniques and Practices of Personal Finance

IDS 200 Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility

IDS 201 & 202 Mentoring, and Mentoring Practicum (both required to satisfy IDS group)

IDS/WS 213/313 Women and Detective Fiction

IDS 222 Murder, She Wrote: Using Science to Solve Crimes

IDS 250 Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility: Community Applications

IDS 270 Culture, Consumption, and Identity

IDS 275 Critical Issues in Genetics for Women

IDS 310 Contemporary Issues in Social Responsibility

IDS 389 Empire and Resistance

IDS 390 Boston Through Its Writers

IDS 495 Senior Internship for Double Majors

LS 220 Great Ideas in Science and Technology

LS 230 World Geography

MU/ED 210 Music and Movement for Children

MU/WS 240 Women in Music

PS/WS 241 Women and the Law

SPS 101 Introduction to Social and Political Systems

SPS 150 Peace and Conflict Resolution

SPS 220 Local Action Global Change


CHC 100
Introduction to Community Health
This course is designed to introduce the basic concepts of community health, including education, diversity, demography, and epidemiology as they apply to individuals in a given community over the life span. Students use, interpret, and analyze a variety of demographic and epidemiological information as they impact a given community. It is anticipated that students will work with communities in the Greater Boston area. Fall. Group: II or IDS

CO/ED 285
Children and the Media 

Research findings, industry practices, and content of children’s media are examined to determine their impact on children. Students examine how media designed for adults affects children. The focus is on videotapes, cable and broadcast television, and film as the largest producers of children’s media. Audio recordings and children’s magazines—fast-growing segments in the children’s media marketplace—are also considered. Students read, listen, view, and discuss children’s media; develop content analysis skills; and write about the issues. Satisfies the Industry & Culture elective requirement. Offered selectively.   Group: II or IV or IDS.

ED/HU 102
Foundations of Education
This course provides an overview of the historical foundations of American education from its philosophical roots to its role in the 21st Century. The course explores the role of education in pre-colonial America, during colonization, and its importance in the development of our democracy. The impact of the Depression and World War on education will be discussed. The course covers the battle for equality in education and the legislation that accompanied that struggle. We will study the impact of politics on American schools, and education’s importance to democracy in the 21st century. The students will discuss licensing requirements, the moral and legal responsibilities of teachers, employment trends for teachers, teachers’ unions, and important professional organizations. During several of the sessions students will visit and observe in a variety of educational settings, and in a variety of grade levels. Fall     Group: I, II & IDS

IDS 100
Special Projects (1 credit)

This 1-credit Special Project provides the student with the opportunity to participate in a Special Project particular to their individual interest(s) and/or career area. Special projects might be similar to a Directed Study, Independent Research or Internship, but are more limited in scope. While the content and structure of these projects will vary with each student and opportunity, all Special Projects must include an academic component and require 45 hours of work.

Defining Women:  Landmark Issues in Women's Studies
An introductory, interdisciplinary course examining how  recent studies have changed traditional concepts of women and men.  Drawing on materials from such fields as literature, history, anthropology, biology, psychology, sociology, religion, and the arts, and analyzing women's emerging voices in the 20th century, IDS/WS101 explores women's experiences and the breadth of women's achievements. Offered selectively. Group:  IDS.


IDS 105
Environmental Studies from Global Perspectives
This course includes the basic framework required for a sustainable future, discusses economics, politics and public policy on the environmental topics, and reviews basic ecology of living things.  In addition, it also includes topics relevant to human population and essential resources such as water, soil, crops, etc.  The focus is also in harnessing energy for human societies such as energy from fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable energy. The course also discusses global climate change, atmospheric pollution, water pollution, solid waste disposal, and hazardous chemical waste.  Students will learn a few laboratory tests related to water pollution and soil characteristics.  Offered Selectively. Group: IDS.  Scientific Understanding Signature Course./p> 

IDS 120
Communicating Identities in the Global Culture
This course focuses on communication as the hub that interrelates people, commodities, and ideas in the global era. Through topics such as mass media, tourism, advertising, and indigenous forms of cultural expression, we look at the ways in which people build and maintain unique identities, while also participating in a global environment that has erased traditional cultural borders and boundaries. Offered Selectively. Group: II or IDS. 

IDS 123
A World of Patterns: Mathematics in Nature and the Arts
In this interdisciplinary course, the student examines the connections between the underlying scientific principles of number, ratio, and pattern in nature and how humans have employed them in a variety of ways. This course bridges the study of number, ratio, and pattern with the functional and symbolic numerical relationships underlying art, architecture, music, philosophy, religion, and science. Successful completion of this course fulfills the Pine Manor College quantitative reasoning requirement. Offered Selectively. Group: IDS.  Lifelong Skills: Quantitative Reasoning Thematic Area.

IDS 141
Law, Literature, and Popular Culture
This course introduces students to themes of law and justice, and focuses on ways in which popular culture shapes and reflects our understanding of these themes. Topics include the image of lawyer as hero, villain, or fool; the pursuit of justice in movies and television; and the relationship between popular culture and the courtroom. The course draws from a variety of literary and contemporary works such as To Kill A Mockingbird, Inherit the Wind, Separate But Equal, A Civil Action, My Cousin Vinny, The Accused, The Verdict, The Pelican Brief, and television series such as Perry Mason, Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Judging Amy. Group: IDS.


IDS 145
Alternative Spring Break (2 credits)
In this course, students will engage in a one-week intensive, collaborative learning experience, during Spring Break, providing service for an area struck by either a natural disaster or by grave and on-going social/economic disadvantage (e.g., New Orleans or Appalachia). Prior to the trip, students will gain an understanding of the social, cultural and political context of the area to which they will be traveling and providing service. Students will also gain knowledge of the area’s history, as well as its present condition. Following the trip, students will process their experiences and make a presentation to the Pine Manor College community. (Class meets for four weeks prior to and three weeks after Spring Break.). Spring. Application and permission required.


IDS 150
Techniques and Practices of Personal Finance
Each day we are surrounded with new choices and we need some basic tools to help us cope with these situations. This course will help students identify and evaluate these choices. Real-world cases will be studied for actual problem-solving. Materials presented will provide a framework for decision-making and will provide practical and tested tools to measure and/or predict possible outcomes. Group: IDS.


IDS 200
Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility (S-L)*
This course is designed as a conceptual and experiential study of leadership for social change, drawing on concepts from sociology, psychology, and other related disciplines. Students become familiar with traditional and new leadership models, concepts, and skills, with particular emphasis on inclusive leadership processes and how they can be used to promote the common good. Through a variety of readings, discussion, and community projects, students have the opportunity to develop an awareness of their own leadership skills, abilities, and potential. Spring. Prerequisite: Sophomore status. Group: IDS.
*Designated as a Service-Learning course. See the Service Learning course section.


IDS 201
Mentoring (2 credits)
This course assists the student in developing mentoring skills. Students will mentor youth in a one on one or group setting. In keeping with the college’s mission of inclusive leadership and social responsibility, the course will focus on developing leadership skill, interpersonal communication and service to the community. Issues related to mentoring will be examined through a combination of readings, discussions, papers, and reflections on field experience. The course can be repeated. Fall and Spring. Group: IDS.


IDS 202
Mentoring Practicum (2 credits) (S-L)*
This course is intended for students who have already successfully completed IDS 201: Mentoring. Students in this course have already been trained as mentors and have learned the skills necessary to be effective mentors. The purpose of this course is to allow students to continue the mentoring relationship they have developed and to provide them with an opportunity to reflect on an on-going mentoring relationship. They will use what they learned in the previous mentoring seminar to deepen their relationship with their mentee and take the relationship to the next level. The course can be repeated. Fall and Spring. Prerequisite: IDS 201 or permission. Group: IDS.
*Designated as a Service-Learning course. See the Service Learning course section.


IDS/WS 213/313
Women and Detective Fiction
This course presents a critical survey of the history and dynamic nature of the genre of detective fiction using psychological theory as the lens for examining women detective fiction writers and characters of detective fiction through the past two centuries. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of the detective as an archetypal hero or heroine. Offered selectively. Group: IDS.


IDS 222
Murder, She Wrote: Using Science to Solve Crimes
Introduces basic concepts in conventional forensic serology, forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, and bloodstain pattern analysis. In addition, techniques used in autopsy, time of death determination, decomposition, trauma, toxicology, drug identification, and DNA analysis will be considered. Case histories will be presented in order to determine how the pieces of data accumulated by analytical techniques are formulated into a final explanation by forensic scientists. Group: IDS.


IDS 250
Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility: Community Applications
Building on the knowledge and practice of inclusive leadership and social responsibility which students gain in IDS 200, IDS 250 will have students taking a more in-depth look at the concepts of ilsr and, more specifically, how to utilize ilsr in their own lives and how to apply the concepts of ilsr in the service of a community partner, through a semester-long service-learning group project. Students will also explore further the role of diversity and conflict resolution in the practice of ilsr. Discussion topics will include the roles of both diversity and creativity in ilsr, systems thinking, the idea of common good, and challenges to inclusive leadership and strategies to overcome them. Offered Selectively. Prerequisite: IDS 200. Group: IDS.


IDS 270
Culture, Consumption, and Identity
Focuses on the analysis of physical objects as they reflect and shape the values of society and the way we view our world. Objects are examined within the context of their function, appearance, and effectiveness from a host of different perspectives. Topics covered include: objects and artifacts in everyday life; what is cultural criticism; what is material culture; what is popular culture; the significance of fashion; advertisements and icons; malls and values. Offered selectively. Group: IDS.


IDS 310
Contemporary Issues in Social Responsibility
This course invites students to consider various aspects of the notion of social responsibility, as well as to identify and reflect upon various contemporary issues that present challenges for those who seek to live socially responsible, civically engaged lives. Offered selectively. Prerequisites: CC 112 and at least sophomore status or permission of the instructor. Group: IDS.


IDS 389
Empire and Resistance
How are literary works related to the culture in which they are written and read? This general question takes a more particular form when we turn to Britain, the great imperial world power of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The course begins with a history of the rise and domination of British imperialism. It then considers several literary works in the historical context of imperialism in the West Indies, India, Africa, and Ireland. Two British novels (Jane Eyre and Heart of Darkness) are paired with later twentieth-century responses to them from Antigua and the Sudan (Wide Sargasso Sea and Season of Migration to the North). We will read each literary work along with historical texts to demonstrate how imperial movements and resistance to them shaped nineteenth- and twentieth-century culture. Offered selectively. Prerequisite: Any EN or HI course or permission of the instructor. Group: IDS


IDS 390
Boston Through Its Writers
See and explore Boston as you never have before! This interdisciplinary course focuses on Boston and the various cultural and socio-political forces that have defined it and shaped it over the years. Primary focus is placed upon literary works produced in Boston or which deal with Boston as a theme, including the work of John Winthrop, Phillis Wheatley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry James. This rich material will be organized into major historical periods, e.g. colonial, nineteenth century, etc., with an extensive analysis of the social and cultural history and art/architecture produced in each period. There will be field trips to various locations throughout Boston. Spring in alternate years. Prerequisite: Any lower-level AH, EN, HI, or SPS course or permission of the instructor. Group: IDS


IDS 495
Senior Internship for Double Majors (8 credits)
This is a special internship designation for students completing the requirements for two majors simultaneously. A student completing a double major must find an internship site that satisfies the learning objectives of each major. She is required to complete her obligations to the site as she would for a single major internship—sixteen hours per week for twelve weeks. In addition, she must attend the internship seminars in each major and complete all of the work requirements of those seminars, such as papers, journals, etc. Offered as needed. Prerequisite: Senior status and approval by faculty in each major.


MU/ED 210
Music and Movement for Children
Appropriate for education students as well as other students with an interest in music; this course is designed to give students knowledge about music that will be useful to them in working with children. Basic skills of singing, playing the recorder, and sight-reading will be introduced. Also, students will learn singing and movement games that will develop children’s musical and rhythmic sensibilities. Fall. Group: II or IV or IDS, depending upon student registration.