ISS Program Concentrations

BA in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

The ISS major at USFSM educates students in research methodology and statistics, critical observation, analysis of society, awareness of diversity, and the creative synthesis of disciplinary knowledge to address current social issues.  It encourages students to integrate diverse perspectives and develop the type of comprehensive understanding necessary to deal with the complexity of real-world problems.  In doing so, the ISS program aims to foster critical thinking skills that can be applied across countless job contexts, which are in demand by employers from a diverse range of occupations.

ISS students design a program of study according to their interests by selecting one of the multidisciplinary concentrations described below: 

Multidisciplinary ISS Concentrations:

Environmental Studies

The concentration in Environmental Studies provides students with a greater understanding of environmental conditions as well as the policies that are both causes and effects of current environmental realities.  Including courses in Business, Criminology, Environmental Studies, International Relations, Philosophy, and Political Science, the Environmental Studies concentration covers the scientific principles underlying current global environmental challenges and opportunities with attention to economic, legal, political, and social contexts.  The Environmental Studies concentration is ideal for students seeking careers in the areas of environmental advocacy, conservation, energy, government, law, policy, and wildlife management or graduate study in environmental science and policy and related fields.

Government & Global Affairs

The concentration in Government and Global Affairs explores the philosophical, institutional, administrative, and behavioral forces that shape global, national, state, and local governments and politics. We accomplish this mission through an interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates the disciplines of political science, international studies, history, and economics. The concentration not only increases students’ knowledge of the subject matter, but also imparts the writing and critical thinking skills necessary for public and private sector employment, as well as post-graduate education.  The Government and Global Affairs concentration is perfect for students pursuing careers in law, government administration, politics and campaigns, public policy, non-profit organizations, international relations, journalism, and international business.

Crime, Law, & Justice

The Crime, Law, and Justice concentration incorporates courses from Criminology, Gerontology, International Relations, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, and Sociology, to provide an interdisciplinary approach to understanding criminal behavior, social justice, and the legal system.  The global perspective on legal issues with an emphasis on the interrelationships between social, political, and psychological factors offered by the Crime, Law, & Justice concentration provides an excellent background for pre-law students or those interested in employment in law-related and criminal justice agencies, counseling, and other social and personal services.

Applied Aging & Wellbeing

The Applied Aging and Wellbeing concentration is designed to provide students with a holistic understanding of issues related to health and wellbeing across the life course, with particular attention to our aging population.  The courses included in this concentration addresses health-related issues at individual, familial, community, and societal levels and draw from the disciplines of Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, and Gerontology.  The Applied Aging & Wellbeing concentration prepares students for work in diverse fields including those in the health care services, social services, personal services, and fitness and wellness.  In addition, because the Sarasota-Manatee region is home to one of the nation’s largest populations of older adults, specialized education in this concentration will prepare students with the knowledge and skills to better serve older clientele in businesses and programs in our community and beyond.

Social Relations & Policy

The Social Relations and Policy concentration incorporates coursework from multiple disciplines including Anthropology, Gerontology History, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Social Work in an examination of the causes and consequences of human behavior, relations among groups, and social policy, with particular attention to issues related to class, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, age, and religion.  The concentration provides students with an understanding of diversity, patterns of behavior, the dynamics of social change, and social systems that may lead to careers in human relations, communications, marketing, social research, social work, recruiting, community organizing, public relations, social services and social justice or post-graduate education.