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Interdisciplinary Majors


Interdisciplinary education is a hallmark of Albright College. Albright has been a leader in this area for more than 40 years, and created the nation's first undergraduate psychobiology program in the early 1960s.

Today, more than ever, the world demands solutions to challenges never imagined by earlier generations. Albright believes that our graduates must have the ability to understand the world from multiple perspectives and to make new connections. Success requires a willingness to reach across boundaries, disciplines, languages and cultures.

Albright faculty actively encourage interdisciplinary thinking. They also regularly cross the boundaries of disciplines to create new interdisciplinary concentrations and programs.

In addition to the following interdisciplinary majors, Albright students have almost unlimited options for expanding the limits of a single field of study by combining majors to create unique paths tailored to their own skills and interests. Faculty not only support students in crossing disciplines, they encourage it. Nearly half of Albright students graduate with combined or interdisciplinary majors.

A student is permitted to combine an interdisciplinary major with another major provided that he or she satisfies the 14-course requirement of the interdisciplinary major and an additional seven courses for the added combined major. The same course cannot be counted for both the interdisciplinary major and again for the combined major.

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Accounting, Economics and Finance

The interdisciplinary major in Accounting, Economics and Finance blends coursework in accounting, economics and finance to create an integrated foundation for professional careers or further study in accounting and financial analysis. The major enables students to enhance their understanding in these fields by adding dimensions not possible in the regular or combined majors in accounting, economics and business administration-finance.

Students whose primary focus is accounting, but who wish to add an emphasis in financial analysis, should take the Accounting Track within the interdisciplinary major in Accounting, Economics and Finance.

Students whose primary focus is financial analysis need a strong understanding of both business financial statements and the methods of economic analysis. These students should take the Financial Analyst Track within the interdisciplinary major in Accounting, Economics and Finance. The Financial Analyst Track is designed to prepare students for entry level positions in financial analysis and to provide foundation knowledge for professional certification programs in finance and financial analysis. 

Students graduating with the interdisciplinary major in Accounting, Economics and Finance must complete the core  requirements below and either the Accounting Track requirements or the Financial Analyst Track requirements listed below.

Core Major Requirements:

• ACC 101, 201, 202 and 325
• BUS 345, 347, 350, and 495
• ECO 313
• One From: BUS 366, SPI 260
• ECO 105 (general studies social science)
• ECO 207 (general studies quantitative reasoning)

Accounting Track Requirements:

• ACC 330, 331, 338 and 408

Financial Analyst Track Requirements

• BUS 346
• ECO 307, 335, 336

Students interested in this concentration should contact Professor David Martin.

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American Civilization

The major in American civilization offers a framework for those students who wish to take an interdisciplinary approach to American culture. As it developed in the years following World War II, the American studies movement here and abroad included literary scholars who gave new weight to the historical context of the texts they read, as well as historians eager to move beyond the main lines of political and economic historiography into other fields of endeavor and forms of expression.

To these early forays were added contributions of art historians and musicologists, folklorists and specialists in material culture. This mix of disciplines, methods, and objects has prompted earnest (and much debated) attempts to develop a unified methodology, and, at best, has elicited from American studies specialists an unusual degree of methodological self-consciousness. Interdisciplinary majors will gain a clear and responsible sense of the ways in which one may study American culture.

Much of the work of American civilization takes place in the History and English Departments.

See the History section for specific course requirements.

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Arts Administration

In order to serve their communities well, today’s successful arts administrators must possess business acumen, leadership traits, and knowledge of the creative side of the field in which they are working. They must be able to determine why the arts are important and then, build, lead, and manage diverse teams that can illustrate this mission and engage the public. The co-major in Arts Administration prepares students for management positions in museums, theatres and performing art venues and offers opportunities for study in the following areas: operational structures, governance, strategic planning, human resources, finance and fund-raising, marketing and PR, guest services, facility management and design, information technology, legal issues, and evaluation.  Students are afforded valuable experiential learning opportunities that include front-of-house operations for musical concerts and theatre performances, behind the scenes assistance with curatorial research and exhibition installation, as well as visitor services and gallery security.

  • Introduction to Arts Administration – ARA 220
  • Project Management – ARA 390 OR Exhibition Development/Gallery Management – ARA 270
  • Internship in Arts Administration – ARA 382
  • Capstone Course: ARA 490 – Senior Seminar in Arts Administration
  • Financial Accounting – ACC 101 (Business co-concentrators instead take BUS 250, Business Law I)
  • Production/Practice Elective (choose one from approved list below)
  • History/Theory Elective (choose one from approved list below)

Production/Practice Courses
ART 101 – Drawing
ART 103 – Design I
ART 112 – Painting I
ART 113 – Sculpture I
ART 114 – Printmaking I
ART 212 – Painting II – prerequisite: Art 112 or permission of department
ART 213 – Sculpture II – Prerequisite: Art 113 or permission of department
ART 265 – Computer Graphics Art & Design
ART 270 – Gallery Management
MUS 103A – Symphonic Band
MUS 103B – Chamber Ensembles
MUS 104 – String Chamber Orchestra
MUS 105A – Concert Choir
MUS 105B – Women’s Chorale
MUS 109 – Applied Music Lessons
THR 150 – Acting Studio I
THR 210 – Design Fundamentals
THR 211 – Stagecraft
THR 212 – Stage Electrics
THR 213 – Audio Engineering
THR 250 – Acting
THR 311 – Scenography (THR 210 – Design Fundamentals is a prerequisite)
THR 312 – Designing with Light (THR 210 – Design Fundamentals is a prerequisite)
THR 350 – Directing Studio (THR 150 – Acting Studio I is a prerequisite)
MUS 342 – From Demo to Distribution

History/Theory Courses
ART 104 – Survey of Art History
ART 105 – Art History I: Ancient through Medieval
ART 106 – Art History II: The Renaissance to Early 19th Century
ART 107 – Art History III: Survey of Modern Art
ART 253 – Art of the Renaissance
ART 254 – The Italian and Northern Baroque
ART 255 – Art of the 18th and 19th Centuries
ART 256 – Modern Art and Design Concepts in the 20th Century
ENG 354 – Shakespeare
MUS 113 – Rags, Rock and Rap: Popular Music and American Culture
MUS 120 – Music Appreciation: Introduction to Western Music
MUS 122 – Music in World Cultures: An Introduction
MUS 125 – All That Jazz
THR 288 – Great Ages of Theatre I
THR 289 – Great Ages of Theatre II
THR 388 – Postmodern American Drama
THR 389 – Postmodern British and European Drama

Additional Recommended Business & Business-related Courses
BUS 250 – Business Law I (required for Business co-concentrators)
BUS 346 – Management Principles
BUS 347 – Marketing Management (ECO 105 – Principles of Economics is a prerequisite)
ECO 105 – Principles of Economics
ECO 207 – Statistical Analysis
MAT 110 – Elementary Statistics

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Biochemistry

An interdisciplinary major in biochemistry is available for students interested in chemistry and biology at the molecular level. This major is particularly suitable for those who plan careers in biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, cellular biology, forensics, molecular biology, bacteriology, physiology and the medical professions. The Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society has approved the biochemistry major.

See Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Child and Family Studies

The child and family studies interdisciplinary major provides the student with comprehensive knowledge of child development as well as dynamics of family living. The psychosocial perspective of this program provides ideal academic preparation for students interested in working with children either in the context of education or human service.

See Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology & Family Studies section for specific course requirements.

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Crime and Justice

The Political Science, Psychology and Sociology Departments offer a crime and justice interdisciplinary major, which focuses on the legal, political, administrative, psychological and sociological analysis of criminal deviance and societal responses to crime.

The courses provide students with a broad-based understanding of traditional and contemporary theoretical explanations of criminal behavior; the current patterns related to the incidence and prevalence of crime and victimization in contemporary society; the methodological and statistical techniques used to measure and analyze criminal deviance; the implications and ramifications of criminal deviance for society in general and for its individual members; and an understanding of the broader political, legal, and ethical contexts in which the criminal justice system operates.

See Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology & Family Studies section for specific course requirements.

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Digital Communications

The Digital Media and Communications programs offer an interdisciplinary major focused on the study of Digital Communications.  Beyond a traditional pairing of two “combined majors,” this interdisciplinary course of study will develop students who are well-versed in the theory and practice of digital communications and have the skills to excel in the rapidly changing media industry. This major will appeal to students who wish to apply their writing skills and industry knowledge through online and broadcast media and will equip Albright graduates for careers in digital journalism and marketing, corporate communications, and public relations, among other fields. Courses emphasize the broader history and social effects of media and digital culture as well as theories guiding digital production and advertising, such as semiotics and media convergence. Theory is put into practice through specialized courses in writing, digital production, research, illustration and design, and experiential opportunities such as work with campus media and internships with regional publications and agencies. 

Digital Communications Curriculum

The Digital Communications major is grounded in theory, social impact, and industry practice and extends practical experience in both writing and visual design and production, culminating with two senior-level courses.  Students will take:

  • 6 theory/social impact/industry practices courses
  • 3 writing courses
  • 3 visual design and production courses
  • 2 senior-level courses

Theory / Social Impact / Industry Practice

Required:
COM260/DIG260: Communication Theories in the Semiotics of Digital Media
DIG201: Digital Video
DIG265: Digital Literacy
COM250: Mass Communication & Society
COM/DIG 333: Practicum
DIG301: Video Production II

Choose one:
COM317: Public Relations & Advertising
COM321: Media History
COM320: Freedom of Expression

Writing

Required:
COM222: Writing for Mass Media

Choose two:
COM315: Public Affairs Reporting
COM319: Feature Writing
COM327: Writing for Public Relations & Advertising
COM390: Multiplatform writing

Visual Design & Production

Choose One FOCUS:
FOCUS 1
DIG315: Web Design
DIG383: Web Design II
FOCUS 2
DIG270: Illustration & Design
DIG383: Design II

Senior Requirement
COM480: Senior Seminar in Communications
DIG420: Capstone

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Digital Studio Art

Digital Studio Art provides students an integrated experience with the creative concepts and techniques inherent to both Digital Media and the Visual Arts. A primary objective will be to develop students’ knowledge and skills in applying the elements and principles of design in the use of Digital Media as well as the media of the Visual Arts, including drawing, painting and sculpture. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding in media theories that will assist them in creating integrated products in digital artworks and digital environments. They will put those theories into practice through specialized courses in writing, digital and visually artistic production, research, illustration and design, and will have opportunities to apply their knowledge through work with campus media and internships with regional cultural and educational institutions, publications and agencies.

Curriculum Overview:
6 Art courses
4 Digital Media courses
1 Design History and Theory course
2 Interdisciplinary Art and Digital Media courses               

Art Courses:
Art 101- Drawing
Art 113- Sculpture
Art 215- Video and Filmmaking
Art 216- Photography
Art 265- Computer Graphics Art & Design (pre-requisite for all Digital Media courses)
Art 400- Studio Topics

Digital Media Courses:
Dig 265- Digital Literacy
Dig 270- Digital Illustration and Design
Dig 315- Web Design
Dig 420- Senior Seminar

Design History and Theory:
Art 256- Modern Art and Design Concepts

Interdisciplinary Courses:
Art 103- Design
Art 252- Aesthetic Rebels in Film and Art

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Digital Video Arts

The Digital Media and Theatre Departments collaborate to offer an interdisciplinary major focused on the study of Digital Video Arts. Rather than simply combining two co-majors, this program leads student artists/producers through an integrated curriculum that weaves together the history, theory, skills, and concepts associated with the creatively challenging arenas of pre-production, production, and postproduction. It capitalizes on the intrinsic working relationships between these two disciplines as they engage content, delivery, and audience.  The program prepares students for success in the competitive and multi-faceted world of digital video production.

Introductory/Aesthetics
ART 265 Computer Graphics (fulfills General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts requirement)
THR 101: The Creative Process
DIG 265: Digital Literacy
THR 150: Acting Studio I
DIG 201: Video I
THR 280: Script Analysis

Skill Sets
THR 213: Audio Technology
MUS 241: Electronic Music I
THR 252: Acting and the Camera
THR 361: Screenwriting 
DIG 300: Digital Media Production
DIG 301: Video II
ARA 390: Project Management-Arts Administration

Capstones
THR/DIG 382: Internship
DIG 420: Senior Seminar: Producing

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English-Theatre

Winston Churchill famously said that Britain and America are two nations separated by a single language. The same is true of the two departments involved in this major. Literature people read texts written to be performed, and theatre people perform texts that were written in the first place; theatre people forget the literacy frame of the text and literary people forget its dramatic matrix. Falling in the gap between the two approaches is the curiously intermediate phenomenon of dramatic art itself, the enactment of a text. The primary goal of the English-Theatre interdisciplinary concentration is therefore to offer students a systematic way to try to fill that gap, so that, for instance, the function of metaphor will be as vivid to the theatrical as to the literary person and the function of the performance will be as significant to the literary as to the theatrical person.

Students interested in this concentration should contact Professor Alberto Cacicedo in the English Department or Professor Julia Matthews in the Theatre Department.

See English section or Theatre section for specific course requirements.

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Environmental Science

The interdisciplinary nature of the environmental science major allows students to address a wide range of contemporary questions through the natural sciences of biology, ecology, earth sciences, chemistry and the social sciences including political science, sociology, economics, psychology and philosophy. The concentration is designed for science students wishing to pursue careers in environmental research/technology and resource management or pursue graduate study in an environmental field.

Students interested in this concentration should contact Professors David Osgood, Ph.D. or Stephen Mech, Ph.D. in the Biology Department.

See Environmental Areas of Concentration section for specific course requirements.

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Environmental Studies

Students who wish to learn about the environment from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities may choose a major or combined major in environmental studies.

This field of study is rooted in the liberal arts tradition of diversity and critical thought and requires coursework in the anthropology, economics, politics, psychology and sociology of the environment. In addition students take specified courses in the humanities and natural sciences which have an environmental focus. Students concentrating in environmental studies also receive credit for experiential learning including study abroad, an internship or independent study arranged with an affiliated instructor.

This interdisciplinary major or combined major helps prepare students for careers in government, public advocacy, consulting or for graduate study in law or other fields involving environmental issues.

Students interested in environmental studies should contact Professor Barton Thompson, director, or Professor Brian Jennings.

See Environmental Areas of Concentration section for specific course requirements.

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Game and Simulation Development

A combined offering from the Computer Science and Digital Media departments

Integrating computer science, digital media, mathematics, music and physics, this interdisciplinary major will teach you how to utilize software engineering principles to implement game and simulation technologies.

Moreover, you’ll benefit from a liberal arts approach to game and simulation development. In addition to studying programming, artificial intelligence, game engine development, and industry-standard software packages, you’ll learn from a curriculum expressly structured to strengthen creative and critical thinking, oral and written communication skills, and personal, social and global awareness. The result is an education that positions you to be competitive in a rapidly expanding field.

Outcomes

  • Application of software engineering skills to game and simulation development
  • Increased creative and critical thinking skills
  • Strengthened oral and written communication abilities
  • Heightened personal, social and global awareness

Possible career fields

  • Software engineering
  • Software development
  • Computer science

Program Curriculum

  • ART 265 Computer Graphics
  • CSC 141 Foundations of Computer Science I
  • CSC 305 Data Structures
  • CSC 311 Gaming Physics and Math
  • CSC 372 Graphics Programming
  • CSC 391 Mobile Programming
  • CSC 491 Client/Server (Networking for Games)
  • CSC 491 Artificial Intelligence Programming
  • DIG 280 Game History and Development
  • DIG 310 Introduction to Game Design
  • DIG 311 Experience Design
  • DIG 320 Simulation Design
  • DIG 380 Visual Programming
  • DIG 470 Game Production
  • MUS 231 Music and Audio Design for Games

Students interested in this major should contact Professor Dan Falabella.

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International Relations

Our world is interconnected. This was most visibly brought home to citizens in the United States through the events of September 11. Recognizing this interconnectedness, the interdisciplinary co-major in international relations provides students the tools they need to understand and evaluate relationships among nations, states and people.  Students contemplating careers in government, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, intelligence, international business, international law and diplomacy should consider this co-major.

Students interested in international relations should contact Professor Irene Langran or Professor Theresa Smith.

See the Political Science section for specific course requirements.

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Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Latin America and the Caribbean have always occupied a place of unique and singular importance for the United States. For instance, the Panama Canal, the economic embargo of Cuba, NAFTA, the preservation of the Amazon rainforests, drug trafficking, etc., are just a few of the many subjects that have consumed the imaginations, the interests and the energies of U.S. business people, politicians, students and even tourists.

In fact, the regions of North, Central and South America, including the Caribbean, are becoming ever more intertwined culturally, linguistically, economically and politically. For the student interested in issues of bi-lingualism in secondary education, international trade and finance, foreign affairs, diplomatic history, modern foreign languages, etc., knowledge of Latin America and the region's relationship to the United States is becoming ever more indispensable. The Latin American studies curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn about Latin America from a broad-based interdisciplinary perspective.

Students interested in pursuing a course of study at Albright with the primary focus on Latin America have the option of selecting Latin American and Caribbean studies as an interdisciplinary area of concentration. Students wishing to complement a traditional disciplinary focus with a Latin American contextualization can choose to combine Latin American studies with another concentration.

Students interested in any of the Latin American studies curricular options should consult Professor Elizabeth Kiddy, director of the Johnson Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

See Latin American Studies section for specific course requirements.

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Psychobiology

The bachelor of science in psychobiology is intended for students with interest in organismic biology and natural science approaches to psychology. The major is ideal for developing an appreciation of the emerging fields of neuroscience, neuropsychology and health psychology. Individuals arrange courses to satisfy their particular interests and prepare for advanced study in psychology, psychobiology, veterinary medicine, biology, behavioral ecology, health professions (medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, occupational therapy and optometry), or employment in varied areas such as pharmaceutical research or sales and allied health professions.

See Psychology section for specific course requirements.

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Women's and Gender Studies

The women's and gender studies interdisciplinary co-major offers a series of courses on women, gender and the family, providing a coherent grasp of women's achievements throughout history as well as a sense of female psychology and socialization. In offering students a systematic range of women's studies perspectives and fields, the program allows them the opportunity to relate the interdisciplinary study of women's experience to the content of their major academic field of study.

More specifically, the major has the following goals:

  • To develop the leadership potential of women by exposing them to women's history and their achievements in various fields
  • To offer male students the opportunity to study the history of women's contributions in the arts and sciences and to understand fully the unique nature of women's experiences
  • To understand the ways in which women's works in art, literature, history, science, religion and philosophy have been inspired and influenced by a tradition of women's works in all creative and academic fields
  • To identify the particular circumstances of working class and minority women and understand how the forces of gender, race and class shape their lives and determine their works

Students interested in this major should contact Professor Jennifer Koosed or Katherine Lehman.

See Women's and Gender Studies for specific course requirements.

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