IDS Course Offerings

  • IDS 289 - Introduction to the IDS Major

    The Bachelor of Science, Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences major (IDS) is available to students whose interests overstep traditional departmental boundaries; it is meant for those who wish to play an unusually active role in determining their course of study. One who completes the major earns a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences.

    Since the program is a student-designed, interdisciplinary major, course selections will vary by student. The program offers students an opportunity to devise an approved, coherent program of study with a Program Director to fulfill academic or career goals. Students in the Interdisciplinary Studies major must take courses in at least three disciplines within the major and no more than 15 credits may be numbered 490.

    Credits: (1)

    Learner Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    • Design an individual course of study for completion through the Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences degree program.
    • Design an individual course of study leading to the accomplishment of the individual learning goals.
    • Design an individual learning plan, including academic goals, to be accomplished in the Interdisciplinary Studies-Social Sciences degree program.
  • IDS 305 – Surviving to Thriving: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Developing Resiliency


    Critical exploration of concepts, research, and techniques pertaining to resiliency and coping. Application of biopsychosocial and cultural perspectives. Students will utilize experiential exercises to understand ways to enhance optimism, decrease stressors, and improve well-being.

    Credits: (3)                                        Prerequisites: None.

    Disciplinary Scope:   Health – Psychology – Sociology

    Look for it: Winter - Spring – Summer 

  • IDS 311 - Don’t Lie to Me: Contemporary Profiling

    Serial recidivism represents a serious threat to public safety. Those that engage in serial crimes garner great public interest and for some, pseudo-celebrity status. Numerous popular television dramas examine the analysis of both serialists, their crimes and those that attempt to apprehend them. This course examines and applies the ‘profiling’ artform and the traits and conditions that are common to such offenders to include psychopathy, narcissism, and deception(s). Course material includes examinations of ‘real world’ serial offenders, background and the application of the ‘profiling’ artform, as well as an examination of deception as a common trait of such offenders.

    Catalog Description:
    This course explores and examines the use of profiles in contemporary policing with a focus on violent crimes. The discussions and readings examine what criminal profiling is, what it accomplishes, and how it is utilized. Criminological theory and applicable research articles are used to examine the legitimacy of profiles and measures deception. 

    Credits: (5)                                        Prerequisites: PSY 101 or SOC 107.

    Disciplinary Scope:   Criminology – Psychology – Sociology – Victimology

    Look for it:  Winter – Spring 

  • IDS 321 - Body Image, Wellness, and Popular Culture

    This course focuses on body disturbances and how they affect wellness; including examination of how popular culture influences them. Various aspects, influences and assessments of body image will be used as the basis to develop an action plan to prevent and/or support individuals who experience them.

    Credits: (5)                                        Prerequisites: PSY 101 or HED 101

    Disciplinary Scope:   Health – Psychology – Sociology

    Look for it: Fall

  • IDS 323 - Dangerous Women: Mad, Bad or Misunderstood

    Do true crime shows fascinate you? Do you ever wonder why as a society we are so transfixed when a mother murders her children, or a female teacher has a romantic relationship with her student? Do you want to know more about society and societal reactions to violence and danger? Do you like to have open discussions and lively debates about these things?

    Catalog Description:
    Violent crimes are generally associated with men; however, more and more women are becoming dangerous criminals. This class examines different theories behind violent women. Material will include cases of real-life female criminals, as well as fictional representations in movies and television.

    Credits: (5)                                        Prerequisites: PSY 101 or SOC 107.

    Disciplinary Scope:   Criminology – Psychology – Sociology – Women’s Studies

    Look for it: Fall – Winter – Summer   

  • IDS 335 - You're dangerous, I'm loving it: Popular Culture's Normalization of Toxic Romance

    This course focuses on how popular culture influences our understanding of dating and romance and examines how the romanticization of toxic traits in film and literature may affect our romantic lives. FILM 335 and IDS 335 are cross-listed courses; a student may not receive credit for both.

    PSY 101 or WGSS 201

    Credits: (3)

    Learner Outcomes:
    Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    • Apply the concepts of schemas, scripts, and tropes to analyze gender narratives in popular media.
    • Recognize how media caters to the “male gaze” and evaluate how the male gaze impacts viewers of different genders and different sexual orientations.
    • Explain how gender stereotypes in media might contribute with confirmation bias to strengthen negative and harmful views on gender and sex.
    • Explain the concept of masculinity and distinguish between masculinity as an identity and masculinity as an ideology.
    • Distinguish between Hostile and Benevolent Sexism.
    • Apply the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory (CMNI) to a male romantic lead in a popular film and discuss how the degree of the character’s conformity to masculine norms may affect viewers understandings of gender and intimate relationships.

    Look for it: Spring

  • IDS 343 - Origins and Results of Food Technology: The Gluttonous Human

    Do you want to learn why your natural urge tells you to over-indulge in the food you love, like chocolate? Would you like to lose a few pounds before summer by just changing a few behaviors? Do you want to “travel” through the world and discover interesting cultural food practices as well as learn that it is quite normal to be lactose intolerant?

    Catalog Description:
    As food production technologies have become increasingly complex, humans are now facing the adverse consequences as well as the benefits. This course explores the evolution of feeding strategies from Paleolithic until the present, including recent innovations such as, corporate farming, genetic modification of organisms and diseases of novel environments.

    Credits: (5)

    Disciplinary Scope:   Anthropology – Biology – Ecology – Geography – Nutrition 

    Look for it:  Fall – Winter – Summer  

  • IDS 354 - Bedlam to Bellevue – On Being “Mad” in the US from 1960 to Present


    An exploration of important developments in the treatment of mental health, focusing on the years between 1960 and today. Political decisions, advances in medication, changes in institutionalization, and individual experiences of mental illness are examined.

    Credits: (5)                                                               Prerequisites: PSY 101 or SOC 107.

    Disciplinary Scope:   Psychology – Sociology – HistoryPolitical Science

    Terms Offered: Summer

  • IDS 357 – Race, Drugs, & Prohibition in the U.S.

    Marijuana, Cocaine, Coffee, and Sugar. Why are some drugs “good” and some “bad”? Explore the history of the Drug War, motivations for regulation, current dilemmas, and social justice implications, from an interdisciplinary approach.

    Credits: (5)                                                                Prerequisites: None

    Disciplinary Scope:   Criminology – Ethnic Studies – Health – Law – Political Science – Sociology

    Look for it: Winter - Spring 

  • IDS 363 - The Simpsons: Social Institutions and National Community

    Love them or hate them, from nuclear power to the nuclear family, The Simpsons provide a rich, blue-haired, ironic tableau from which to pluck out knotty lessons on sexism, consumerism, ageism, feminism, family bonding, patriarchy, community activism. and most importantly those little needles of bias we all have buried deeply. From the Nietzsche-like, freewheeling Bart, Kantish virtuous Marge, and oh so silently observing Maggie, you are sure to connect and laugh a little while learning about the cyclical nature of media and cultural influences.

    Catalog Description:
    Through an exploration of the television show, The Simpsons, students will gain an understanding of the major themes and concepts that structure life for the members of the pluralistic American community.

    Credits: (5)

    Look for it:    Spring

  • IDS 369 - Living Voices of America: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Indigenous Women in the U.S.

    This course will focus on Indigenous women in the United States from past to present day. There will be extensive coverage of Indigenous women’s daily roles and lives, including socialization, colonization, and social service issues. The course will also focus on methods of decolonization.

    Course Objectives:

    1. Students will examine Indigenous women's roles in historical,  cultural, and regional contexts in the U.S.      
    2. Students will investigate the ways that traditional knowledges and cultures have shaped Indigenous women's identities and will consider the alliances that Indigenous women have built across national geographies.
    3. Students will explore gender issues within Indigenous communities, focusing on the effects of legislation on Indigenous women's roles and the impact of colonization on gender practices.
    4. Students will examine colonization through the prisms of Indigenous women’s life experience, exploring colonization issues and methods of decolonization.
    5. Students will explore the role of social service organizations in the lives of Indigenous women in the United States.

    Prerequisites: ANTH 130 or PSY 101 or SOC 107 or SOC 301 or WGS 201 or permission of instructor.

    Credits: (5)

    Look for it: Winter

  • IDS 389 - Academic and Career Exploration

    This course leads IDS-social sciences students in the development of a career/graduate school plan. Students will investigate the work world and/or graduate schools in terms of their academic and personal goals. Students will modify their IDS 289 program.

    Prerequisite: IDS 289 and junior status or above.

    Credits: (3)

    Learner Outcomes:
    Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    • Explore the relationship between personal characteristics, e.g., interests, values and skills, influence career development.
    • Use a variety of resources to explore academic and occupational options.
    • Develop an individual career/academic plan.
    • Build a career or graduate school portfolio.

    Look for it:  Quarterly

  • IDS 403 - Alien Abduction & Shamanism: Close Encounters at the Edge of Consciousness

    Catalog Description: Stories of alien abduction are generally dismissed as paranormal foolishness, but what accounts for the consistency and persistence of these stories? This class examines different theories from different disciplines to examine and explore this phenomenon.

    Credits: (5)                                        Prerequisites: ANTH 130 or PSY 101.

    Disciplinary Scope:  Anthropology - Folklore - Psychology

    Look for it: Fall

  • IDS 405 - Essentials of Project Funding in the Social Sciences

    Each year, public and private foundations award BILLIONS of DOLLARS in grants, sums of money that are intended to fund ideas and projects. This course focuses on the basics of grant funding. Throughout the term, we will explore funding ideas and sources and organize and submit a preliminary grant application. Learning the language of grant writing can be a lucrative endeavor, so give it a try.

    Catalog Description:
    Students enrolled in this course will be introduced to the essentials of project funding specific to social science disciplines. Course topics include defining the purpose and identifying the need for funding, completing a needs assessment, and identifying funding resources. Students will be required to submit a funding proposal.

    Course Objectives:

    1. Define a problem or identify an opportunity for funding.
    2. Choose, assess and prioritize funding options.
    3. Prepare a viable funding proposal solution, including goals, objectives, outcomes and evaluation techniques.
    4. Propose a final and complete funding plan.

    Prerequisites: senior status and B or higher in ENG 102.

    Credits: (5)

    Look for it: Winter

  • IDS 416 - Roots of Misunderstandings: What do you mean by that? Exploring how differing interpretations can sabotage human interactions.

    Catalog Description: In our increasingly connected world, humans interact more often, but face frequent misunderstandings. The class examines causes and offers effective techniques for overcoming misunderstandings, thereby increasing professional and personal interaction competencies.

    Credits: (5)   

    Prerequisites:  SOC 107 or PSY 101 and ten credits of upper-division IDS, SOC, or PSY courses.

    Disciplinary Scope:  Psychology – Sociology – Anthropology –  Geography.

    Look for it:   Summer

  • IDS 420 - Engaging with Anyone

    Effective Ways to Engage Diverse People in Their Own Environments

    Description: Approaching people in different environments as future therapists and social workers is challenging. This class offers skills and techniques to help future human services professionals develop effective working relationships with diverse clients in various environments.

    Credits: (5)

    Prerequisites: SOC 107 or PSY 101 and ten credits of upper-division IDS, ANTH, SOC, or PSY courses.

    Disciplinary Scope: Psychology – Sociology – Anthropology – Geography.

    Look for it: Spring


  • IDS 489 - Senior Portfolio Project

    End-of-program assessment; preparation of comprehensive degree report and/or descriptive portfolio of project. Students must earn at least a C grade to pass this course. Students will enroll in IDS 489 no earlier than 2 quarters following successful completion of IDS 289. Instructor permission.

    IDS 289, IDS 389, student will have completed a minimum of 165 credits, and admission to the Interdisciplinary Studies: Social Sciences major.

    Credits: (1)

    Learner Outcomes:
    Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    • Assess one’s own progress toward the learning goals of interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences major and provide the university with program assessment feedback.
    • Prepare for academic or career future alternatives, job interviews, and/or graduate school applications.
    • Integrate documents representing skills learned as an Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences major.
  • IDS 490 - Cooperative Education

    An individualized, contracted field experience with business, industry, government, or social service agencies. This contractual arrangement involves a student learning plan, cooperating employer supervision, and faculty coordination. By permission. May be repeated for credit. Grade will either be S or U.

    Credits: (1-12)

    What have other students done?

    IDS students have taken on a variety of positions for IDS 490, including as advocates, assistants, caretakers, case managers, community health workers, coordinators, interns, peer specialists, and volunteers, among other positions.

    IDS students have also worked with agencies, organizations, and business from around Washington state, including: Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, and various school districts, hospitals, and county and juvenile courts. More examples of student placements can be found below, organized by location. This list is not exhaustive and there are opportunities to pursue Cooperative Education agreements with new organizations and agencies that may be better suited to your academic and career goals.

    Bonney Lake

    Bonney Lake Food Bank


    Academic Advising (CWU)

    Aging & Disability Resource Center

    Bright Beginnings

    Care Net

    Center for Diversity & Social Justice (CWU)

    City of Ellensburg

    Court Advocates for Children of Kittitas County

    Child Protective Services

    Central Washington Disability Resources

    Wellness Center (CWU)

    Developmental Preschool

    Dept. of Social & Health Services


    FISH Food Bank

    Habitat for Humanity


    Mercer Creek Childcare

    Mercer Creek Church

    Parke Creek Group HOme

    Prestige Care

    Professional Advising (CWU)

    The Trellis Center

    Work Source

    Youth Services of Kittitas Co.


    Evergreen Treatment Services

    Joint Base Lewis-McChord

    Camo 2 Commerce


    Child Protective Services


    Aegis of Kent

    Lake Stevens

    Lake Stevens Middle School


    Child Study Treatment Center

    Rally Point 6

    Moses Lake

    Boys & Girls Club

    Child Protective Services

    Samaritan Hosptial

    Mount Vernon

    Visiting Angels


    Olympic Fruit Co.


    Catholic Community Services

    Port Angeles

    Peninsula Behavioral Health


    Communities in Schools

    Multicare Behavioral Health

    New Hope Resource Center

    Valley Supported Living


    Quincy Community Health Center


    Asian Counseling Referral Services

    Pioneer Human Services




    Bethel School District


    Sumner School District


    Altamese's Academy of Angels

    American Lake Veteran's Hospital

    Avamere Heritage Rehab

    Comprehensive Life Resources

    Crystal Judson Family Justice Center

    Dept. of Social & Human Services


    Lutheran Community Services NW

    Mid-County Community Center

    Pierce Co. Community Connections

    Pierce Co. ECEAP

    Pierce Co. Juvenile Court

    Shared Housing

    Tacoma-Pierce Co. Health Dept.

    Tacoma Rescue Mission

    The Vision Center


    Tulalip Tribes Elder Protection


    El Mundo Spanish Newspaper


    Wenatchee School Dist.


    Catholic Charities Housing Services

    Catholic Family and CHild Services

    Children's Admin

    La Casa Hogar

    Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital


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