The Division of Interdisciplinary Programs (DIP) was founded in 2001 under the Deanship of Dean Linda Maxon and Department Chair Helena Dettmer. DIP consisted of several certificate programs: Aging Studies, American Indian and Native Studies, Medieval Studies, Museum Studies; and Sexuality Studies; and a few majors: Literature, Science, and the Arts; Environmental Sciences, and the Interdepartmental Studies major. Later, Leisure Studies joined the Division. DIP was deactivated in 2009, having served its purpose of serving as an incubator for certificate programs and several majors which had grown and were successfully moved to existing departments.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) re-activated DIP in 2014 because of a collective need among several interdisciplinary programs for an academic home. These programs included: The Certificate in Writing, the International Studies Program (major), the Global Health Studies Program (major/certificate/minor), the Interdepartmental Studies Program, Enterprise Leadership Program, and the Latin American Studies Program (certificate/minor) that had been created or moved into the College.
Currently, DIP is the home for a number of interdisciplinary programs. DIP remains an incubator for programs that require an institutional home to support its growth and development. What has always linked DIP’s programs and programming is its focus on interdisciplinary research and teaching. DIP’s structure is similar to that of the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (DWLLC) in that the programs within the structure are autonomous units with leaders of each program reporting to a DEO or Director. What distinguishes DIP from DWLLC and other units is the emphasis on interdisciplinary pedagogy and research. Faculty who teach DIP courses hail from across campus and bring their specializations to their classrooms and research. Faculty who teach and research within DIP learn from each other within a culture of permeable disciplinary boundaries and shared ideas. In addition to its outstanding faculty, DIP is proud of the fact that it is attracting a large percentage of first-generation and underrepresented minority students who are flourishing within its programs.