General Information

Why Choose Integrated Studies?  How will you benefit from enrolling in an Integrated Studies cluster?

Build a strong foundation in the Liberal Arts and Fulfill Requirements

The best preparation¬†for life, and for the professions, is developing a broad acquaintance with human knowledge and a capacity for thinking critically and creatively. Colby’s all-College area distribution requirements are designed to provide that broad acquaintance. Each cluster fulfills several of these distribution requirements, so each provides a solid, interdisciplinary liberal arts foundation for your subsequent work at Colby. Most clusters also fulfill the first-year writing requirement, providing an intensive writing experience across all three courses.

Learn Interdisciplinary Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Marketable Skills

Integrated Studies will teach you how to think critically and solve problems creatively, using tools and strategies from several different disciplines. It will also teach you how to master a large body of knowledge, and analyze it from varied perspectives. Working closely with three faculty members means that you will receive sustained, focused attention as you develop important intellectual skills like writing well and presenting your ideas effectively in discussions. Building these key intellectual capacities will enable you to be successful in any major and in any profession, and many ISP graduates will tell you that what they learned in a cluster was essential to their success at Colby and later in life.

Think About Big Questions in a Well-informed Way

These days, when vast amounts of information are readily available, and superficial understanding is easy to achieve, Integrated Studies students learn how to master an important topic in considerable depth and from varied points of view. Cluster courses will invite you to use your knowledge to explore vital questions about human experience, and to pursue an understanding of moral, political, aesthetic, spiritual, and philosophical issues as they are relevant to the cluster topic.

Work Closely With a Small Group of Students and Faculty

Integrated Studies clusters are the essence of the small college experience. You will be in small classes led by dedicated faculty members, who coordinate every aspect of the experience. Integrated Studies classrooms are full of lively give and take and intellectual exploration, and safe spaces in which to take risks and try out new ideas and new ways of thinking. Many students find that small classes with lots of faculty attention help them to make a successful transition to college, and to gain confidence in their ability to excel academically at the college level.

Participate in Enrichment Activities

Integrated Studies students often participate in field trips, lectures, performances, or other activities that are organized specially for you. Each semester, Integrated Studies brings a distinguished interdisciplinary scholar to campus to be the guest speaker at a dinner for cluster students.

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