School of Integrative Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degrees and Concentrations

The School of Integrative Studies (SIS) offers three undergraduate majors and eight minors.  Integrative studies majors select a concentration or work with student services staff to develop their own concentration, uniquely suited to their academic and career goals. Similarly, environmental and sustainability studies majors select a concentration that matches their personal aspirations. 

Students intending to pursue advanced degrees can combine their undergraduate studies with graduate work and attain an accelerated masters degree while at Mason. Many SIS concentrations can be combined with graduate programs in the following Mason colleges and schools:

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences,
  • College of Education and Human Development,
  • College of Health and Human Services,
  • Shar School of Policy and Government and
  • Scalia Law School.

Specific details can be found on each concentration’s program page.

SIS also offers the following three semester-long programs that combine coursework and internships:

  • The Non-Profit Fellows (in Arlington),
  • The Social Innovation Fellows (in Arlington), and
  • The Smithsonian-Mason Semester (in Front Royal).

These programs give students the chance to focus deeply on one area of study and pair their coursework with hands-on professional experience. 

Through SIS, students create a college experience that prepares them for a future with meaning and impact. 

BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

This degree provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of three aspects of environmental and sustainability studies: people, prosperity, and planet.

BA in Integrative Studies

The integrative studies degree at Mason allows you to gain in-depth knowledge in a wide range of subjects while gaining practical, career-motivated experience. Through the degree, offered by the School of Integrative Studies, you will work with our experienced, award-winning faculty in discussion-oriented courses and a variety of out-of-classrooom experiences.

Childhood Studies concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

This concentration is designed to enhance understanding of effectively working in the context of childhood experiences and family structure. Students will develop an appreciation of the diverse developmental path children and adolescents take and enhance their commitment to children’s welfare.  This concentration is excellent for students who are interested in graduate school programs in counseling or social work, and students who are interested in working as child-life specialists, child and family advocates, and in non-profit settings.

Individualized concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

An individualized concentration is the equivalent of a major in a traditional degree program. The coursework for the individualized concentration consists of traditional courses from multiple departments, learning communities, independent study, and experiential learning chosen with guidance from an academic advisor.

International Studies concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

This concentration enables students to understand and assess society within international, human and social contexts. Students can focus on business, conflict transformation, or a specific geographical area: Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, or Southeast Asia.

Liberal Arts for the Teaching Professions concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

This degree meets the Virginia Department of Education endorsement requirements and will prepare students for graduate licensure programs.  Students should meet with Mason's endorsement specialist throughout their undergraduate degree as well as integrative studies academic advisors.

Legal Studies concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

This concentration is an integrated degree which combines coursework in communication, political systems, criminology, ethics and philosophy, history, and economics to prepare students for the rigors of graduate work in the area of law or the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Leadership and Organizational Development concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

This concentration combines a liberal arts curriculum and the practicality of business skills. Focuses around a central idea: knowing how people react to organizations and how organizations react to people.

Social Innovation and Enterprise concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

Students learn to address the social and environmental problems facing our society with an eye toward feasible and transformative solutions. They will also gain the perspectives and skills needed to start, build, transform, and/or fund the organizations that will implement these solutions.

Social Justice and Human Rights concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

This concentration is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and competencies necessary for vocations or further study related to social, political, and economic equality; human rights education, advocacy, and law; and domestic and global justice. Students examine local, societal, and global issues through both a human rights lens, focusing on the fundamental rights of human beings and how they are secured or denied, and a social justice lens, focusing on societal inequalities and how they are sustained or alleviated.

Social Science for Education concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

This degree meets the Virginia Department of Education endorsement requirements and will prepare students for graduate licensure programs.  Students should meet with Mason's endorsement specialist throughout their undergraduate degree as well as integrative studies academic advisors.

Women and Gender Studies concentration in the BA in Integrative Studies

By choosing to pursue work in women and gender studies, students at all levels engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of gender in social, political, cultural, and economic life; gender in history; women and the media; feminist theory; the relationship between sex and gender; the impact of sex, race, class, disability, and sexual orientation on people’s lives; and the ways in which gender stereotypes influence the self in relationship to others. Students in many courses have the opportunity to investigate these issues in a cross-cultural and global perspective.

BS in Integrative Studies

The bachelor of science degree in integrative studies is based on intensive, interdisciplinary learning communities coordinated with traditional academic programs. The result is an integrated program of study that emphasizes collaboration, experiential learning, and self-reflection.

Applied Global Conservation concentration in the BS in Integrative Studies

Students learn how to effectively address global conservation challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem collapse.

Individualized concentration in the BS in Integrative Studies

An individualized concentration is the equivalent of a major in a traditional degree program. The coursework for the individualized concentration consists of traditional courses from multiple departments, learning communities, independent study, and experiential learning chosen with guidance from an academic advisor.

Life Sciences concentration in the BS in Integrative Studies

This concentration is geared towards students interested in working in medical and health promotion fields. Courses of study included under the life sciences concentration are: Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Physician’s Assistant, Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Physical Therapy.

Minor in Childhood Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in childhood studies is designed for students who have a child-related focus in their major and for those who want to explore the topic of childhood. This minor focuses on the study of issues concerning children and their representations, including their experiences in society within historical and contemporary cultures and global contexts.

Minor in Conservation Studies

This minor is designed for undergraduate students who wish to augment their main academic program with conservation studies taught in an experiential manner. There are three, semester-long options by which students can complete the minor including ones that focus on "Conservation, Biodiversity and Society", "Wildlife Ecology and Conservation", or "Endangered Species Conservation". These semesters are grounded in natural science, and offer a collection of four to five interdisciplinary courses that combine public policy, sociology, conflict resolution, and global awareness with hands-on experience. Students are in residence at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, and are taught by Mason faculty, Smithsonian scientists and practitioners.

Minor in Leadership

The interdisciplinary minor in leadership prepares students for transformative leadership in campus, local, national, and global contexts. Interdisciplinary and integrative classes examine leadership from multiple perspectives and disciplines, offering an understanding of socially-responsible leadership with an emphasis on community action.

Minor in Multimedia

In the multimedia minor, students learn how to create original work and communicate with others through the fusion of images, text, sound, and video. Students analyze and incorporate into their productions contemporary design principles and current software applications.

Minor in Well-Being

The School of Integrative Studies interdisciplinary minor in consciousness and transformation provides students with a well-grounded understanding of the nature of human consciousness, including both the historical foundations and modern research findings. 

Minor in Nonprofit Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in nonprofit studies is designed to introduce students to the theoretical foundations and practical skills needed to be successful in this sector. Through heavy emphasis on experiential learning with the many excellent nonprofit organizations in our region, students learn to apply theory within the context of today's complex and rapidly changing environment.

Minor in Social Justice

The minor in social justice engages students in both a critical examination of various forms of injustice (such as poverty, racism, and speciesism, and environmental degradation) and an exploration of strategies for creating and sustaining an equitable and just world. The minor is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on disciplines as distinct as critical race studies, critical animal studies, and environmental science. It is designed particularly to help students consider the intersectional nature of all types of exploitation and their related movements for liberation.

Minor in Sustainability Studies

This interdisciplinary minor is housed jointly in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy (College of Science) and in the School of Integrative Studies (College of Humanities and Social Sciences).