Course Descriptions — Interdisciplinary Studies

IDS 1610 Being Human: Ethics and Morality
4 semester hours
This first year course gives us the opportunity to explore different visions of what it means to be human, to think about how these ideas ground our ethical understanding, and to consider their practical consequences for our lives. Through close reading and discussion, you will learn how to think through and understand views about being human that are both similar to and different from your own, as well as to appreciate the extent to which ideas have implications for ethical action and for life, relationships, and institutions in various communities. Through writing and interactive projects, you will learn how to reflect on your own moral assumptions and commitments – as well as those of others – and work on articulating the ongoing development of your ethical understanding. Finally, we will have the opportunity to apply our ethical views, tempered by a reflective understanding of the views of others, to a project that explores and reacts to concrete ethical issues in today's world.
Prerequisite: None. Required first-year core course. IDS 1610 and ENG 1000 should be taken in opposite semesters during the first year of study.  

IDS 2020 Trajectories of Human History
4 semester hours
Who are we? Where are we from? How did we get here? Where are we going? These are fundamental questions, basic to any discussion of what it means to be human. They are at the center of this course, which will help students develop a global perspective on historical change. The course examines human history’s earliest roots and fundamental contours, before exploring how more recent trajectories of globalization, industrialization, and democratization have reshaped—and are reshaping—the human experience. Students will read, discuss, and write about a wide variety of sources (such as historical documents, secondary works, and films), all of which are chosen to illuminate the human past and its many meanings. In doing so, students will develop a deeper understanding of historical context, change, causation and geography, while sharpening essential critical thinking, reading, speaking and writing skills. 
Prerequisite: IDS 1610 and ENG 1000. Required second-year core course. [For AU students who entered the university prior to Summer 2014, IDS 2020 may replace IDS 2000.]

IDS 2030 Science and Society
4 semester hours
The mission of Aurora University supports the development of young adults who can generate independent thoughts, converse intellectually on diverse topics, and involve themselves creatively in our society as productive and informed citizens. This class challenges each student individually to better develop these skills using science as the context. Science encompasses a wide net of disciplines, but starts with central ideas and theories that humans have contemplated for some time. This course will help students recognize that inquiry is the nature of science, observe that the foundations of science include evolving knowledge and practice, and describe how science and society shape each other. Universal themes that permeate the course and guide class discussions include: ethics and policy, scientific argument, history and culture, and inquiry vs. design.  Through this course, students will be better able to comprehend new scientific information, translate current and past ethical questions involving how science affects society, and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to participate as more informed citizens.  
Prerequisite: IDS 1610 and ENG 1000. Required second-year core course. [For AU students who entered the university prior to Summer 2014, IDS 2030 may replace IDS 2000.]

IDS 3040 Global Justice
4 semester hours
What does it mean to be responsible citizens in today’s global village? Which human rights should apply to all, and how can a global justice framework address issues ranging from income inequality to climate change to HIV/AIDS? In this interdisciplinary course, students will examine others’ worldviews on human dignity and human rights, justice and fairness, and social responsibility. After articulating their own global justice framework, students will investigate a contemporary issue of global significance, examine the issue from the viewpoint of various local and global stakeholders, and create a plan of action directed toward addressing the problem. Systems of government, activists/nonprofits, business/for-profits and social entrepreneurship will be analyzed as possible means of addressing these issues.
Prerequisite: IDS 2020 and IDS 2030. Required third-year course.