The Integrative Studies major provides students the ability and freedom to create their own curriculum path, choosing three individual concentrations, or minors, instead of a traditional major.

This particular major was developed by faculty to directly prepare students to face the challenges on a multi-disciplinary front created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must complete a minimum of 39 credits, which includes LIBS 450 Capstone. Students may further customize their degree by enrolling in internships or cooperative education.

Integrative Studies leads to an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, depending on the concentrations selected.

These newly created concentrations will prepare students to face and work in an environment faced with pandemics and health crises, and to critically evaluate and creatively respond to them. The concentrations, housed in Journalism and Screen Studies, Communication, Biological Sciences, Psychology, and Health and Human Services, will provide students with the critical skills and knowledge necessary during a crisis.


Check out the four recently approved concentrations below!

Media Roles & Responses to Pandemic

12 credits (Journalism and Screen Studies & Communication)

The Media Roles & Responses to Pandemic concentration critically examines the intersections between mass media and public health in the communication of information during a national crisis.  Designed as a response to current events, this timely program compliments the study of journalism, public relations, health communication, and public policy. 

COMM 365: Health Communication (3 credit hours)

Provides skills necessary for creating, interpreting, and critically evaluating messages about issues related to health and illness and encouraging active participation in healthcare. Examines theory and research regarding messages related to physical, mental, and social well-being from interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. 

Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior

JASS 330: Feature Writing (3 credit hours)

An introduction to the writing of feature stories for newspapers and magazines. Students study methods of gathering information and of preparing a manuscript for publication. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): COMP 106 or COMP 220 or COMP 270 or Composition Placement Score with a score of 40 or COMP 280

JASS 331: Online Reporting, Research, Writing (3 credit hours)

Course introduces the technical, social, legal and ethical practice of online research, focusing specifically on reporting (i.e. research and interview) skills required by journalists and others. Students use new media technology to generate ideas, to research subjects, and to develop general-audience writing projects in their areas of interest. Course covers the use of Web search engines, directories and databases; finding sources and interviewing people online; evaluating the credibility of online sources and information; using Lexis-Nexis to access archives and public records; and using spreadsheet and database programs.

Prerequisite(s): COMP 106 or COMP 220 or COMP 270 or Composition Placement Score with a score of 40 or COMP 280

JASS 334: Science and Environmental Journalism (3 credit hours)

This course introduces the practice and theory of science and environmental journalism. Students report and write short science and environmental articles across a variety of media. They also examine the history, ethics and politics of environmental and science journalism and isolate a relevant issue as the focus of a research project, which will later generate a longer science/environment feature story. After instructor critique, students revise all work and submit a final ePortfolio.

Prerequisite(s): JASS 2015

JASS 338: Business, Financial and Automotive Reporting (3 credit hours)

This course covers two inter-related areas: finance and automotive journalism. Students learn how to cover the economy and business community, focusing on areas such as Wall Street, economic indicators, stocks and bonds. Since the University of Michigan-Dearborn is located in the heart of the world automotive industry, the course also emphasizes the skills necessary for a career in automotive journalism, specifically how to read and report auto-related financial, environmental, safety, labor, finance and manufacturing documents. An introductory course in Economics is recommended.

Prerequisite(s): JASS 2015

JASS 413: Photojournalism (3 credit hours)

A hands-on digital imaging course in which students learn the basics of photojournalism and photography, including subject selection, composition, cropping, retouching and caption writing.

Prerequisite(s): COMP 106 or COMP 220 or COMP 270 or Composition Placement Score with a score of 40 or COMP 280

Pandemics and Infectious Disease

15 credits (Natural Sciences)

The Pandemics and Infectious Disease concentration provides a science-based curriculum to provide students with knowledge and applications to better understand the interplay between pathogens and humans with emphasis on challenges faced in medicine and public health.

BIOL 360: Population Genetics & Evolution (3 credit hours)

Processes which change the genetic composition of populations: mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection. The origin of subspecies, species, and higher taxa. Evidence of evolution from the geological recors, comparative anatomy, comparative biochemistry and other sources. Three hours lecture. 

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 140 and (MATH 104 or MATH 105 or MATH 113 or MATH 115 or Mathematics Placement with a score of 116)

BIOL/MICR 380: Epidemiology (3 credit hours)

Introduces the methods for infectious disease epidemiology (occurrence and spread in population) and case studies of important disease syndromes and entities. Methods include definitions and nomenclature, outbreak investigations, disease surveillance, case-control studies, cohort studies, laboratory diagnosis, molecular epidemiology, dynamics of transmission, and assessment of vaccine field effectiveness. Case-studies focus on acute respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria and other vector-brone diseases. This course emphasizes methods of study that would contribute to understanding disease etiology.   Three hours lecture.

Pre-req: BIOL 140

BIOL/MICR 430: Medical Virology (3 credit hours)

The course provides a general description of the history and nature of animal virus disease. Emphasis is placed on the pathogenesis and clinical description of specific diseases. Three hours lecture.

Pre-req: BIOL/MICR 385

BIOL/MICR 450: Virology (4 credit hours)

The first half of this course deals with bacterial viruses, with emphasis on classical events in this field. The second half surveys the field of animal viruses, with emphasis on recent discoveries, including replication, pathogenesis, and viral association with cancers. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory.

Pre-req: BIO/MICR 385; Chem 226

BIOL/MICR 455: Immunology (4 credit hours)

A detailed study of the field of immunology. Among the topics covered are various aspects of the immunological response, such as humoral or cell-mediated immunity, cell-cell interactions, and immunology as related to the cause and prevention of disease. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory.

Pre-req: BIO/MICR 385 or BIOL 301

BIOL/MICR 459: Pathogenic microbiology (4 credit hours)

An introduction to pathogenic microorganisms and mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity. Disease-causing bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa are studied. Laboratories emphasize clinical approaches to isolation, identification, and treatment. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory.

Pre-req: BIO/MICR 385

Living, Working, Adapting, and Connecting During a Pandemic

12 credits (Psychology)

The Living, Working, Adapting, and Connecting During a Pandemic set of courses will emphasize the application of psychological knowledge and skills to mental and physical health, aging, the media, and the workplace.  

PSYC 412: Psychology of Aging (3 credit hours)

This course examines the development of the individual from middle adulthood through old age. Special emphasis is given to the understanding of developmental theories and issues in adulthood. Topics include biological basis, socialization, family relationships, personality, and intellectual development in the aging individual.

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 171 or PSYC 170 or PSYC 101

PSYC 426: Applied Social Psychology (3 credit hours)

The field of Applied Social Psychology utilizes social psychological theory and research to understand social problems with the goal of improving social conditions. This course will examine social issues from both macro (social institutions and policies) and micro (interpersonal/intergroup behaviors and beliefs) perspectives. We will investigate how social institutions such as social policy, mass media, and education impact individuals, families, communities, and the environment. 

Prerequisite(s): (PSYC 101 or PSYC 170 or PSYC 171) and (PSYC 320 or SOC 382 or CRJ 382)

PSYC 427: Media Psychology (3 credit hours)

Media Psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on the psychological processes associated with media, technology use and the impact that these have on individuals and society. This seminar class will provide an in-depth examination of research methods and psychological theories related to persuasion, media effects, media identification and media participation. Research across several content areas including, aggression, prosocial behavior, health and well-being, risky behaviors, relationships, news and politics, as well as media literacy, will also be considered. 

Prerequisite(s): (PSYC 101 or PSYC 170 or PSYC 171) and (PSYC 320 or SOC 382 or CRJ 382)

PSYC 4305: Psychology in the Workplace (3 credit hours)

This course introduces students to some of the core content areas of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology. These content areas include selection, training, performance appraisal, work teams, job design, motivation, leadership, union-management relations, and stress and health in the workplace. Students cannot receive credit for both PSYC 4305 and PSYC 530

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 171 or PSYC 170 or OB 354 or PSYC 101

PSYC 440: Abnormal Psychology (3 credit hours)

An introduction to the field of psychopathology, the study of mental disorders. Includes exposure to a number of historical and theoretical perspectives, each with their own theories, methodologies, and treatment approaches. Disorders covered will include anxiety and mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, sexual disorders, and psychosomatic disorders. Students cannot receive credit for both PSYC 440 and PSYC 540.

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 171 or PSYC 170 or PSYC 101

PSYC 455: Health Psychology (3 credit hours)

A discussion of the research on health promotion, psychological factors in the development of illness, cognitive representations of health and illness, stress and coping, social support, nutrition, and exercise. Focus will be on the factors related to the development and maintenance of optimal health. Students cannot receive credit for both PSYC 455 and PSYC 555.

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 170 or PSYC 171 or PSYC 101

PSYC 485: Psychology Internship (3 or 6 credit hours)

The psychology internship offers experience in a wide variety of placements dealing with human services. These include programs related to child abuse, crisis intervention, geriatrics, human resources/staff development, cognitive impairment, criminal probation, teenage runaways, substance abuse, and women's issues. The program is designed for juniors and seniors with a concentration in psychology or behavioral sciences and involves training in listening and helping skills.

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 171 or PSYC 170 or PSYC 101

Restriction(s): Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior

Public Health and Pandemics

18 credits (Health and Human Services)

Public Health and Pandemics is an Integrative Studies concentration that prepares students to take evidence-based and data-driven action in response to global health crises.  Students completing this concentration will be able to identify the social and environmental determinants of health that leave certain populations especially vulnerable.  In addition, students will develop essential skills in health policy formation, health administration and logistics, health education, risk communication, and epidemiology.  While the next public health challenge might still be unknown, the core requirements of any coordinated comprehensive approach are explored in this concentration.

HHS 300: Introduction to Health Policy (3 credit hours)

The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of the U.S. health care system, its components, and the policy challenges created by its organization. We will focus on the major US governmental and non-governmental political and policy players, health policy institutions and important issues that cut across institutions, including private insurers and the federal/state financing programs (Medicare and Medicaid/SCHIP).

Cannot enroll if Class is Freshman

HHS 401: Methods of Health Promotion (3 credit hours)

This course is designed to prepare students with skills necessary to implement health education programs within the context of community health settings. Emphasis will be placed on a variety of community health education methods and strategies including but not limited to educational presentations and material development, mass media and media advocacy, legislative action and involvement, community organization, and working with groups.

Prerequisite(s): CHE 101 or HHS 101 and CHE 201 or HHS 201

Cannot enroll if Class is Freshman or Sophomore

HHS 405: Population Health (3 credit hours)

Population Health is defined as encompassing the health outcomes of a group of individuals as well as the distribution of those outcomes as related to the social determinants of health. Lectures, discussions, and group exercises focus on the impact of composite indicators in relation to population health including medical and health care, policy, genetics, behavior, social structures, and environmental factors.

Prerequisite(s): HHS 200 or CHE 101

Cannot enroll if Class is Freshman

HHS 412: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credit hours)

The study of the frequency and distribution, as well as the causes and control, of disease in human populations. Using data analysis tools, one can identify causes of disease and the effects of prevention and treatment. This course is an application of research design to determine the extent of which environment (toxins, for instance), heredity, childhood development, and lifestyle influence morbidity and mortality rates.

Prerequisite(s): SOC 410 or HPS 410 or HHS 410 or CRJ 410

Cannot enroll if Class is Freshman or Sophomore

HHS 415: Healthcare Administration (3 credit hours)

This course introduces students to administrative models and skills that can be used at a supervisory level. These conceptions include strategic planning, marketing, organizational communications, quality assurance, project management and team skills, supervision and evaluation, conflict resolution and office cultures and politics. A critical and historical perspective is used to understand the origins and meanings of these conceptions and the extent to which they correspond with the service mentality of health and human services. Applications to the health and human services will be central to the course. 

Cannot enroll if Class is Freshman or Sophomore

HHS 433: Race, Ethnicity, and Community Health (3 credit hours)

This course provides a broad overview of health disparities in the United States, with a focus on the three types of social inequity-race ethnicity (and nativity status), socioeconomic status (SES), and gender. Epidemiological issues, health behaviors, health care services, and health and social issues specific to various minority populations in the U.S are covered. The underlying position of the course is that understanding groups that are at higher risk of developing poor health outcomes is crucial to developing better health care and health policy.

HHS 456: Health Care and the Law (3 credit hours)

A comprehensive study of legal issues in health care, including regulation of hospitals, consent for treatment, confidentiality, experimentation, family planning, children's rights, access to health care. The emphasis will be on the organizational and personal consequence of legal requirements. Junior/Senior standing is a requirement. Students cannot receive credit for both HHS/HPS 456 and HHS/HPS 556.

Prerequisite(s): SOC 201 or SOC 200 or POL 364

Cannot enroll if Class is Freshman or Sophomore

For more information, contact CASL Associate Dean Gabriella Scarlatta or the Office of CASL Advising and Student Success.

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