The School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) is a dynamic site of innovation at the University of Washington. Our mission statement demands that we develop academically challenging programs of study flexible enough to respond rapidly to changing research questions and regional needs, including those of non-traditional and traditional students. Our organizational structure – as an interdisciplinary, non-departmentalized school – enables us to fulfill this mission.
The goal of the IAS faculty and staff is to educate students and conduct research through modes of inquiry that stretch across disciplinary and departmental boundaries inherited from the past. This endeavor requires that we cultivate an understanding of how multiple disciplines create knowledge about the world and a capacity to develop new avenues of exploration. The result is a learning environment where complex problems - not singular disciplines - dictate the directions of student and faculty inquiry. It is an environment oriented toward the future.
Through hands-on and experiential learning inside and outside the classroom, IAS undergraduate and graduate degrees offer students the opportunity to create new knowledge about the world and to make a difference in it. Like their faculty, IAS students become creators of knowledge that responds to emerging issues and problem, not just consumers of knowledge made elsewhere. Our engaged approach to scholarship and our commitment to educational innovation is what makes IAS an exciting and dynamic environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff.
Bruce Burgett, Professor and Dean
School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences