Interdisciplinary Courses (IDC) of the General Education Program

Chair or Program Director: 

Graham Ellis, Ph.D., Director
Pasteur Hall 212, Phone 502.272.8218,

Introduced in 1997 as a key component of the reformed general education curriculum, the IDC program is designed to provide a coherent, integrated, and developmental sequence of courses for undergraduate students as they progress through the General Education program. Many of the requirements of general education are discipline-specific, asking students to build a base of knowledge and skills in such individual areas as mathematics, the natural and social sciences, philosophy, Theology, English, and the Arts. Therefore, the IDC program, interdisciplinary in nature, offers a unique learning experience for Bellarmine students.

The IDC program has three overarching sets of objectives: skill development, discipline integration, and incorporation of the Catholic tradition of social justice. These three sets of objectives are hierarchical in nature, with skill development forming the foundation, discipline integration providing the structure, and the Catholic perspective on contemporary social issues informing the capstone experience. Through this capstone experience -The Senior Seminar- students demonstrate the ways in which they have developed the various critical thinking, reading, and writing skills in previous coursework by engaging in thoughtful discussion of contemporary social issues through a lens of Catholic social justice.

While various Learning Outcomes for the university’s general education curriculum are addressed by context in the IDC courses, all of the classes focus on “critical thinking, facility in oral and written communication and ways to merge theory with practice.”

The IDC program is highly developmental in nature and each course in the sequence builds on the skills addressed in preceding course(s); therefore, students are not allowed to take the courses out of sequence. The program is designed to help students cultivate and master a set of skills essential to meaningful education: strong analytical reading and writing skills; high-level critical thinking; and a truly participatory and self-reflective approach to learning.

In short, the IDC program offers each student an exceptional chance to make his or her education “whole” – to mesh the varied experiences of major and general education coursework with one’s talents and personal development into a creative, connected understanding that is the best outcome of an authentic liberal arts education.

Clearly, the IDC program supports the university’s mission to “develop the intellectual, moral, ethical and professional competencies for successful living, work, leadership to others” as well as “authentic conversations and thoughtful, informed consideration of various ideas, values and issues.” Also, through the IDC’s ultimate focus on Catholic social teaching, it seeks to help “improve the human condition.”


  • Students transferring to Bellarmine with 24 semester credits are not required to take the Freshman Seminar course (IDC. 101). However, if previously completed work did not include two writing-intensive classes, students should seriously consider this class.
  • Students transferring to Bellarmine with an Associate‘s Degree from a regionally-accredited institution are not required to take the Sophomore US Experience course (IDC. 200).
  • Students transferring to Bellarmine with 75 semester credits are not required to take the Sophomore US Experience course (IDC. 200).
  • Students transferring to Bellarmine with junior status (60 semester credits) who have taken a like course at their previous institution(s) are not required to take the Sophomore US Experience course (IDC. 200). These students will work with their incoming academic advisor to help identify if they‘ve completed such a course (feel free to consult with the IDC Director regarding course appropriateness).
  • The Junior Trans-cultural Experience course (IDC. 301) and Senior Seminar (IDC. 401) may not be waived.  

Course Listing