Course Catalog 2023-2024


IDP 101/ MTH 101 Math Skills Studio (4 Credits)

Offered as MTH 101 and IDP 101. This course is for students who need additional preparation to succeed in courses containing quantitative material. It provides a supportive environment for learning or reviewing, as well as applying, arithmetic, algebra and mathematical skills. Students develop their numerical and algebraic skills by working with numbers drawn from a variety of sources. This course does not carry a Latin Honors designation. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructor permission required.

Fall, Interterm

IDP 102 Thinking Through Race (1 Credit)

This course offers an interdisciplinary, historical and critical examination of race in the United States. Although race is no longer held by scientists to have any biological reality, it has played a central role in the formation of legal codes, definitions of citizenship, economics, culture and identities. Where did the concept of race come from? How has it changed over time? What pressures does it continue to exert on our lives? By bringing together faculty from a variety of programs and disciplines, and by looking at a range of cultural texts where racial distinctions and identities have been constructed and contested, this class presents students an understanding of how and why race matters. S/U only.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 103/ MTH 103 Precalculus and Calculus Bootcamp (2 Credits)

Offered as IDP 103 and MTH 103. This course provides a fast-paced review of and intense practice of computational skills, graphing skills, algebra, trigonometry, elementary functions (pre-calculus) and computations used in calculus. Featuring a daily review followed by problem-solving drills and exercises stressing technique and application, this course provides concentrated practice in the skills needed to succeed in courses that apply elementary functions and calculus. Students gain credit by completing all course assignments. This course does not count towards the Mathematics or Mathematical Statistics majors. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 20.

Fall, Interterm, Spring, Variable

IDP 105 Quantitative Skills in Practice (4 Credits)

A course continuing the development of quantitative skills and quantitative literacy begun in MTH 104/ IDP 104. Students continue to exercise and review basic mathematical skills, to reason with quantitative information, to explore the use and power of quantitative reasoning in rhetorical argument, and to cultivate the habit of mind to use quantitative skills as part of critical thinking. Attention is given to visual literacy in reading graphs, tables and other displays of quantitative information and to cultural attitudes surrounding mathematics. Prerequisites: MTH 104/ IDP 104. Enrollment limited to 18. {M}


IDP 106 The Renaissance (2 Credits)

The French word renaissance means "rebirth"; when capitalized, it defines both a chronological period (ca. 1300-1600) in European history and an impactful engagement with the legacy of Greco-Roman antiquity. The descriptor was devised, importantly, at the time, not retrospectively. This course describes events, activities and innovations widely understood as a defining and indispensable foundation of the modern world’s global turn. Lectures treat and contextualize various topics: history, language, education, manuscripts and printed books, court culture, trade and colonization, the invention of utopia, the rise of Protestantism, theater in Shakespeare’s London, science and mathematics and the visual arts. {A}{H}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

IDP 107 Digital Media Literacy (2 Credits)

This accelerated course is designed to immerse students in the craft of digital media production; including photography, video, audio, copyright and more. This course will have a technical focus and engage students through projects designed to develop skills with production equipment, software, and project planning. Digital media skills are increasingly relevant and this course will benefit students from all disciplines and experience levels. Students will develop critical competencies and gain an understanding of how to leverage digital media tools for a variety of communication needs. Prior experience is not required, but students should have basic competency with Mac computers. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 12.

Fall, Interterm, Spring, Variable

IDP 108 The Art of Effective Speaking (1 Credit)

This one-credit course gives students systematic practice in the range of public speaking challenges they face in their academic and professional careers. During each class meeting, the instructor presents material on an aspect of speech craft and delivery; each student then gives a presentation reflecting her mastery of that week’s material. The instructor films each student’s presentations and reviews them in individual conferences. During one class meeting, the students also review and analyze films of notable speeches. Students must come to the first class prepared to deliver a 3- to 5-minute speech of introduction: "Who I Am and Where I’m Going." Seniors only. Enrollment limited to 10.


IDP 109 Aerial Imagery and Cinematography (2 Credits)

This two-credit course designed to immerse students in drone avionics, photogrammetry, image processing, surveying/mapping and aerial photography and videography. The course encourages teamwork, curiosity, critical thinking, perseverance and creativity, as well as collaboration and etiquette regarding fieldwork and community-based research. Students learn practical techniques for acquiring and analyzing aerial data and have an opportunity to improve Smith’s approach to teaching and research with drones. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 12.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 111 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Making (2 Credits)

This course is a series of workshops that situate particular making techniques that take place in Smith’s many “makerspaces” within social, economic, ecological, historical and cultural contexts. Students connect their making practice to the ways making informs their liberal arts education. This course also serves to introduce students to the faculty and staff who facilitate making at the many different making spaces across the college. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 18.

Fall, Spring

IDP 113 Ireland: Overcoming Divided History (2 Credits)

This course examines different views of Irish identity and allows students to explore how these are represented in the urban landscapes of Dublin and Belfast. Together, students walk the streets and meet local activists, artists and writers. Through reflection and dialogue, students examine the ways communities respond to and propose alternative futures. Instructor permission required. (E)

Spring, Variable

IDP 115 AEMES Seminar (2 Credits)

This course focuses on the transition from high school to college-level learning by facilitating processes of exploration, awareness, empowerment, communication and community. These are strengthening qualities--necessary for academic success at Smith. The seminar offers opportunities to continue to develop these strengths. The work of cultivating these strengths within the seminar take place when given opportunities to explore and share thought processes, biases and "real" and "false" beliefs, especially as they relate to ascribed social identities as well as chosen ones. This is done through extensive writing, discussion and activities facilitated by the instructor of the course and with the assistance of guest lecturers. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 20. AEMES students only.


IDP 116 Introduction to Design Thinking (1 Credit)

This introduction to design thinking skills emphasizes hands-on, collaborative design driven by user input. Students critique their own and each others’ designs, and review existing technology designs to evaluate how well design principles are guided by the practices of the intended user. The course focuses on using qualitative research observations to inspire new approaches to design. Students iteratively design a multimedia approach to framing problems, communicating ideas and exploring the ethical, political and social implications of design in the world. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 16. Instructor permission required.

Fall, Interterm, Spring, Variable

IDP 118 The Natural and Social History of Place:The MacLeish Field Station (2 Credits)

Natural and social history of the Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station (265 acres; 11 miles away) are explored and experienced. Taking place primarily outside, this course emphasizes the dynamic interconnections of our environment from the small scale interactions between plants and pollinators to the large scale disturbance of human agricultural activity. Through observation and activities of discovery, students tell the natural and social history of the Station through writing, poetry, art or dance. Students are expected to walk several miles each class in all weather. Enrollment limited to 11. {N}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 125 PATH for AEMES Scholars (1 Credit)

Personal Academic Tactical Help (PATH) is a course designed to help students nd information and strategies to help them achieve their academic goals. The PATH curriculum explores strategies for success and ways to understand the underlying psychology (how we think) and biology (how our brain works) that can contribute to, or distract from, success. In this course, students will learn strategies for effective learning while planning weekly applications of these strategies to their other courses. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 20.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 131 ​Interpretive Visualization Through Motion Graphics Design (1 Credit)

This course will focus on the intersection between data visualization and the basic principles of motion graphics design. Students will explore various graphicacy techniques to interpret and analyze different sets of data, andwill employ visual design principles to maximize cognitive efficacy. Students will apply techniques for vectoranimation and digital compositing to create a conceptual and/or data-driven video abstract for a topic in anacademic discipline of their choice. Appropriate and current industry standard computer applications will be introduced and applied. Enrollment limited to 12.


IDP 132 Designing Your Path (1 Credit)

This class is for students who are starting their Smith journey, embarking on or returning from an immersive experience abroad, weaving their interests through a concentration or self-designed major, or wrestling with expressing what a Smith education has prepared them to do. Students test different integrative paths of their own design, tell their own story and create a digital portfolio to showcase their work. Students learn to articulate connections between their work in and outside of the classroom and explain how Smith is preparing them to engage with the world beyond. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 12.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 133 Critical Perspectives on Collaborative Leadership (4 Credits)

This course challenges students to interrogate the perceived dichotomy between leading as a solitary versus collaborative endeavor. Students examine theories and histories of leadership and collaboration through a critical lens and explore alternative ways of imagining change-making as a collaborative leadership act. Through reading, writing, reflection and practice, the class offers students new perspectives on how they might lead collaboratively. Recommended as a foundation for students whose future academic work is likely to include significant group work. Enrollment limited to 40.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 134 Examining Equity and Action-Based Design for Leaders 1 (1 Credit)

This course provides a theoretical foundation in critical dialogue around issues of power and systemic oppression in relation to socially just leadership and designing for social change. Students explore early messages, personal narratives, identity formation, the intersection of identity and leadership and how these categories relate to creating an equitable and inclusive community. This is Part One of a two-tiered cohort program: the Leading for Equity and Action-Based Design (LEAD) Scholars Program, a leadership program for students sponsored through the partnership of the Office for Equity and Inclusion (OEI) and the Wurtele Center for Leadership (WCL). S/U only. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 135 Examining Equity and Action-Based Design for Leaders 2 (1 Credit)

This course provides students with both a theoretical and practical foundation in facilitation and design for social change. Students will learn human-centered and equity-centered design principles, as well as, different modes of facilitation. This is Part Two of a two-tiered cohort program: the Leading for Equity and Action-Based Design (LEAD) Scholars Program, a new leadership program for students sponsored through the partnership of the Office for Equity and Inclusion (OEI) and the Wurtele Center for Leadership (WCL). S/U only. Prerequisite: IDP 134. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructor permission required.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 136 Applied Learning Strategies (1 Credit)

This six-week course teaches students to extend and refine their academic capacities to become autonomous learners. Course content includes research on motivation, learning styles, memory and retrieval, as well as application of goal setting, time management and study skills. Students who take this course are better prepared to handle coursework, commit to a major and take responsibility for their own learning. S/U only. Priority is given to students referred by their dean or adviser. Enrollment limited to 15.

Fall, Spring

IDP 138 Colloquium: Introduction to Collaborative Leadership, Design and Innovation (1 Credit)

An introduction to the disciplines, practices and mindsets associated with collaborative leadership, design and innovation, and a real-world, embedded internship experience. Collaborative Leadership, Design, and Innovation Program sends students in pairs to fully-funded internships at host organizations around the world to help lead the advancement of socially, economically and environmentally healthy communities. The course equips interns with the theoretical background of the practices engaged in during the internship and opportunities to practice skills necessary for cultural immersion. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission required.


IDP 146 Critical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship (4 Credits)

Entrepreneurship takes on a diversity of meanings, forms and structures depending on its source and context. In this course, the topic of entrepreneurship is studied from a variety of critical and under-explored vantage points such as ethics, access, inclusion, culture, power, expression, agency, economic empowerment, cultural and social transformation. Entrepreneurship is counter-mapped from an inter-, intra- and multi-disciplinary lens from the liberal arts tradition, and the course examines the commonalities that connect both. The potential of entrepreneurship to create sustained social transformations is critically examined alongside its unique identity within and outside of the realm of economic exchange.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 150 Introduction to AutoCAD (1 Credit)

This course provides students with an introduction to AutoCAD. Through a combination of short lecture components and hands-on drafting activities, the course covers tools and techniques for effective two-dimensional drafting. No previous computer drafting experience is required. Open to all students. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 24.


IDP 151 Introduction to 3D CAD Software (1 Credit)

This course provides students with an introduction to 3D CAD software. Through a combination of short lecture components and hands-on design activities, the course covers tools and techniques for effective three-dimensional modeling and parametric design. No previous computer modeling experience is required. Open to all students. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 24.


IDP 152 Introduction to 3D Printing Technology (1 Credit)

This class teaches students 3D printing literacy and introduce students to the contexts within which this technology is being used in different fields. Students explore the technology of 3D Printers and learn how to design and produce 3D printed objects. Students are introduced to various software used to generate 3D designs, covering the basics of Computer Aided Design and Scanning. Students also learn how to prepare these models for printing using printer-specific software and finally create the 3D printed models. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 15.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 155 Entrepreneurship I: Introduction to Innovation (1 Credit)

Students learn about and gain immediate experience with entrepreneurial innovation by generating ideas, projects and business or organization "start­ups" using the Lean Launch methodology. This is a fast paced course using the Business Model Canvas tool to develop clear value propositions for each defined customer segment. Students are expected to work in teams to complete weekly assignments and a final presentation. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 40.

Fall, Interterm, Variable

IDP 156 Entrepreneurship II: Entrepreneurship in Practice (1 Credit)

Utilizing a case-­study approach, students learn details about business and organization finance economics. Using the Business Model Canvas, students further explore the process of planning, testing and developing ideas, projects, businesses and organizations. Cases include those developed by teams in "Introduction to Innovation" as well as cases provided by the instructor. Enrollment in IDP 155 is encouraged but not required. Students are expected to work in teams to complete weekly assignments and a final presentation. S/U only.Enrollment limited to 40.

Fall, Interterm, Annually

IDP 167 Introduction to Prototyping (2 Credits)

This class is a hands-on introduction where students are immersed in studio practices while developing critical perspectives on the histories, transdisciplinary applications and future possibilities of rapid prototyping. Students learn how to use laser cutters, 3D printers and computer-aided design (CAD) to create physical prototypes from lower fidelity models. Through research, students grapple with the opportunities that access to digital fabrication provides alongside the ethical questions it raises. Students prototype a solution to a proposed challenge drawing from their research. By generating questions, making ideas tangible, testing, failing and redesigning, students build confidence in using prototyping as a way to think across disciplines. Enrollment limited to 12. (E)

Interterm, Variable

IDP 200/ ARS 200 Art & Design: Making Radical Futures (4 Credits)

Offered as IDP 200 and ARS 200. This course explores speculative design practices as a way to collaboratively envision radical social transformation. The course focuses on imagining worlds without capitalism, building on local Solidarity Economy efforts. Students work in small groups to make these visions tangible through stories, installations, performances and models of everyday objects from the future. Students learn to make iteratively as a process of critical thinking, analyze how designed things reaffirm or resist the hegemonic power of capitalism and evaluate project work based on its ability to provoke questions and connect with viewers. Prerequisites: 100-level studio art course or IDP 116 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 16. (E) {A}

Fall, Spring, Annually

IDP 203 Women and Work in Saudi Arabia (2 Credits)

This course addresses key issues affecting women in the workplace in Saudi Arabia. We will begin the course with a look at the state of women’s education in the country, followed by an overview of the concept of gender equality in Islam. We will also examine public policy initiatives such as the proposed cancellation of the ‘wakeel’ requirement and other efforts to promote equal opportunity in the workplace and business environment. Special attention will be given to the the global context and local national traditions that shape the role of women in Saudi society. Finally, the challenges facing female entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia will be discussed.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 208 Women’s Medical Issues (4 Credits)

A study of topics and issues relating to women’s health, including menstrual cycle, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, abortion, mental health, nutrition, osteoporosis, the media’s representation of women and gender bias in health care. Social, cultural, ethical and political issues are considered, as well as an international perspective. {N}


IDP 210 The Pedagogy of Student-Faculty Partnership (2 Credits)

Student-faculty partnerships position students to engage with their faculty and staff partners in the "collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute . . . to curricular or pedagogical conceptualization, decision making, implementation, investigation, or analysis" (Cook-Sather et al.). We explore theories of teaching and learning as well as theories and practices of pedagogical partnership, and, in both writing and conversation, we reflect on your experiences of engaging in student-faculty partnerships. The course is open to students involved in pedagogical partnerships of any kind, but priority goes to students involved in Mellon-supported partnerships. S/U only.

Fall, Spring

IDP 221 Colloquium: Science Ethics (2 Credits)

This course explores the ethical issues surrounding topics that are common to many scientific disciplines such as: data acquisition and management, the peer review process and the role of various regulatory boards. Selected case studies from specific disciplines are also examined. Students work in groups to investigate and present the ethical issues relevant to a topic of their choosing at the end of the semester. S/U only. Junior and senior science majors only. Enrollment limited to 24. Instructor permission required (E).


IDP 223 Financial Accounting (4 Credits)

Using both case studies and lectures, this class explores the decisions involved in preparing financial statements for both profit and non-profit entities, how those decisions impact financial statements and how an understanding of the accounting methods employed are necessary to assess the financial status of the entity under review. The class will first learn basic accounting techniques and then use them to construct and analyze financial statements, identify the measurement metrics that are appropriate for the situation and reach conclusions about the financial health (or otherwise) of an organization. No prior knowledge is required. No more than four credits in accounting may be applied toward a Smith degree.


IDP 232 Articulating Your Path (1 Credit)

This course is for students who have completed IDP 132 or another Smith experience that allowed for reflection on curricular and experiential work, values and goals. Students begin to look outward. After reviewing and assessing important learning experiences, students conduct qualitative interviews to gain a multidimensional understanding of their discipline in the world. Students simultaneously create a "personal syllabus," a reflection on maintaining and pursuing curiosity. Finally, they make a narrative digital portfolio and gain experience with public voice through an op-ed, TED talk or other piece of media. S/U only. Prerequisites: IDP 132. Enrollment limited to 12.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 250 Applied Design and Fabrication (1 Credit)

This course provides students with an introduction to applied design and prototyping. Students learn to transform an idea into a set of sketches, a computer model and a working prototype. The course covers design strategies, design communication, documentation, materials, rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Prerequisites: IDP 150 or IDP 151 or equivalent. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 12.

Interterm, Variable

IDP 291/ SPN 291 Reflecting on Your International Experience with Digital Storytelling (3 Credits)

Offered as SPN 291 and IDP 291. A course designed for students who have spent a semester, summer, Interterm or year abroad. After introducing the methodology of digital storytelling, in which images and recorded narrative are combined to create short video stories, students write and create their own stories based on their time abroad. Participants script, storyboard and produce a 3-4 minute film about the challenges and triumphs of their experience and share it with others. Prerequisite: Significant experience abroad (study abroad, praxis, internship, Global Engagement Seminar or other). For 1 additional credit that counts toward the translation concentration, students may translate and narrate their stories into the language of the country where they spent their time. Enrollment limited to 15. {A}{L}


IDP 293 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Research Seminar I (4 Credits)

Seminar on research design and conduct. The development of research projects including question definition, choice of methodology, selection of sources and evidence evaluation. Participants present their research design and preliminary findings, study pedagogy and research methodologies across disciplines, develop professional skills to prepare for graduate study, and participate in weekly peer progress reports. Limited to recipients of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships in their junior year. Course cannot be repeated for credit. S/U only. Instructor permission required.


IDP 294 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Research Seminar II (2 Credits)

Advanced seminar on research design. Students refine their research methodologies and develop an academic and co-curricular plan with the goal of securing placement in a graduate program. Emphasis on the development of public speaking skills, peer-to-peer pedagogies across disciplines, peer mentoring. Limited to recipients of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships in their senior year. Normally, students enroll concurrently in a special studies course (minimum 4 credits) or departmental honors thesis on their research topic. S/U only. Instructor permission required.


IDP 316 [Critical] Design Thinking Studio (4 Credits)

This interdisciplinary project-based course emphasizes human-centered design process as well as critical social theory on the relationships between humans and designed things. Through hands-on, individual and collaborative making, students learn design-thinking skills such as user-experience research, rapid idea generation techniques, prototyping and iterative implementation. This learning happens alongside rich class discussions of both seminal and contemporary scholarly work on design’s role in shaping the lived experience. Perspectives include archaeology, critical psychology, civil engineering, postcolonial studies, cognitive science, sociology and art history. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission required.

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 320 Seminar on Global Learning: Women’s Health in India, Including Tibetans Living in Exile (4 Credits)

This seminar examines women’s health and cultural issues within India, with a focus on Tibetan refugees, and then applies the knowledge experientially. During interterm, the students travel to India, visit NGOs involved with Indian women’s health, and deliver workshops on reproductive health topics to students living at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath. Enrollment limited to 5. Application and instructor permission required.


IDP 325 Art/Math Studio (4 Credits)

This course is a combination of two distinct but related areas of study: studio art and mathematics. Students are actively engaged in the design and fabrication of three-dimensional models that deal directly with aspects of mathematics. The class includes an introduction to basic building techniques with a variety of tools and media. At the same time each student pursues an intensive examination of a particular-individual-theme within studio art practice. The mathematical projects are pursued in small groups. The studio artwork is done individually. Group discussions of reading, oral presentations and critiques, as well as several small written assignments, are a major aspect of the class. Limited to juniors and seniors. Instructor permisison required. Enrollment is limited to 15. {A}{M}


IDP 400 Special Studies (1-4 Credits)

Special requirements apply.

Fall, Spring

IDP 555 Seminar: American Society and Culture (4 Credits)

Freedom" has long been a defining ideal of U.S. life, passionately desired and intensely contested. This course investigates freedom in its cultural and social aspects. How did the ideals of freedom become so intimately associated with "America," and specifically with the United States of America? How have various dispossessed peoples--slaves, immigrants, women, racial and ethnic minorities, colonized populations--looked to the ideals and practices of U.S. freedom to sustain their hopes and inform their actions? How have progressive and conservative reform movements fashioned myths of freedom to support their aspirations? How have ideals of freedom shaped the various roles the United States plays in the world? How should we assess the institutional framework that underlies the implementation of freedom as a "way of life" in the United States--that is, democratic politics, representative governance, and market capitalism? This course is limited to students in the Interdisciplinary Studies Diploma Program. Enrollment limited to 12.


IDP 570 Diploma Thesis (4 Credits)

Fall, Spring, Annually