Integrated Semester

Periodically, the faculty organizes an integrated semester on a particular interdisciplinary theme. Offered in a fall or spring term, the integrated semester consists of a set of regular departmental courses dealing with the common theme and an interdisciplinary project.

Recent integrated semester offerings:

Fall 2013 – Integrated Semester on Conflict and Community

The integrated semester aims to prepare students to deal constructively with major conflicts of the past or present. Research in international conflict resolution and peace studies has contemporarily turned to such issues as sustaining the environment, food and water resources, economic resources, and cultural reconciliation as a means of preventing conflicts. Domestic conflict resolution also focuses on cessation of violence in families, schools, and the community.

In order to participate in the integrated semester and receive a transcript designation for it, a student must satisfactorily complete at least two courses in the program and write a project connecting material from those courses. The project must be completed to the satisfaction of both professors teaching the courses you are taking.

All students may register for the courses offered in the program, whether they choose to participate in the integrated semester or not. All students are invited to attend any public lectures or events associated with the integrated semester. To indicate your preliminary intent to participate, or for more information, email the Coordinator of the Integrated Semester, Mark Swift, at or Richard Easton, Chair of the Conflict and Community Steering Committee.

Learn more:

Reward  and Recognition for Participation

Most members of the Washington and Jefferson College community embrace the idea of interdisciplinary study around a topic as its own reward.  But there are several practical, career-oriented rewards to the Integrated Semester, as well.  Since an integrated semester is an intensive rehearsal of liberal education—making connections between disparate realms—it may be an especially useful experience in your first semester at W&J if you happen to be an incoming freshman.  As you plan your sophomore through senior years, the Integrated Semester may help you hone ideas for Magellan projects and internship opportunities. In the long-term, it may be helpful to you as you seek work. Employers seek out workers who know how to handle diversity and conflict in the workplace. 

Those who successfully complete the Integrated Semester will receive a special notation on their transcript.  Employers and graduate schools who look at transcripts will see that you had a special focus and completed extra work around an important topic.