Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives Minor

The newly approved Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives (INSI) minor will allow students from across the University to plan and complete multidisciplinary projects that use technology to solve problems related to urban communities. The new minor is housed within the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, but its students can come from any undergraduate program at Drexel. As long as students want the chance to produce an innovative, tangible project, they can take the minor; whether they’re studying biology, engineering, Architecture, Interior Design or something else. The minor is predicated on giving students the opportunity to create projects that will tackle issues of sustainability and technology within the urban environment. Arising from the Drexel Smart Initiatives program, which includes Drexel Smart House, the minor consists of four new required courses and three free electives. Giving students a basis in multi-disciplinary research and problem solving, The INSI minor’s goal is to facilitate an opportunity for students to launch collaborative projects as part of their minor coursework.

Program Information

The Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives Minor (INSI) will provide students across the University an experience of both breadth and depth through multi-disciplinary practices and learning. Students will develop skills and knowledge in the topics associated with problem solving, innovative technology, leadership and immersive participatory experiences. Skills and knowledge will be delivered through collaborative teaching and coursework, skill building, experimentation, experiential learning, and engaging research initiatives. Intended to build on experiential learning that is the foundation of a Drexel education, The Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives Minor (INSI) will require the completion of seven courses (25 credits); sixteen credits are satisfied by the four required core courses; and nine credits are satisfied by electives.  The INSI Minor will be open to all University students and allow flexibility in both content and scheduling to support the rigor associated with various majors.

For more information Please contact Diana Nicholas Westphal College

Required Core Curriculum Courses   (4 courses, 16 credits)

WEST 210: Innovative Problem-Solving (4 credits)
Prerequisite: None

The course examines different methods of problem solving and its role across disciplines.  The intention is to give the student a basis with which interdisciplinary projects can be approached in an innovative way and problem solving is examined from multiple viewpoints.  Team-taught.

WEST 220: Multimodal Research (4 credits)
Prerequisite: None

This course will develop student’s critical thinking skills through examining research and information gathering models. The topics around which students will gather, analyze and synthesize information include: Systems and the Environment, Community Interaction, Technology and Problem Solving.  Team-taught.

WEST 310: Active Learning and Exploration (4 credits)
Prerequisites: WEST210 AND 220

Provides faculty guidance to enable students to identify and investigate an aspect of an interdisciplinary problem that they have identified. May include establishment of philosophical base, data collection, study of comparable or similar problems, writing of a project program, and preliminary project development; includes interdisciplinary panel presentation.  Team-taught.

WEST 320: Active Engagement Projects (4 credits)
Prerequisite: WEST 310

Students will explore, with faculty guidance an interdisciplinary problem solving based project that will be related to an area of interest and broader goals that they have identified as part of WEST 310 Active Learning and Exploration. The students will thoroughly explore the subject and execute the project through a variety of media and platforms. Team-taught.

Free Elective Courses           

Listed below or by permission of Minor Director
(3 courses required, 9 credits)

Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of the Minor, elective courses will not necessarily be in the student’s degree major. Therefore advisement on the part of the Director and the College liaison will be a critical piece to the student’s appropriate selection of electives.  Below is a partial sampling of possible electives in each of the major Colleges.

Antoinette College of Media Arts & Design

Courses listed or by approval of Director & College Liaison

ARCH 315 Sustainable Built Environment I 3 credits
INTR 310 History and Theory of Sustainability 3 credits

College of Engineering

Courses listed or by approval of Director & College Liaison

CAEE 201 Intro to Infrastructure Engineering  3 credits
CIVE 240  Engineering Economic Analysis   3 credits
CIVE 261 Materials and structural Behavior  3 credits
CIVE 372  Structural Laboratory       3 credits

iSchool – College of Information Science and Technology

Courses listed or by approval of Director & College Liaison

INFO 101 Introduction to Information Technology  3 credits
INFO 105 Introduction to Informatics  3 credits

LeBow College of Business

Courses listed or by approval of Director & College Liaison

BUSN 103 Adv. 1st Year Business Seminar: Social Responsibility 3 credits
MIS 200 Management Information Systems   4 credits
MGMT 260  Introduction to Entrepreneurship  4 credits
MGMT 364  Technology Management    4 credits

College of Arts and Sciences

Courses listed or by approval of Director & College Liaison

PSY 352 Environmental Psychology 3 credits
COM 111  Principles of Communication 3 credits
COM 317  Environmental Communications 3 credits
COM 220  Qualitative Research Methods 3 credits
SOC341/ENVP 360 Environmental Movements in America  3 credits
BIO 164  General Biology Laboratory I  3 credits
BIO 264 Ethnobotany    3 credits
ENVS 260    Environmental Science and Society I   3 credits

School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems

Courses listed or by approval of Director & College Liaison

BMES 401 Introduction to Biosensors 3 credits
BMES 521 Principles of Bioengineering  3 credits

Suggested Sequence

WEST 210 WEST 220 WEST 210
WEST 220
WEST 310
WEST 320
WEST 310
WEST 320