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What does interdisciplinary study look like at Vanderbilt?

Posted by on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 in Academic Life, Student Life.

At Vanderbilt we talk a lot about interdisciplinary studies.

You may have heard us talk about the fact that students can take courses in any one of our four undergraduate schools and colleges. For example, a student majoring in economics in the College of Arts and Science can take a course in musicology at the Blair School of Music, or a student in the School of Engineering can take a course on organizational theory at the Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

You may have heard us talk about our interdisciplinary programs like African American and diaspora studies; medicine, health, and societycommunication of science and technology, or public policy studies, each of which draws on the expertise of Vanderbilt faculty from across multiple disciplines.

You may have heard us say that 34% of Vanderbilt students double major in order to feed their passions and study across disciplines.

But those facts and figures don’t really tell you what interdisciplinary study is like at Vanderbilt. So, let me introduce you to Allison Booher, a junior double majoring in Latin American studies and neuroscience. Nicolette Kostiw, assistant director of the Center for Latin American Studies, calls Allison the “poster-child for interdisciplinary [studies]” Allison began as a biochemistry major with her sights set on med school — but then a Spanish class led her to the Latin American studies program where she “fell in love.” Now Allison is combining her passion for medicine and her love of Latin American culture with an interest in equity to make an impact in the world. Through both her studies and volunteer work, Allison is working for greater inclusion in healthcare.

Watch the video below to hear from Allison about her academic journey, and to see for yourself what interdisciplinary study looks like at Vanderbilt.

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