University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

Integrated Social Sciences Program (ISSP) - A "Dean's Signature" Program

"ISSP is a crash course in critical thinking, complex writing, intense reading, and always interesting group discussion. I can truly say that ISSP has greatly prepared me for the rest of my college career and beyond."-- ISSP student

ISSP is one of four College of Arts and Sciences full-year Teacher-Advisor Programs. The program has been designated a "Dean's Signature" program because it is designed for highly motivated first-year students with strong academic records. Founded in 1993, it has a long and distinguished history at UVM. ISSP explores social problems that shape the modern world from an interdisciplinary perspective. During their year in the program, students take five semester-long courses in disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, global studies, political science, and sociology-three courses in the fall semester and two in the spring. They work closely with faculty to understand a variety of social issues such as global environmental degradation, social inequality, economic growth and breakdowns, international political relations, and race relations in the United States. Students may also design, research, and write an ISSP thesis. Small and interactive, all ISSP courses explore important problems in a seminar setting, involve penetrating discussion and analytical writing, and empower students with an integrated approach to the social sciences that shapes their studies and thinking both inside and outside the classroom.

Students have identified many benefits of the program that extend throughout their college careers. In addition to sharing engaging seminars, most students live together in the Living/Learning Center, and all students are advised and mentored by an ISSP faculty member during the first year.

ISSP courses have included:

  • Culture and Environment
  • Capitalism and Human Welfare
  • The Geography of Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
  • International Relations
  • Social Inequality

Admission is by application.

Contact for information:
Professor Luis A. Vivanco