The Symposium is an interdisciplinary course series sponsored by the Pennoni Honors College and is open to all students throughout Drexel. Its intent is to explore subjects of the broadest possible interest and greatest societal impact. Through intensive examination of a different major theme every year, it brings Drexel University students, teachers, and visiting expert lecturers into collaboration. The Symposium strives to avoid the "textbook approach," with an emphasis on developing in students the active skills of interdisciplinary inquiry: critical thinking, methodological creativity, synthesis of information across fields, communication and collaboration among disciplines, and application of knowledge.
Each year, six faculty members from across the University work as an interdisciplinary team to co-teach six courses designed to elaborate different dimensions of the broader, unifying theme. Through these courses, students are encouraged to see the University as an interconnected enterprise, and to imagine the University as one part of a larger spectrum of scholars in the communities of the city, the nation, and the world.
While the yearly themes and individual course topics change, one mainstay of the Symposium is that it consistently fosters interdisciplinary learning through both curricular and co-curricular opportunities. As we have strived to break down some of the walls of the traditional classroom, students have been able to take part in intensive courses abroad and, increasingly, we are looking to integrated research opportunities through the Symposium Student Research Fellows.