Why Choose Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees?
Colleges and universities offer degree programs in many different academic fields, but there may not be a program that fits your future career goals. This challenge is why many students choose an interdisciplinary degree. This type of program allows students to take courses across multiple academic disciplines, giving students a well-rounded education.
For an interdisciplinary major in the undergraduate setting, you can earn a bachelor of arts (BA), a bachelor of science (BS), or a bachelor of fine arts (BFA).
Top 5 Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Programs
|1||New College of Florida||Sarasota, Florida|
|2||The University of Tennessee at Martin||Martin, Tennessee|
|3||University of Scranton||Scranton, Pennsylvania|
|4||Radford University||Radford, Virginia|
|5||University of Oklahoma||Norman, Oklahoma|
A bachelor of arts degree is the right track for students who want to pursue liberal arts-based courses for interdisciplinary studies. However, a bachelor of science degree is for students seeking to combine science, business, or the humanities. Lastly, a bachelor of fine arts degree is the right track for combining the performing arts with other studies.
For example, if you have a career goal of working in a scientific lab, you may want to study chemistry and business. While you could double major and get a BS in chemistry and business, an interdisciplinary major would be faster and less expensive.
While undergraduate students must complete general education classes such as English Composition, Math, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities, students can choose roughly half of their credit hours from multiple departments.
If you want to pursue a graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, you can earn a master of science, a master of arts, or a master of arts in interdisciplinary studies.
Best 15 Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees
New College of Florida
At the New College of Florida, students can study a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. Students can concentrate their studies in International and Area Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Theater or one of many other disciplines. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
The University of Tennessee at Martin
At the University of Tennessee at Martin, students can take a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. This is available on-campus or online and consists of a general core group of courses as well as a student’s own suggested area of focus.
University of Scranton
In Scranton, Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton offers an Individualized Major, which is made for students who are motivated to complete a unique program. Students need to make a proposal to the College of Arts and Science Dean before starting the program. A liberal arts core is required before an additional 36 credits in the curriculum the student-designed.
Located in Radford, Virginia, Radford University offers an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree through its College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences. The programs differ as the BA requires more language courses and the BS requires more credit hours in research. The program allows students to construct the ideal program with the help of an advisor.
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma offers a Bachelor of Arts Liberal Studies program that focuses on training students’ critical thinking skills. The program is accelerated and designed for adults. In fact, it can be completed in as few as 18 months.
In Amherst, New York, Daemen College offers an Interdisciplinary Program that may involve areas like working in the ROTC or with cooperative education. Students can take a major, but they are also encouraged to minor and to participate in internships throughout college.
Molloy College has a small student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1 and offers three options of an interdisciplinary degree. Either a BS or BA is available in Interdisciplinary Studies, which can go on to be added to the Interdisciplinary with Childhood Education program.
Winthrop University allows students to get a Bachelor of the Arts in Individualized Studies that might involve curriculum across areas such as Script and Design, International Community and Development or Forensic Anthropology. The plan of study has to be approved by a Faculty Committee with at least three advisors.
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University offers a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with 12 areas in which students can vary the program based on preferred interests. Students select 36 hours of courses in an area of interest, and then they must complete another 39 in general education. A quarter of the degree does have to be earned in residence.
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida offers a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Social Science program. This program hits a range of fields, but some concentrations may be in Government and Global Affairs, Law and Justice or Social Relations and Policy.
At Seattle University, students can work on a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies or one with an emphasis on Elementary Education K-8. There are four programs of focus, which include Natural Science, Computational Reasoning, Social Science and the Humanities.
Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and also offers a BA or BS in Liberal Studies. The school has an Integrative Students major that allows students to create a customized area of focus/specialization. All students complete a common set of core classes that includes both a senior seminar and a practicum or internship. They also have an accelerated, fully online degree pathway (the LEADS Program) for adult learners.
George Mason University
George Mason University offers a BS or BS in Integrative Studies. There are 10 concentration options. Study abroad options are available as well as internships.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers an interdisciplinary option that has a fast-track option. The program has a total of 40 classes that start every 7.5 weeks, making it easy to start at almost any time of year.
Wheaton College offers an interdisciplinary degree that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. With a small 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, it’s easy to get personalized attention in this program. Recently, three of their IDS majors participated in a peer-reviewed national conference, sponsored by the Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA); their panel focused on the topic of disability studies. Additionally, one of their graduates is a finalist for a Fulbright.
Why Get an Interdisciplinary Degree?
A number of unique advantages draw students to interdisciplinary degree programs.
Personalized degree track
Interdisciplinary studies degree programs allow students to build their degrees from various academic fields. This personalized degree lets students take classes in multiple areas of interest, giving them the flexibility and freedom to study their interests.
Students can choose their courses based on multiple interests, giving them a well-rounded education. For example, instead of focusing on one academic major (for example, business), students can take classes in both art and business. This art and business track might be a good choice for a student who wants to be an art museum curator, work in an art gallery, or open an art studio.
A double major or dual degree program requires more credit hours than an interdisciplinary degree, costing more time and money in tuition and living expenses. Not only is an interdisciplinary degree cheaper than a double major or a dual degree, but you can still reap the educational benefits of multi-discipline instruction.
Enhances critical thinking
An Interdisciplinary Studies program forces students to think outside of the box to connect their coursework across disciplines. To do this, you may need to develop a research question to link the courses together. You will inevitably increase your critical thinking skills by proposing a research question and developing your coursework plan.
More marketable to future employers
Because an interdisciplinary degree allows you to study more than one academic area, you will have more skills to add to your resume. In addition, potential employers like to hire graduates with a well-rounded education, so an undergraduate or graduate degree in interdisciplinary studies makes you more marketable.
What Can You Do with an Online Interdisciplinary Degree?
Many online interdisciplinary degree programs require a research fellowship, directed study, or an internship to graduate. This type of culminating experience allows students to gain professional experience while still under the guidance of a professor.
Because of this built-in experience, students are more marketable when they graduate. In addition, they’re also gaining solid relationships with multiple faculty members, giving them better chances of finding a job.
In 2019, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that 62% of interdisciplinary studies graduates worked in the following occupations:
- Educational instruction and library
- Healthcare practitioners and technical
- Business and financial operations
- Office and administrative support
Examples of jobs within these occupations include facilities managers, construction managers, emergency management directors, hotel managers, compensation specialists, financial analysts, and human resource specialists.
The projected growth of certain occupations for interdisciplinary studies graduates between 2020 and 2030 is incredible. For example, the projected increase in software developer jobs is 22%, while management analyst and nutritionist occupations expect a growth of 14% and 11%, respectively.
However, those aren’t the only high-growth occupations for graduates of a bachelor’s program in Interdisciplinary Studies. Others include elementary school teachers, entertainment managers, and customer service representatives.
With a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, you can generally earn a higher salary than an undergraduate degree, but you also have more opportunities.
For example, with a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, you can become a library media specialist, a post-secondary teacher, an administrator at a college or university, a genetic counselor, a research director, a program manager, or an academic advisor.
Because the Interdisciplinary Studies degree is so personalized to each student, the job opportunities are wide-ranging and almost limitless.
What is the Cost of an Interdisciplinary Degree Program?
The cost of any college program depends on many factors:
- in-state vs. out-of-state tuition (out-of-state tuition is generally more expensive)
- private vs. public (private institutions are usually more costly)
- online vs. in-person (each institution is different, but sometimes online programs are less expensive)
The annual tuition for undergraduate interdisciplinary college programs ranges from roughly $5,000 to over $37,000.
If you are looking for a master’s program in Interdisciplinary Studies, the costs will range greatly, similar to the undergraduate programs. For example, the best interdisciplinary graduate programs begin at just over $4,000 per year but can surpass $50,000.
Most programs will offer options for financial aid, such as federal grants and loans. In addition, there are scholarships available for students in almost any academic field.