2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies (B.A.) - J, O

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Program Description

The Interdisciplinary Studies major offers students the opportunity and challenge to create their own individually designed interdisciplinary programs. It gives students the tools to explore and understand connections and patterns: within and among disciplines; between self and the world; among different cultures. It seeks to give students knowledge of how great thinkers in various fields have tried to understand experience and use their learning to address problems and engage fully with life.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to: Evidence:
Connect their academic plan to their personal history and long-term goals. Plan of Study narrative; reflection papers in capstone course.
Articulate a rationale for their three areas of study and justify the selection of courses in each of those areas. Plan of Study narrative; plan of study.
Understand the nature and value of interdisciplinary study. Capstone project; discussion and writing assignments in capstone course.
Demonstrate meaningful connections between their chosen areas of study. Plan of Study narrative; capstone project; final reflection paper in capstone course.
Demonstrate depth of knowledge in the primary and secondary areas of study. Completion of capstone course; capstone project; 21 upper-level credits in the major.
Experience and articulate meaningful connections between learning in the major and life outside the classroom. Extended Classroom Experience (ECE); ECE reflection paper; career exploration assignment.


Students must successfully complete a total of 42 credits, at least 21 of which must be upper-division, as follows:

  • 18 credits in a primary area of study;
  • 12 credits in a secondary, supporting area of study;
  • 9 credits in a tertiary area of study; and
  • 3-credit capstone course: INT 4610 - Senior Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies  
  • An extended classroom experience, which may be credit or non-credit bearing, must be at least 20 hours in length. It can be completed through an existing course, internship, student teaching or service-learning experience.

Additional Stipulations

  • At least 12 of the 42 credits required within the Interdisciplinary Studies major must be taken in the semester(s) after the Plan of Study has been approved.
  • Education majors seeking licensure who are using Interdisciplinary Studies as their second major will need to choose their primary and secondary areas of study in a fashion that meets state licensure requirements.
  • A grade of C- or higher must be earned in all courses counted toward the 42 credits for the major.
  • In general, courses such as Student Teaching in Education, which are specifically aimed at career preparation, are not appropriate for inclusion in the 42 credits for the Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

Becoming an Interdisciplinary Studies Major

A student interested in becoming an Interdisciplinary Studies major on campus will first contact the Advising & Registration Center and be assigned an advisor on the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee (ISC). In the case of the NVU Online  (EDP/DL), the student will be assigned an advisor in his or her community upon entering EDP/DL. The student and advisor will initially explore together the student’s interests and identify relationships between different disciplines or clusters of disciplines which the student would like to explore more deeply. With the advisor’s assistance and support, the student will write a program proposal that describes in detail the relationships between two or more areas of study. Members of the ISC, who may recommend clarifications or changes, will review the written program proposal, together with the student’s transcript and a completed Plan of Study. Once the program proposal has been approved, the student is officially an Interdisciplinary Studies major. The advisor and/or other members of the ISC or EDP/DL staff will continue to work with the student during her/his progress toward a degree.


In order to earn a degree, you must successfully complete all requirements for your major as listed here AND meet all other Degree Requirements , including the General Education Core Curriculum  and NVU Graduation Standards .

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