What Is Interdisciplinary Studies?
That’s a good question. “What Interdisciplinary Studies is” is usually completely left up to the student, which may sound fun, but can be a less than ideal approach to curriculum design.
Students who major in Interdisciplinary Studies can choose to study whatever they want. This is great for a person who is seeking a degree just for the sake of a degree, for the person who simply loves going to school. However, if you graduate with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, you may earn a degree without actually developing any employable skills.
Is Interdisciplinary Studies a Good Major / Degree for Me?
Interdisciplinary Studies may be a good choice for you if:
- You want to go to school and earn a degree just for the fun of it.
- You aren’t terribly worried about using a degree to find employment or promotion.
- You want to earn an associate’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with the intent of then focusing on a specific subject area for your bachelor’s.
- You want to study something so bizarre (or “interdisciplinary”) that this is the only major that will allow you to do so. (For example, you really want to spend your degree focusing on the relationship between hockey psychology and French poetry.)
High School Classes Needed for an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree in College:
- 4 English Credits
- 3 Math Credits
- 3 Science Credits
- 3 Social Studies Credits
- 2 Foreign Language Credits
Common Interdisciplinary Studies Courses in College:
An Interdisciplinary Studies degree program may or may not ask you to take a set of core classes that people in any other major would need to take. The rest of your classes will likely be of your choosing and may even involve independent study or research.
Some schools provide a bit more structure for this degree than others. Some schools require that your curriculum has some coherency, so you are studying in a specific area or related areas. Often, schools will ask you to design your curriculum before you even get started.
Similar Degree Programs You Might Want to Explore:
- Classics: the study of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece
- History: the study of past events
- Liberal Arts and Sciences: an introductory study of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and sciences
- Philosophy: the study of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, and conduct
- Women’s Studies: the study of the history, culture, and politics of women and feminism
Interdisciplinary Studies Careers:
Schools will likely tell you that this major will prepare you for a “variety of careers.” This may be true, but it is what you make of it. If you use your credits to learn something useful and to develop an employable skill, then you may be marketable.
However, because this is a relatively new major, because this is a major that is nearly exclusively available online, because this major doesn’t necessarily confer a particular skillset, employers (in general) are not too excited about it. There seems to be a prevailing attitude that goes something like this: Oh, this person majored in Interdisciplinary Studies. Why didn’t they just pick a real major? This is suspicious. Let’s move on to the next applicant.
The truth is that this major hasn’t been given the time yet to develop its own positive reputation. That day may come. For now though, tread carefully.