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Interdisciplinary Studies

Why Consider Interdisciplinary Studies?

1. Academic variety: Interdisciplinary Studies offers a wide variety of coursework under many different disciplines. In this program, you build your major to fit your individual needs or desires, instead of meeting the more structured requirements of other majors. Interdisciplinary Studies is perfect for self-starters who are looking to create a college experience that is entirely their own.                       

One nice feature of Interdisciplinary Studies is that it can easily combine courses in the liberal arts with courses from professional programs. So for example a student could combine political science with criminal justice, or social work with theater.                       

2. Making use of the credits earned from your original major: For many students who choose this major, graduating on time is a big consideration. Because this major has room for a large number of electives, the courses a student took in their former major can often be used toward the completion of the Interdisciplinary Studies degree.                       

3. Flexibility of scheduling: Life is demanding. If you're a student who needs to get a degree within the traditional four years, but can't achieve this because of limited course offerings, Interdisciplinary Studies gives you the freedom and flexibility to select from a wider assortment of options that may uniquely appeal to you or which provide the flexibility of scheduling courses that, especially for students with family or work obligations, need to accommodate a limited window of availability.                       

4. Study abroad: Traveling to exotic locations such as Madrid or Melbourne can be exciting and life changing, but there is always the concern that study abroad will negatively affect one's progress toward graduation. With an Interdisciplinary Studies major, a student can typically study abroad for a semester or even a full year without the loss of credits toward the completion of their degree. A 2.5 GPA is required to utilize this option.

5. Availability of Internships: This major allows you to use up to 15 credits for either a paid or unpaid internship.  They can be a great way of bridging your academic world with your professional world.  They can be paid or unpaid.  Each 40 hours worked equal 1 credit.  Grades are determined by the evaluation done by the site supervisor, a reflection paper, and a log sheet documenting your hours worked.  Rick Lilla is available to be the faculty coordinator, but finding them would be up to you.  A 2.5 GPA is required to utilize this option.              

6. Your current major is not working out: Let's suppose that you're in a major and decide that you would much rather choose a different academic area, but you're already deep into the credits you've earned.  Starting over with an entirely new major might not be the best alternative if the cost is losing the credits you have already earned. Interdisciplinary Studies allows you to go a new direction without wasting all of the time and effort you've already put in.  Although having to take extra semesters is always a possibility, this path may make it easier for you to graduate on time.                       

How Does it Work?

To receive an Interdisciplinary Studies degree, a student must complete:

  • 42 credits of general education courses
  • 18 credits from one academic discipline. (6 of these need to be 300-400 level)
  • 12 credits from a second academic discipline
  • 47 credits of free electives
  • 120 Total credits

In line with PASSHE requirements, 42 of your 120 credits need to be upper division, (typically 300-400 level) coursework.