Oct 19, 2018  
2018-19 Catalog 
2018-19 Catalog

Interdisciplinary Studies, BA or BS

The Interdisciplinary Studies major allows students to draw coursework from two or three academic departments or programs to support individual learning goals.

  • The selected Program of Emphasis plays a central role by providing primary advising and courses to meet upper division writing and capstone requirements.
  • One or two Supporting Program(s) provide additional courses and faculty support.

Potential areas of study may be selected from the following programs:

Art ♦ Biology ♦ Business ♦ Chemistry ♦ Communication ♦ Computer Science ♦ Creative Writing ♦ Criminology
& Criminal Justice ♦ Economics ♦ Education ♦ Emerging Media & Digital Arts ♦ English ♦ Environmental Sciences & Policy ♦ Foreign Languages and Literatures ♦ Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies ♦ Health & Physical Education ♦ History ♦ International Studies ♦ Mathematics ♦ Music ♦ Native American Studies ♦ Outdoor Adventure Leadership ♦ Philosophy ♦ Political Science ♦ Psychology ♦ Shakespeare Studies ♦ Sociology & Anthropology

The Student Success Coordinator for the Division of Undergraduate Studies, Donny Nickelson, (located in the Computing Services Center, CS 210; 541-552-6809) provides general guidance and administrative assistance. Participating faculty in the student’s selected areas of interest provide direct mentoring and academic advising.

Structure of the major

The major consists of 75 approved credits; 48 of these must be upper division credits. Courses are selected from two or three participating programs, specified in the list above, in consultation with faculty advisors. All course selections must also be approved by the Chair of each program.

Distribution requirements for the 75 credits required in the major are as follows:

  • At least 30 credits (including 24 upper division credits) must come from the program of emphasis.
  • An additional 24 upper division credits are to be drawn from one or two supporting program(s), with at least 12 upper division credits coming from each program.
  • The remaining courses to meet the major’s required total of 75 credits come from the program of emphasis and from the supporting program(s) in any approved combination.
  • Must meet the program of emphasis minimum GPA requirement.
  • Meet all general University degree requirements, including those regarding overall and upper-division credit minimums, University Studies distributions, and  B.A./B.S. specifications.

Note: Students must have at least one academic year remaining (3 terms) to earn a degree. Students cannot double major. Also, students who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree do not qualify for this major.

Advance Planning and Student Responsibility

The Interdisciplinary Studies major offers an innovative, flexible learning opportunity for students with initiative and organizational skills. A successful outcome requires both careful advance planning and active engagement with faculty. Students undertaking this major must take responsibility for maintaining communication flow among participating faculty and programs, carefully adhere to all procedures and deadlines, and ensure that required documents are filed within 60 days of starting the application process.

How to Develop an Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Review the checklist in the Interdisciplinary Studies Checklist and Forms document for a step-by-step guide. The academic plan must be approved by all participating faculty advisors, program Chairs and the Director of Undergraduate Studies together with an application letter, and on file in the Registrar’s Office before final approval to achieve major status.

Requirements for the Major

In addition to all general University degree requirements, students must meet the following requirements for the Interdisciplinary Studies major:


Establish the major before completing 121 credits, work with a faculty advisor to plan the major, in accordance with the guidelines specified.


Select a program of emphasis. The program of emphasis is responsible for providing academic advising and ensuring that all requirements are completed. Meet with a faculty advisor from this program to obtain preliminary approval for the structure of the proposed degree and the courses that it will include.


Write a letter that explains the rationale for requesting an independent interdisciplinary major and specifies the courses that it will include. The letter should describe how the topical areas and courses selected for the interdisciplinary major suport the learning objectives and post-graduation goals. Address the letter to the head of the selected department or program of emphasis, providing copies to the head(s) of all supporting departments/programs.  Upon written approval of the department or program, the student may proceed with the degree and the major will be declared.


Complete 75 approved credits (at least 48 of which must be upper division) from two or three programs chosen from the following areas: Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Emerging Media & Digital Arts, English, Environmental Science and Policy; Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; Geography, Geology, Health and Physical Education, History, International Studies, Mathematics, Music, Native American Studies, Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Shakespeare Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, and Foreign Languages and Literatures.

At least 30 of these credits must come from the program of emphasis, including 24 credits of upper division coursework. At least 24 additional upper division credits must come from the selected supporting program(s), with at least 12 upper division credits drawn from each area. Remaining courses to meet the required total of 75 credits may be drawn from any of the specified programs. Course selections must be approved by the program chair in each area.


Complete the upper-division writing requirement for the program of emphasis (this may include a capstone).


Complete the capstone experience for the program of emphasis, or develop an alternative approved by the head of the program of emphasis.


Maintain the minimum GPA in the program of emphasis, as well as in selected supporting areas.


Meet all general University degree requirements, including those regarding overall and upper-division credit minimums, University Studies distributions, and  B.A./B.S. specifications.