The Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program provides an option for general degree completion for adults through its flexible curriculum. It can also be adapted as a challenging major for qualified and highly motivated traditional students whose academic and professional interests may be different from traditional majors and who desire a more flexible curriculum design and interdisciplinary approaches to learning.
The BIS program is also an incubator for new ideas in curriculum and teaching through special tracks that may be developed with the cooperation of one or more departments in the university.
The BIS program currently provides a framework of advisement and courses from many departments in the university to assist older-than-typical students with two years of transferable credit (including associate degrees from accredited institutions) in completing a general baccalaureate degree. To accommodate the interests and needs of such students, specialties called Depth Studies are provided with the cooperation of participating departments. While commonalities exist between academic plans with the same Depth Study, all BIS students receive individualized advising and course selection, based upon the intended use(s) of the completed degree.
- To provide curriculum options and delivery systems to meet the needs of working adults for degree completion in a general and interdisciplinary degree program.
- To develop and improve integrative studies courses focusing on topics, themes, and issues that are engaging to learners and faculty.
- To advise students toward successful completion of the degree, in part through their gaining responsibility for understanding their degree program and managing their time effectively relative to university calendars and deadlines.
- To help students develop communication and critical reading, thinking, and writing skills, including skills in using technology for communication and research.
- To provide an interdisciplinary alternative baccalaureate program for traditional students.
- To prepare majors for graduate or professional school and careers in areas appropriate to their education and interests.
- To provide thematic alternatives as minors or special tracks that are pertinent to society, such as Environmental Studies.
- To recruit and retain highly qualified faculty and encourage their continuous development in their interdisciplinary areas of interest.
Student Learning Outcomes
From study in the disciplines (“Depth Studies”) and the Integrative Studies courses, BIS students will:
- Demonstrate improvement in communications skills through assignments in research, writing, and presentation;
- Provide evidence of the development or refining of abilities in critical and creative thinking/problem-solving;
- Show an expanded knowledge of, and appreciation for cultures other than the student’s own through relevant coursework and in-class discussion;
- Demonstrate an understanding of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to learning and scholarship through historical, regional, thematic, or problem-focused study.
In order to become a BIS major, a student must have completed 60 semester hours (SH) at any level or in any discipline, or have an associate’s degree from an accredited institution.
Students are required to take a minimum of two IDS-prefixed courses. Students are required to complete 30 SH in one of the Depth Study areas, with at least 3 SH (of the 30) at the 4000 level and at least 17 SH (of the 30) at either the 3000 or 4000 level.
In addition, students must complete CSC 1306 (Computer and Its Use I) or demonstrate competency in basic computer applications through other approved courses, “challenging” the final exam in CSC 1306, having earned 50 SH or more in Biology, or through curriculum adjustment.
Depth Study areas include the following:
Integrative Studies (entirely online), Sociology, Psychology, History, Art, Music, Math, Biology, Mass Communications, Chemistry, Physical Education.
Major Courses (requires 2 from this list)
IDS 3310 Native American Studies I
IDS 3323 Cultures of the Spanish-Speaking World
IDS 3383 Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies
IDS 4370 Research in Interdisciplinary Studies
IDS 4371 The American South in Popular Culture
Depth Study Courses
The student needs 30 SH in the Depth Study. Out of that 30 SH, at least 3 SH must be at the 4000 level and at least 17 SH must be at either the 3000 or 4000 level. The remaining 10 SH can be at any level.