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Interdisciplinary Studies Bachelors Degree

For students admitted to BSU Summer 2012 or earlier

The purpose of this program is to allow a student to assume responsibility for developing a plan of study with a theme that suits his or her individual interests and particular needs. Students formulate their own plans of study by using both intercollege and interdepartmental combination of courses.
The program is housed the College of Arts and Sciences and administered by the program director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Overseeing the program is a university-wide Interdisciplinary Studies Committee consisting of one member from each academic College. The program director serves as the chair of that committee. Each student in the program has an Advisory Committee composed of three faculty members from disciplines making up the specific degree program. The student’s Advisory Committee has the responsibility of helping the student select his or her particular course of study and recommends to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee that the plan of study be accepted. The Interdisciplinary Studies Committee is responsible for approving the members of the student’s Advisory Committee, approving the student’s plan of study and approving the student’s prospectus for the final project.

Admission Requirements

General admission to the University is required but does not guarantee admission to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. In order to apply for admission to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, an undergraduate student must satisfy the following prerequisites:

  1. Completion of at least 30 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  2. Completion of the University’s general English Composition Requirement, which normally involves successful completion of E101 and E102. (See BSU catalog.)
  3. Completion with a “C” or better of at least one University core course in each of areas I, II, and III.

An applicant who satisfies these prerequisites will be admitted to the program and allowed to pursue a baccalaureate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies upon having successfully completed the following application process:

  1. Consultation with the program director about the intended plan of study and confirmation by the director that the above prerequisites have been satisfied.
  2. Selection by the student and preliminary approval by the program director of an Advisory Committee consisting of at least two but not more than three faculty members.
  3. Meeting with the selected committee as a whole to discuss and prepare the degree plan.
  4. Submission of a degree proposal and approval of that proposal by the University Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. The proposal must include the following:
    1. a completed Application for Admission/Personal Data form.
    2. a completed Degree Plan, which lists courses to be included in the proposed interdisciplinary major, which satisfies degree requirements listed below for either the B.A. or B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and which has been signed by all members of the proposed faculty advisory committee. The proposed interdisciplinary major must include at least 48 credit hours, 30 of which remain to be completed prior to the date of graduation.
    3. a completed “Confirmation of Meeting with Advisory Committee” form.
    4. a three-page Statement of Justification which (1) states intellectual, professional, or vocational reasons for requesting entry into the program, and (2) explains why established majors at BSU do not meet the applicant’s needs. A justification of the selection of courses in relation to the conception of the individualized program of study as a whole. The justification should consist of a two to three sentence explanation of that relationship for each class

Each program is developed individually according to the student’s interests and background but must be intellectually defensible and clearly interdisciplinary in nature. In addition to requirements indicated elsewhere in this document, the following conditions apply:

Required coursework for undergraduate degrees In Interdisciplinary Studies

All courses included in the major must have a minimum grade of “C” with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.00. (The student should refer to the BSU Catalog “Obtaining a degree at BSU”.)

Minor revisions to the plan of study may be approved by the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies upon the recommendation of the student’s Advisory Committee chair. Major changes must be approved by the university-wide Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.

Advisory Committee

The student’s Advisory Committee shall be selected by the student and shall consist of at least two, but not more than three faculty members chosen from disciplines relevant to the student’s program of study. The Advisory Committee shall have responsibility for approving the student’s proposed program of study and prospectus for the final project, and for recommending acceptance of both of these to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.
Interdisciplinary Studies Project

A prospectus of the senior Interdisciplinary Studies Project must be submitted to the Program Director by October 1st or March 1st of the semester prior to doing the senior project. The prospectus will be prepared under the direction of the student’s Advisory Committee and will state the project’s topic, its hypothesis or goal, and the activities to be carried out; it will also clearly reveal how the project is related to the approved plan of study as a whole. The student will enroll for the project during the senior year under the Interdisciplinary Studies number INTDIS-491 (Independent Study). The project prospectus must be approved by the university-wide Interdisciplinary Studies Committee prior to registration for INTDIS-491 (which requires approval by the IDS Program Director). The student is expected to consult on a regular basis with Advisory Committee members during the process of completing the project. The project is also expected to result in a written report or essay which will be submitted to Advisory Committee members and to the Program Director. Upon completion of the project, the chair of the Advisory Committee will, after consultation with other Advisory Committee members, assign a letter grade.