Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) is a unique, interdisciplinary, flexible, and customizable degree program designed for students who want deeper engagement with the development of their degree plan. Students typically pursue IDS because they want their undergraduate education to correspond to their post-graduate goals, including professional programs, graduate school, and careers or because they are looking for an academic home for credits they have earned in other programs. IDS faculty work closely with students and with other WCU departments to help each student craft the best path to degree.
The capacity to reason, synthesize, and problem-solve across disciplines is highly valued by all kinds of employers, businesses, and graduate schools. Most of the important problems and crises of our age require interdisciplinary approaches to resolve; for example, we cannot solve the issue of plastic pollution with science alone, nor with behavior changes such as not littering. Instead, seemingly intractable problems will require combined approaches and the types of thinkers who can grasp the magnitude of the problems.
IDS is a great fit for these students:
- Students who are looking for a major, but cannot find a “good match,”
- Students who think “outside the box,”
- Students who want to stay at WCU but major in a discipline not offered, such as Advertising, Real Estate, Animal Sciences, or Sustainability Policy,
- Students who are more interested in what is IN the major (and the skill set they can develop and hone while pursuing their curriculum), not what the major is called,
- Students with high number of credits earned who are not enrolled in a major, and
- Students who are presently enrolled in a major but will not be able to (or choose not to) complete the requirements for that degree.
My name is David Warren and I am a WCU alumni who graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. While going through school I changed my mind on what I wanted to be a lot. This caused me to change majors multiple times before landing on Interdisciplinary Studies. This major was extremely useful in not only helping me graduate quicker, it also allowed me more flexibility to take classes from a wide variety of different fields. I knew I wanted to work in the business industry and this degree allowed me to do just that. After graduating in December of 2021, I landed a job at Vanguard in February of 2022 as a stockbroker. I cannot recommend this major enough! The experience is definitely worth it, and it helped me obtain a great career job directly after graduation.
- the general education requirement (40/41 credits),
- a major breadth/distributive component (credits vary between tracks),
- a self-designed concentration of 15 credits,
- two required IDS courses, and
- between 21 – 30 credits at the 300/400 level(depending on the specific track) of additional courses in the self-designed concentration.
Students are required to select at least one minor. The required minor courses are incorporated into the self-designed concentration component.
New first-year and transfer students are welcome.
If you are a current WCU student and plan to transfer to IDS, meet with an IDS advisor by scheduling an appointment:
Appointment with Ann Colgan or Appointment with Dr. CK. (Cristobal Cardemil-Krause), then use the Change/Add/Remove Major/Minor/Certificate link in your MYWCU to choose the Interdisciplinary Studies track that is right for you
If you are a new first-year or transfer student, you must first apply to WCU and indicate Interdisciplinary Studies as your major of chouce.
The mission of Interdisciplinary Studies is to provide a flexible, customizable academic path to degree for WCU students.
The Interdisciplinary Studies major creation process encourages students to critically assess their personal skills and abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and personal values and priorities as they plan their education. The skills and abilities that are developed during students’ program of study will benefit them in their professional and personal lives.
- Students will demonstrate integration of their general education, and individualized program: including minor(s), pathway, and elective courses.
- Students will create a viable post-graduate plan, including possible professional opportunities, and/or post-baccalaureate education.
- Students will express interdisciplinarity in their own work and in the work of others.
- Students will demonstrate applied interdisciplinary thinking via spoken and written communication.
Effective professionals need to communicate clearly, think critically, look outside ordinary disciplinary lines, appreciate diversity, and make informed decisions and ethical choices. Because of the unique nature of IDS, students have the power to construct their individualized programs of study. Students work with IDS academic advisors, as well as the advisors for their academic minors. Graduates earn the degree by taking ownership of the program and assuming responsibility to make informed, intelligent decisions. In addition to major, minor and general education requirements, this major emphasizes the development and/or enhancement of “transferrable skills.”