What Is An Interdisciplinary Studies Program?

Interdisciplinary Studies involves the combining of two or more academic disciplines into one activity.To know more on this course check out this article.

Updated by Viswathika on 9th September 2020

Students nowadays have a wider vision and plans for a future career. This demands deeper knowledge in more than one discipline. Interdisciplinary studies make way for students with higher and unique goals to achieve it. Interdisciplinary studies is a program that allows students to study two or more academic disciplines under one degree.

In this article, we shall discuss what exactly are interdisciplinary courses, what are the colleges that offer interdisciplinary courses, the career options among others. 


What is Interdisciplinary Studies?

Interdisciplinary studies refer to studying two or more academic disciplines under one degree. It is about innovating and creating something new by thinking out of the box using the concepts learned from different disciplines.

This degree is not like the traditional way of learning, it brings out more technical and practical skills that student needs to have. It provides a directed program of study using courses from multiple disciplines. 


How to decide your concentrations for interdisciplinary studies?

An Interdisciplinary Study might be distinct as compared to a traditional degree, nevertheless, you still have to choose your concentrations or main fields that you want to opt for and focus on. Many educational institutions provide you the option of choosing a single primary study field or an additional three concentrations. The interdisciplinary concentrations may vary based on the specific institution

Based on your institution, the concentrations for interdisciplinary studies may be spotted among the institution’s offered programming itself. Since to the customizable nature of interdisciplinary programs, students will find variances from school to school. Since these programs have a customizable nature, students often find dissimilarities among schools. This is so because the students develop their major on their own and usually select two or more complementary fields of study, which, depending on the huge number of institutions and their programs, may differ a lot.


List of the subject areas interdiscilinary studies program offers

Interdisciplinary courses can be pursued in the majority of the fields and subject areas. Mostly all area of the subject has an option for pursuing a specialization in two different fields. The following list consists of some of the subject areas in which students can take more than two different academic disciplines.

  • Arts & Sciences

  • Biology and Biomedical Sciences

  • Brown School

  • School of Engineering

  • School of Business

  • School of Design & Visual Arts

  • School of Law

  • School of Medicine


Colleges that offer Interdisciplinary Studies Program

This degree helps to interconnect different course and makes way to learn from different Majors which helps students gain more in-depth knowledge, methods, and theories that intensifies their individual educational and career goals. 

So many universities encourage students to pursue it and help them create new combinations along with the help of Mentors. 

List of colleges - degree programs and location

In the table below, we have mentioned the list of colleges, their locations and the programs that offer interdisciplinary studies.

Institution

Location

Programs offered

University of Southern California 

Los Angeles

Bachelor of Arts in 

Narrative Studies or Health and Humanity.

University of Illinois

Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor's degrees in American Civilization, Medieval Civilization, or Renaissance Studies.

 College of William and Mary 

 Williamsburg

Bachelor's degrees in 

Film Studies, Environmental Science and Policy, Neuroscience and 

Public Policy.

Duke University

Durham, NC

Analytical Political Economy, 

Global Health, and Liberal studies.

Here is the list of some more schools which offer the program


What job can you get with this degree?

Using this degree you can fetch jobs that require concepts from not just one field but a varied discipline. As you will have knowledge in more than one field makes you stand in edge during the job interview.

For example, Traditional journalism students learn only about journalism but if you do an interdisciplinary course you can take up journalism along with political science or History. So mastery in two fields makes you more employable.

Here is the list of jobs you can try after completing the degree.

Interdisciplinary Studies Salary

These above-mentioned jobs can fetch you $40,000-$80,000 as an average salary depending upon the work you do.


Why should I take Interdisciplinary studies?

Interdisciplinary studies helps broaden your area of knowledge and expertise in more than one field. It not only imparts theoritical knowledge but also provides practical knowledge through field exercises. The reasons why you should take up interdisciplinary studies are mentioned below.

Deepens your knowledge

In this course, you will study two different disciplinary boundaries and will learn the relativity and connection between the two topics. You use the knowledge gained and learning from one discipline and use it in the other. 

This approach widens your capacity for analytical and problem-solving skills. These are the sills which an employer expects out of you. So doing an Interdisciplinary course helps you deepen your theoretical and practicals skills.

You can choose the Discipline

Yes, you can choose the course you want to pursue. Colleges provide students the freedom to opt for the Discipline they want to attempt. This means you can choose two interconnected topics.

This gives scope to further research on the two topics together and bring out better results and also deepens your knowledge in the respective fields. 

All course have their pros and cons. There is no degree which gives out 100% positive result or course which gives only negative results. Everything you take up to have both these sides.

 It is in your hands to analyze the cons of the degree and prepare to handle it before the problem arises. A good student is the one who changes his obstacles into opportunities.


What are the pros and cons of interdisciplinary studies?

There are two sides of every coin. Likewise, there are pros and cons. Let's discuss the pros and cons of interdisciplinary studies below.

Pros of doing Interdisciplinary Studies

Following are the pros of pursuing interdisciplinary studies:

  • You can learn two different fields you are interested in

  • You can learn how they relate to each other

  • Scope for development and research

  • You can go with your passion

  • Higher rate of employability

  • Gain more technical and practical skills.

Cons of doing Interdisciplinary Studies

Following are the cons of pursuing interdisciplinary studies:

  • It creates a hindrance for future integration

  • Sometimes it is more meta-theoretical

  • Professors may not understand your needs and help you need from them

  • Employers may not know more about Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Not many colleges offer this degree.


Conclusion

Interdisciplinary studies make you explore new ideas and information from both practical and academic sources. This makes students look at issues from new and different perspectives, and solve problems creatively with ease. This course gives students an opportunity to take experience outside the classroom with hands-on projects, research, internships, and community service. This will develop confidence and gives a real-time experience.