May 25, 2018
An Interdisciplinary Studies degree is best suited for: 1) students who have a specific personal or professional interest that cannot be met within the traditional degree structure, or 2) students with disparate credit hours trying to find a way to complete their degree.
Students and faculty can design majors around interdisciplinary topics of professional and personal interest.
Students, guided by advisors, take initiative in directing their own education.
Students learn how to analyze and apply knowledge gained from multiple disciplines.
There are two approaches to an Interdisciplinary Studies degree: 1) a traditional UCCS campus-based Individually Structured, Interdisciplinary Studies program, or 2) an online-only Intercampus Interdisciplinary Studies program.
Individually Structured Interdisciplinary Studies
Students can develop and submit an Interdisciplinary Studies plan for approval. The plan must include all of the elements listed below.
- Present a clear and persuasive case for the interdisciplinary nature of the problem or question.
- Draw from at least two departments in LAS or from at least one department in LAS and one department in another college.
- Incorporate at least 36 credits, 27 of which must be from courses at the 3000 level or higher.
- Require a creative project, community outreach, social action project, internship, or education abroad or nationally.
- Require a summit experience that demonstrates the fusion and integration of these fields studied.
Before embarking on such a program of study, a student must negotiate an Individually Structured Interdisciplinary Plan with a faculty member. Please contact the Program Director, Janice Thorpe (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information on requirements and timeline to submit a proposal.
Intercampus Interdisciplinary Studies
The University of Colorado’s Intercampus Interdisciplinary Studies Degree is designed to offer maximum flexibility for students whose interests and professional aspirations span many disciplines. While requiring a high level of self-direction on the part of students, this program also offers students active guidance by faculty and academic advisors. Key features of this program include:
- Students design majors around interdisciplinary topics of professional and personal interest.
- Students, guided by advisors, take initiative in directing their own education not just through the choice of interdisciplinary topics but also through required experiential learning opportunities.
- Students learn how to analyze and apply knowledge gained from multiple disciplines.
- Students choose from among a large set of courses offered across the Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver campuses.
- The degree focuses on fostering graduates who are able to write, problem solve, and communicate verbally.
- Students have the option to complete the full degree in three years.
ID Course Requirements
Year 1 (3 credits)
Year 2 (3 credits)
Year 3 (3 credits)
Clusters are interdisciplinary groups of courses selected from each campus to support a recognizable topic shared among the three campuses; they differ from traditional campus- and disciplinary-based minors and certificate programs. Team ISD has created ten interdisciplinary clusters from which students will select two, with each cluster containing a common group of courses drawn from the three comprehensive campuses:
- Cultural Diversity
- Research Methods and Data Analysis
- Global Studies
- Digital and Media Studies
- Environment and Sustainability
- Policy and Security
- Social Justice Studies
- Organizations and Leadership
- Professional and Technical Communication
- Health, Science, and Society
Cluster 1: at least five courses (at least 15 credits)
Cluster 2: at least five courses (at least 15 credits)
Three Foundation Courses will provide the anchor experiences that ensure coherence across student coursework. At the end of the three-course sequence, students will graduate having developed, practiced, and mastered the following learning objectives:
- Understand interdisciplinary studies
- Develop inquiry questions
- Apply course content to specializations
- Synthesize concepts
- Analyze data and draw conclusions
- Reflect on experiences
- Self-direct learning (take responsibility for learning)
- Communicate via writing and speech
- Connect and network with advisors
- Navigate digital resources
Total (3 Foundation courses plus 2 clusters): at least 39 credit hours
In addition to the two upper-division Foundation Courses (6 credits), students must take at least 15 upper-division credit hours.
- To qualify for and remain in the major, students must be in good academic standing, with a GPA of 2.0 or greater overall.
- Students must achieve a minimum grade of C- in all major courses counted in the ID
- A minimum of 24 credit hours in the major must be completed at the student’s Home Campus. This includes any Foundation Courses taken at the Home Campus.
Students register at a Home Campus, from which they will graduate, and from which they will take the majority of their credits. The Home Campus determines general education and other graduation requirements. The intercampus nature of the major allows students to draw from a portfolio of a wide range of courses available at all three participating campuses. When students register for a course located at an institution other than their Home Campus, we refer to this campus as the Instructor Campus. For more information please contact Janice Thorpe at email@example.com.