FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Interdisciplinary Studies

  1. What is Interdisciplinary Studies?
  2. How does the program work?
  3. What types of Concentrations are there?
  4. Can I explore a new career while working on my degree?
  5. Are there counselors available to help me with my decisions?
  6. How does a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies compare with a more traditional degree?
  7. What types of careers have graduates followed with degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies?

1. What is Interdisciplinary Studies?

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies offers degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These programs are designed to give students a great deal of freedom in planning their degrees to match their interests, experience, and skills.  Often, positions and career paths do not line up exactly with a traditional “major.” For example, a student interested in advocacy work for children might wish to combine coursework in psychology and child development with coursework in economic and social policy. Interdisciplinary Studies allows students to focus their degree program individually to prepare them for a career or graduate / professional school.  In this way, Interdisciplinary Studies accommodates students with diverse interests that do not fit into more traditional degree programs.  In addition, it allows students to maximize the use of credits earned at other institutions.

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2. How does the program work?

All degrees from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies require the Texas Common Core Curriculum (42 semester hours), as do all UT Dallas degrees.  While each degree is different, all Interdisciplinary Studies degrees require BIS 3320 – the Nature of Intellectual Inquiry.  All degrees require a minimum of 120 hours; 51 of these hours must be upper-level (3000-4000 level) courses.

You will work with an academic advisor in setting up a degree plan that best suits your goals and interests – be it a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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3. What types of concentrations are allowed when seeking a degree through the School of Interdisciplinary Studies? 

Interdisciplinary Studies degrees are flexible and individualized.  The possible concentrations are limited only by students’ interests, experience, and goals.  Some of the concentrations most frequently chosen are: Arts Administration and Management, Business Communications, Business Issues, Communications, Counseling and Mental Health, Diversity in America, Environmental Studies, Human Resources, International Relations, Law, Technology and Management, Web Page Design, Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, American Studies, and Environmental Studies.

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4. Can I explore a new career while working on my degree?

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies offers several internship possibilities. Currently, we offer internships in the following areas or programs:

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5. Who can assist me in decisions regarding my major, coursework and course related decisions?

Students will be assigned a knowledgeable academic advisor within the School of Interdisciplinary Studies to guide them through their decisions regarding degree plan, areas of concentration, graduation requirements, scheduling of classes, and all other academic questions.  Because Interdisciplinary Studies degree programs are flexible and individualized, our advisors give students special attention to help them navigate the program.  Advisors are available in person and by phone or email during the work week and during selected evening hours.  

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6. How does a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies compare with a more traditional degree?

The value of an Interdisciplinary Studies degree is that it is flexible and individualized to students’ interests, experience, and skills.  In preparation for a career or graduate / professional study, students combine courses from across the University to meet their needs.  Often, students must work a little harder to explain their distinctive degree.  For example, a BAIS with a concentration in Business Issues is different and potentially less familiar to employers than a BS in Management.  Students should be prepared to briefly explain their degree program, demonstrate that they possess the necessary skills and preparation, emphasize their diverse and multifaceted preparation, and foreground their initiative in creating an individualized degree.

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7. What career fields have graduates from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies gone on to find success in?

Our graduates are employed in a variety of professional positions and settings; many also go on to post-graduate study. Currently, we have graduates working in law, dentistry, medicine, business, education, nonprofits, social advocacy, media and communications, politics, healthcare, and the arts, to name a few. 

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