How to get interdisciplinary studies Degree in 2023 | Full Guide

Interdisciplinary studies have become increasingly popular among students in recent years, and for a good reason. With the constantly evolving job market and the need for a diverse skill set, an interdisciplinary studies degree can open up opportunities.

If you’re considering pursuing this degree in 2023, you’ve come to the right place. In this complete guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting an interdisciplinary studies degree, including what it is, why it’s valuable, and how to choose the right program. So, let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of interdisciplinary studies!

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interdisciplinary studies

What are Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary studies refer to a field of inquiry that crosses disciplinary boundaries and integrates knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines to address complex problems or questions. It aims to bring together diverse perspectives, approaches, and techniques to foster a holistic and comprehensive understanding of a particular issue or phenomenon.

Also, you can find interdisciplinary studies in various academic settings, including colleges and universities, research centers, and think tanks. You can apply it to multiple subjects, including natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional fields, such as engineering, law, and medicine.

One of the critical features of interdisciplinary studies is its focus on collaboration and cooperation among scholars from different disciplines. This allows for a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of complex issues as it draws on broader knowledge and expertise. Additionally, interdisciplinary studies can lead to innovative solutions and new ways of thinking about problems.

Interdisciplinary studies also emphasize the importance of critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills. Scholars engaged in interdisciplinary work must think outside the box. Also, they must identify patterns and connections across different fields, and communicate their ideas effectively to a diverse audience.

Several challenges are associated with interdisciplinary studies, including the need for scholars to bridge different terminologies, methods, and cultures across disciplines. Additionally, interdisciplinary research can be more time-consuming and resource-intensive, requiring more scholarly coordination and collaboration.

Despite these challenges, interdisciplinary studies have become increasingly important in addressing society’s complex issues. Some of these challenges are climate change, inequality, and global health. As such, interdisciplinary studies are likely to continue to play a crucial role in advancing knowledge and solving complex problems in the years to come.

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Institutions that support interdisciplinary studies

The following are the top five US universities in terms of the number of degrees granted in multidisciplinary fields:

  • Fullerton College Liberty University
  • The University of California Stanford University
  • Carnegie Mellon University Harvey Mudd College
  • Texas A & M University
  • Florida International University University of Central Florida
  • University of North Texas University of Houston Arizona State University University of California
  • Georgia State University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Thomas Edison State University
  • Texas State University
  • San Diego State University Boise State University
  • University of Iowa Pasadena City College College of the Atlantic
  • Presidio Graduate School College Unbound

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Examples Of Interdisciplinary Studies Majors

There are many examples of interdisciplinary studies majors designed to provide students with a broad-based education that spans multiple fields of inquiry. Here are a few examples:

#1. Environmental Studies

This major combines natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities courses to study the environment and its interactions with human society. Also, students may take biology, chemistry, geology, economics, political science, and philosophy courses to understand environmental issues and their solutions comprehensively.

#2. Cognitive Science

This major combines courses in psychology, neuroscience, computer science, linguistics, and philosophy to study the mind and its processes. Also, students may explore perception, attention, memory, language, and decision-making to understand how the brain works and how we think.

#3. Women’s and Gender Studies

This major combines sociology, anthropology, history, literature, and philosophy courses to study gender and its intersections with other social categories such as race, class, and sexuality. Also, students may examine topics such as feminism, gender identity, reproductive rights, and social justice to understand how gender operates in society and how to advocate for gender equality.

#4. International Studies

This major combines courses in political science, history, economics, geography, and foreign languages to study global issues and their impact on different regions. Also, students may explore international trade, conflict resolution, human rights, and cultural exchange to gain a global perspective on politics, economics, and culture.

#5. Biomedical Engineering

This major combines biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering courses to design and develop medical devices, prosthetics, and other technologies that improve human health. Also, students may learn about biomechanics, biomaterials, medical imaging, and systems biology to understand how to apply engineering principles to solve medical problems.

Overall, interdisciplinary studies majors offer students a unique opportunity to gain a broad-based education that spans multiple fields of inquiry and prepares them for a wide range of careers and further education.

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Reasons To Consider an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree

An interdisciplinary studies degree offers a unique and flexible approach to education. It blends multiple disciplines and areas of study to provide a well-rounded education. It can be an excellent option for students who want to explore their academic interests beyond traditional degree programs or pursue a career requiring a diverse skill set.

Here are some of the reasons why students should consider an interdisciplinary studies degree:

Customizable Curriculum

With an interdisciplinary studies degree, students can create a customized curriculum tailored to their academic and career interests. Instead of being limited to a specific major, students can choose courses from various disciplines to build a unique degree program that meets their goals.

Broadened Career Opportunities

An interdisciplinary studies degree can open up many career opportunities that may not be available with traditional degree programs. Also, graduates with an interdisciplinary studies degree have a diverse skill set and a broader knowledge base, making them attractive to employers in various industries.


Interdisciplinary studies programs are often more flexible than traditional degree programs. This allows students to take courses online or in person, full-time or part-time, and at their own pace. This flexibility makes it easier for students to balance their academic and personal responsibilities.

Holistic Approach

Interdisciplinary studies programs take a holistic approach to education, encouraging students to think critically and analytically about complex issues that intersect multiple disciplines. This approach fosters a deeper understanding of the world and prepares students to be effective problem solvers.

Improved Communication Skills

Because interdisciplinary studies programs require students to communicate across different disciplines, students develop strong communication skills that are valuable in any profession. These skills include listening, analyzing, and conveying complex information to diverse audiences.

Exposure to Diverse Perspectives 

Interdisciplinary studies programs expose students to diverse perspectives and ways of thinking, promoting cultural awareness and understanding. This exposure prepares students to work and interact with people from different backgrounds, an essential skill in today’s globalized world.

Preparation for Advanced Degrees

An interdisciplinary studies degree can be an excellent preparation for advanced law, medicine, or business degrees. The interdisciplinary approach provides a broad knowledge base to apply to various areas.

In conclusion, an interdisciplinary studies degree offers many benefits to students. Some of which are a customizable curriculum, broadened career opportunities, flexibility, a holistic approach to education, improved communication skills, exposure to diverse perspectives, and preparation for advanced degrees. An interdisciplinary studies degree may be the perfect fit if you’re interested in exploring multiple academic interests and building a diverse skill set.

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Pros of Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary studies (IDS) is a field of study that combines multiple disciplines to explore complex problems, issues, and phenomena. It encourages students to think outside traditional disciplinary boundaries and engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. Here are some of the pros of interdisciplinary studies:

#1. Broader Perspectives

Interdisciplinary studies provide students with broader perspectives by incorporating knowledge and approaches from various disciplines. It enables students to explore problems and issues from multiple angles and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the world.

#2. Flexibility

Interdisciplinary studies programs are flexible, allowing students to explore multiple areas of interest and design a degree program that suits their needs. Students can tailor their curriculum to meet their academic and professional goals.

#3. Creativity

Interdisciplinary studies promote creativity by challenging students to think beyond the confines of traditional disciplines. It encourages students to find connections between research areas and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

#4. Critical Thinking

Interdisciplinary studies foster critical thinking by requiring students to analyze and evaluate information from different perspectives. Students learn to question assumptions, think critically, and develop independent thought.

#5. Problem-solving

Interdisciplinary studies emphasize problem-solving by providing students with the tools to tackle complex problems and create innovative solutions. It enables students to develop the ability to think critically and apply knowledge from different disciplines to solve real-world problems.

#6. Collaboration

Interdisciplinary studies encourage collaboration among students and faculty from different disciplines, fostering teamwork and communication skills. It enables students to develop various interpersonal skills, including communication, leadership, and collaboration.

#7. Career Opportunities

Interdisciplinary studies offer students diverse career opportunities as they gain knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines. Graduates with an interdisciplinary background are in demand across various industries, including healthcare, technology, education, and government.

#8. Personal Growth

Interdisciplinary studies provide students with an opportunity for personal growth as they explore various academic and professional interests. It allows them to develop a sense of purpose and personal identity while gaining knowledge in multiple areas.

#9. Cultural Competence

Interdisciplinary studies promote cultural competence by exposing students to diverse perspectives and experiences. It enables students to appreciate and understand different cultures and develop the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.

In conclusion, interdisciplinary studies offer many benefits to students. Some of which are broader perspectives, flexibility, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, diverse career opportunities, personal growth, and cultural competence. It encourages students to think outside the box, develop a broad knowledge base, and gain valuable skills in today’s rapidly changing world.

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Cons Of Interdisciplinary Studies

While interdisciplinary studies (IDS) offer many benefits, it also has potential drawbacks that students should consider before pursuing this field of study. Here are some of the cons of interdisciplinary studies:

#1. Lack of Structure

One of the challenges of interdisciplinary studies is the need for more structure compared to traditional degree programs. Students need help navigating the various disciplines and finding a cohesive academic path. There is also a risk of spreading oneself too thin by exploring too many different areas of interest.

#2. Difficulty Finding Employment

While interdisciplinary studies can provide students with broad skills and knowledge, they may sometimes translate into specific job qualifications. Some employers may prefer candidates with a more traditional educational background, making it more challenging for interdisciplinary studies graduates to find employment in their desired field.

#3. Limited Course Offerings

Some institutions may have limited course offerings for interdisciplinary studies programs, making it difficult for students to find courses that meet their needs and interests.

#4. Lack of Depth

Because interdisciplinary studies programs cover a wide range of topics, there may be a need for more depth in each discipline, which can disadvantage students who want to pursue a more specialized career.

#5. Difficulty with Transfer Credits

Students who transfer from an interdisciplinary studies program to a more traditional degree program may need help transferring their credits. Some institutions may not recognize interdisciplinary studies courses as fulfilling specific degree requirements.

#6. Less Focus on Core Competencies

Interdisciplinary studies programs may focus more on broadening students’ perspectives and knowledge base but less on developing core competencies in specific disciplines. This can disadvantage students who want to pursue advanced degrees or careers requiring specialized knowledge and skills.

#7. Lack of Institutional Support

Some institutions may need more resources and support systems to adequately support interdisciplinary studies students, such as dedicated advising, resources, and funding for research projects.

In conclusion, while interdisciplinary studies offer many benefits, students should also consider the potential challenges and drawbacks before pursuing this field of study. Students should carefully evaluate their academic and career goals and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of an interdisciplinary studies program before deciding.

Ultimately, choosing a program that aligns with your interests and goals and provides the resources and support necessary to succeed is essential.

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Common Interdisciplinary Studies Jobs

Interdisciplinary studies (IDS) programs prepare graduates for a wide range of careers that require knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines. Here are some of the common interdisciplinary studies jobs:

Environmental Scientist

Environmental scientists use their knowledge of biology, chemistry, geology, and other disciplines to study the environment and identify solutions to environmental problems.

Public Health Specialist

Public health specialists use their knowledge of epidemiology, statistics, biology, and other disciplines to develop public health policies and programs that improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Social Media Manager

Social media managers use their marketing, communications, and technology knowledge to develop and implement social media campaigns that promote brands and engage audiences.

User Experience Designer

User experience designers use their knowledge of psychology, design, and technology to create products and services that are easy to use and enjoyable for users.

Data Analyst

Data analysts use their knowledge of statistics, computer science, and other disciplines to analyze data and identify trends and patterns that help organizations make informed decisions.

Sustainability Manager

Sustainability managers use their environmental science, economics, and policy knowledge to develop sustainable practices and policies that reduce waste and conserve natural resources.

Education Program Coordinator

Education program coordinators use their knowledge of education, psychology, and other disciplines to design and implement educational programs that improve student learning and engagement.

International Development Specialist

International development specialists use their knowledge of economics, politics, and other disciplines to develop and implement programs that promote economic growth and social development in developing countries.

Science Writer

Science writers use their knowledge of science, journalism, and other disciplines to communicate complex scientific concepts to the general public through articles, books, and other media.


Entrepreneurs use their knowledge of business, marketing, and other disciplines to create and manage successful companies that provide products and services to customers.

In conclusion, interdisciplinary studies prepare graduates for diverse careers that require knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines. IDS graduates are well-positioned to pursue careers that align with their interests and goals, and they have the flexibility to adapt to changing job markets and career opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Interdisciplinary Studies a BA or BS?

Depending on the coursework chosen in collaboration with an Interdisciplinary Studies adviser, students in the university-wide Interdisciplinary Studies program can earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.

What field of study are interdisciplinary studies?

Degree programs in interdisciplinary studies combine two or more academic disciplines at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Students who wish to strike out on their own with a clear objective or those curious about how different fields of study overlap will thrive in these programs.

Is a degree in interdisciplinary studies good?

Earning a degree in interdisciplinary studies gives you the flexibility to focus on subjects relevant to your chosen field. This leeway allows students with divergent interests to merge into a single study area.

What counts as an interdisciplinary course?

Questions, issues, and subjects too complicated or vast for a single discipline or field are the focus of interdisciplinary research, which thrives on making links across seemingly unrelated areas of study.

Are interdisciplinary degrees hard?

Although pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies might be challenging, so are most things of value. Additionally, the structure of interdisciplinary studies programs might be advantageous to the achievement of some students.


In conclusion, pursuing an interdisciplinary studies degree in 2023 can be a smart move for your career and personal growth. Not only does it offer a wide range of skills and knowledge that can make you an asset in today’s job market, but it also allows you to explore various areas of interest and develop a unique perspective.

By following the tips and steps outlined in this complete guide, you can successfully navigate the process of getting an interdisciplinary studies degree and set yourself up for success in the future.

Remember to choose a program that aligns with your goals and interests, stay organized and proactive throughout the process, and take advantage of all available resources.

With dedication and hard work, you can earn your interdisciplinary studies degree and embark on an exciting and fulfilling career path.



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