Why Interdisciplinary Studies?
Interdisciplinary studies gives students the opportunity to shape a program unique to their interests and career goals. An INT major allows for both freedom and structure and a focused exploration of a variety of areas of interest. Interdisciplinary education is particularly valuable in our complex and changing world. The INT major gives students an opportunity to make connections that are important for seeing the bigger picture of many of our contemporary problems. The INT major is ideal for the highly motivated student who is interested in combining several different areas of study into a coherent program of study that cannot be met by other UMA majors.
The INT major allows a student to work closely with faculty members to develop an individualized course of study that is:
INT students are encouraged to make connections between and among disciplines, between and among the classes they are taking, and between the classroom and their lives.
An INT major can be focused toward particular goals and interests like social justice, innovative technologies, or education, for instance.
Working closely with faculty INT students decide what to take and when to take it.
A student proposes a set of courses that meet his or her interests and goals. The self-designed major creates a unique education for each student.
INT and Your Career
Many of the same career paths that are available to traditional majors are also available to INT majors. In fact, an INT major might be more closely aligned with specific professional goals than some traditional majors.
Interdisciplinary Studies can give students a specialized set of skills and knowledge and/or a broad set of knowledge and skills that apply to many different career options—it all depends upon the students’ goals.
Interdisciplinary studies demonstrates students’ drive and ambition as well as an ability to make connections to approach a topic, issue, or problem from a variety of perspectives.
This program has allowed me to pursue a meaningful degree in a program tailored to my future. I get to chase my dreams my way, thanks to the interdisciplinary degree program
– Karyssa Upham
- Identify, develop, apply, and synthesize the theories, methods, and critical perspectives of three disciplines or interdisciplines.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and the value of interdisciplinary inquiry.
- Develop new interdisciplinary knowledge.
- Develop, articulate, achieve, and analyze educational goals by employing interdisciplinary theory and methodology.
- Effectively communicate interdisciplinary educational goals and knowledge to others.
- Develop an awareness of diverse peoples, cultures, and ideas, and appreciate the importance of engaging in lifelong interdisciplinary learning to become informed and responsible global citizens.
- Develop and apply critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.
Students build a tailored curriculum that combines and area of emphasis with two areas of specialization. The student’s major builds upon general education requirements as well as a 200-level Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. New courses are always in development.
A capstone gives the INT major a framework for advanced studies interdisciplinary studies. Using this framework, students will choose a particular topic to explore in more depth, and will work with their advisors to create a course that brings cohesion to their course of study.
An internship is created to complement the student’s particular INT major and to provide the student with an opportunity to gain some practical, hands-on experience in the fields of their choice.
B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. (Students name their major, emphasis and specializations.)
The chart below gives a general understanding of some of the similarities and differences between traditional disciplinary studies, the UMA Liberal Studies major, and the UMA Interdisciplinary Studies Major.
|INT MAJOR||LIBERAL STUDIES MAJOR||DISCIPLINARY MAJORS|
|Explores several disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives with a focus on finding connections.||Explores multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives.||Explores a singular disciplinary perspective and approach.|
|A layered, interconnected knowledge.||A broad base of knowledge.||A specific and focused knowledge.|
|A self-designed program created in collaboration with faculty; students can name and shape their course of study.||A loose framework of curriculum that allows for flexibility and a generalized knowledge.||An established curriculum that meets the standards and expectations of a particular field or discipline.|
|Provides students with a focused, directed knowledge and a set of skills that can provide a particular career option or a general set of skills applicable to a variety of opportunities.||Provides students with a diverse set of knowledge and skills that provide a variety of possible job opportunities.||Provides students with a specialized knowledge and a defined set of career and job objectives.|