Interdisciplinary Studies Degree

Coordinator and Adviser: Ms. Michele Aurand
Office: Centennial Honors College, Malpass Library, Second Floor
Telephone: (309) 298-2586
Fax: (309) 298-2591

Under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee, students in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program design and pursue individualized programs of study leading to either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. These students may select courses from several departments, take courses leading to a liberal program of study, or select courses in preparation for certain graduate programs that do not require a specific undergraduate major. Students may also pursue concentrations in Youth Development; Renewable Energy and Biofuels Technology; Renewable Energy and Wind Technology; and Renewable Energy: Policy, Planning, and Management.

The Youth Development Concentration will enable students to develop skills necessary in a broad range of careers in nonprofit youth and human service organizations which seek to assist young people in developing the capacities needed to live a quality life. Professionals in these organizations play pivotal roles in making a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.

The Renewable Energy Concentrations will enable students to develop skills necessary in a broad range of careers in the biofuels industry, wind energy industry, or in developing policy, project planning, and management in a variety of renewable energy industries.

The Interdisciplinary Studies Program is intended to give students transferable skills. Courses articulated in the concentrations or those selected by the student in consultation with their adviser encourage students to think critically, comprehend what they read, communicate orally, and write effectively. In addition, students may enroll in an internship to help them incorporate relevant work-site experiences with academic courses they have taken or plan to take.

Honors Curriculum

Academically qualified students in this program are welcome to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Upper Division Honors, or Lower Division Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). Lower Division Honors includes General Honors coursework. Upper Division Honors includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Upper and Lower Division Honors. For more information about honors curricula see the special study opportunities page or visit the Centennial Honors College website at


Admission to the program is by application from students in good standing who have earned at least 24 s.h. of credit. Freshmen who wish to declare Interdisciplinary Studies on entry to the University should contact the Coordinator for application procedures. Students who have earned more than 75 s.h. will be admitted only by exception granted by the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee and only if the student has a grade point average of 2.00 or better. Students admitted by exception must complete at least 24 s.h. of credit after admission to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program.


To graduate, students are required to:

  1. complete 120 s.h.;
  2. complete 40 s.h. in courses numbered 300 or above;
  3. complete the University's General Education requirements for the B.S. or B.A. degree described below*;
  4. have an overall C average by graduation; (5) complete an approved Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) requirement; and
  5. complete an approved course of study for the program, no more than 21 s.h. of which may come from an individual WIU department and/or major, and
  6. meet additional requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Interdisciplinary Studies students may include an approved concentration in their degree plan, which will be shown on the transcript upon successfully completing all degree program requirements. Minors are not shown on the transcript of an Interdisciplinary Studies student.

*(3) Complete the University’s General Education requirements for the B.S. or B.A. degree described below.

Students following the Bachelor of Science degree will complete the University General Education requirements with the following stipulation:

Total B.S. = 47 s.h.; B.A. = 49 s.h.


The College of Arts and Sciences offers Interdisciplinary Studies Courses which involve the consideration of significant concepts and topics that cross the lines of a single department. Several of these courses, such as those dealing with themes in law and society, are primarily designed to serve the needs of students enrolled in interdisciplinary minors. Although not specifically designed for this purpose, Interdisciplinary Studies Courses can be useful for career preparation in some areas.

Course Descriptions


195 Introduction to Liberal Arts and Sciences. (3) A comparative introduction to the major areas of the liberal arts and sciences. Students will learn how each area evolved and how each approaches problems and controversies. The course may take its particular focus each year from the university theme.

210 Group Diversity. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) Study of cultural identities, values, and interaction of diverse groups. Among the concepts explored will be race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, ableism, and age.

298 Individual Studies. (1–3) Special projects in interdisciplinary studies carried out under the supervision of a faculty member.

495 Liberal Arts and Sciences Senior Capstone. (3) Capstone course for the Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree. Students will study examples of scholarship from a multidisciplinary perspective, research and present an interdisciplinary solution to a significant problem, and prepare a self-reflective academic personal narrative. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisites: A&S 195, ENG 280, and senior standing, or permission of instructor.

498 Individual Studies. (1–3) Special projects in interdisciplinary studies carried out under the supervision of a faculty member.


201 Introduction to Environmental Studies. (3) Dimensions and scope of environmental studies, includes relationship of humans to nature, ecosystems, earth resources, population, environmental economics, politics, health, and biodiversity.

401 Colloquium on Environmental Studies. (3) The capstone course in the Environmental Studies minor. Variable topics on such issues as population growth, terrestrial resources, environmental ethics, global warming, politics and economics of environment, environmental regulations, agriculture—world food resources will be examined. Students will complete a research project. Prerequisites: ENVR 201 and completion of all elective requirements for one of the two emphases of the Environmental Studies minor.

*23 s.h. of II and III may count toward the University General Education requirement.

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