Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    Jan 18, 2022  
Courses of Study 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .

The primary purpose of the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) major is to provide students with an opportunity to develop a curriculum around interests that are addressed by combining coursework from portions of other majors in the college. A student may not be admitted into the major when entering the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The change to the major evolves after a student finds their interests diverging from the current major, and when an idea of a new educational objective emerges.

As is the case for other majors, there needs to be educational goals and a set of courses that will meet these goals. Unlike other majors where these goals and courses are established by faculty, students are responsible for developing their goals and courses with the guidance of a faculty advisor. Generally, students should be drawing courses from across multiple disciplines. It also is expected that the courses taken will move from general introductory courses to advanced courses with greater focus and depth.

There must be a faculty advisor identified by the student willing to help with the proposed program.  All CALS faculty can serve as advisors for this major.  Additional information, including the Learning Outcomes and FAQ’s for the Interdisciplinary Studies Major, can be found on the CALS website. Students entering the major will complete the Declaration of Intent Form and the advisors will review and approve the plan.

In addition to major requirements, student must fulfill CALS Graduation Requirements.

Requirements for the Major

In the Declaration of Intent on the right side of this page, a student will be required to outline their focus area (five or more courses at the 3000+ level.)  In addition, students fulfill the CALS Distribution requirements that provide students with academic breadth in the following areas:

  • Physical and Life Sciences
  • Social Sciences and Humanities, in preparation for ethical decision-making
  • Written and Oral Expression, to ensure clear and confident articulation of ideas
Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate the ability to use information, concepts, analytical approaches, and critical thinking skills involved in one or more disciplines through a set of increasingly specialized courses.
  2. Ability to use information acquisition skills (i.e. library, databases, internet, surveys, interviews) required by the disciplines developed for the major.
  3. Developing quantitative skills appropriate for the disciplines.
  4. Effectively use professional skills:
    • Taking responsibility (self-motivation, ethical behavior, managing time)
    • Write and speak clearly (legibly) and persuasively with individuals and groups
    • Working effectively with others (building good relationships, effective leadership and team member, influencing others, managing others)
    • Asking and answering the right questions (apply knowledge, evaluate actions and policies, paying attention to details)
    • Solving problems (identify problems, develop solutions, launch solutions)