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Before completing the Interdisciplinary Studies Curriculum Contract, contact the Program Coordinator, Prof. Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (803) 641-3492.

 

Build a Course of Study That Serves Your Unique Interests

  • Are you strongly drawn to more than one subject area?
  • Are you interested in an area of study you don’t see in the USCA bulletin?
  • Are you a self-motivated, curious, dedicated and creative learner?
  • Do you notice connections between academic disciplines?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree may be just the academic path for you! Reach over the boundaries between disciplines and build a course of study that serves your unique interests, curiosity and educational goals. The Interdisciplinary Studies major emphasizes the connections between areas of study without neglecting the unique character of each one.

For more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies program, contact the Program Coordinator, Prof. Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (803) 641-3492.

What is a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies?
Degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies can be awarded as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree or as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, depending on the course of study.  The major consists of thirty-six credit hours chosen by the student in consultation with theInterdisciplinary Studies Program Coordinator and the student's two disciplinary sponsors. Twenty-four of those credit hours must be at-or-above the 300-level. Courses selected must correspond to a unique theme that charts a clear and intentional program of study across more than one discipline. An Interdisciplinary Methods course, a final Senior Thesis/Capstone, a minor or cognate, and a final Portfolio are also required for the degree. 

How can I apply?
The first step is to meet with the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Coordinator. The Program Coordinator works closely with you to select your two sponsors and create your curriculum contract which will be submitted to the Advisory Committee for final approval.

How can I get more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies program?
Contact the Program Coordinator, Prof. Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (803.641.3492) to make an appointment to talk about the degree. Before meeting, take a close look at the USCA Bulletin for the full program description.

What are some examples of themes for a program of study?
Sometimes students have linked courses in biology and anatomy to courses in the fine arts to study “Medical Illustration.”  Courses in political science and history might join with courses in economics to study “Political Economy.” Virtually any combination is possible, so long as it can be justified in some reasonable way and USCA has the necessary faculty and courses to support the proposal.

Is there any chance that the Advisory Committee might reject my proposed course of study?
Yes.  The Committee’s job is to be sure that each student embarks on a rigorous and demanding course of study.  For this reason, it is very important to assemble your proposal in very close consultation with the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Coordinator.

Can I get a job with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies?
There never are any guarantees.  However, many studies tell us that employers want to hire people who can communicate clearly, think critically, and who have the imagination to see problems from an original perspective. These are exactly the kinds of skills a well-planned degree in Interdisciplinary Studies can build.

Could I get into medical school, law school, or some other graduate school with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies?
A good education isn’t about training for a particular job, but developing the skills to do any job well.  These kinds of graduate programs, especially, look for the kinds of well-rounded applicants who would be drawn to, or who have benefitted from, an interdisciplinary perspective.

Classes for your Interdisciplinary Studies major will be selected by you in consultation with the program coordinator and two faculty members from the relevant disciplines. Each Interdisciplinary Studies degree concludes with a unique capstone experience that integrates your areas of study. This may take the form of an internship, thesis or special project, depending on the nature of your particular focus. A more complete description of the Interdisciplinary Studies program requirements can be found in the current USCA Bulletin.

Some examples of Interdisciplinary Studies degree possibilities include:

  • Gender Studies
  • Political Economy
  • Environmental Studies
  • Medical Illustration
  • Spanish World Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Ethics and Society
  • Health Communication
  • Religious Philosophy
  • Non-Western Studies

These are simply examples. Many combinations are possible so long as we have the faculty to support your area of interest and we are able to devise a coherent and rigorous program of study.

Explore...Investigate...Create...Integrate. Choose your own academic path today with the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree at USCA!

For more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies program, contact the Program Coordinator, Prof. Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (803) 641-3492.

Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Requirements


1. General Education Requirements.............................................50-53


A. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural 
World .........................................................................................31-34

At least 3 hours must be in Non-Western World Studies, unless an approved 
non-Western world studies course has been completed elsewhere in the 
student’s degree program. See definition and list of approved courses  in the current USCA Program Bulletin.

1. Natural Sciences................................................................7-8
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Astronomy (1 lab)


2. History of Civilization ........................................................ 3
(HIST 101 or HIST 102)


3. Social and Behavioral Sciences (two areas) ........................ 6
Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, 
Economics, Political Science, Geography


4. Languages ........................................................................6-8
(Two (2) semesters of the same language required.)


5. Humanities (at least two areas) ........................................... 9
Communications (last two digits must be in 50s or 60s)
History, Art History, Music History, Theatre History,
Literature, Philosophy (other than logic), Religion, 
Selected Language courses, 
Humanities (HSSI acronym)
Honors (HONS acronym)


B. Intellectual and Practical Skills ............................................ 16


1. Critical Inquiry..................................................................... 1
Freshmen must take Critical Inquiry in their first semester 
of enrollment at USC Aiken. Transfer students are not required to take the 
Critical Inquiry course; however, the one credit hour requirement 
will still need to be completed within the degree requirements.


2. English 101 and 102............................................................. 6
Students should take English in their first semester of 
enrollment at USC Aiken (unless they have received credit 
for ENGL 101 and 102 through concurrent enrollment, AP, etc.). 
Students must complete English 101 and English 102 with a C  
before taking other English courses.


3. Oral Communication............................................................ 3
(COMM 201 or COMM 241)


4. Math/Statistics/Logic............................................................6
Students should take math in their first year of enrollment at USC Aiken (unless they have already completed general education requirements for math through concurrent enrollment, AP, etc.).


5. Satisfactory completion of Writing Proficiency Requirement
For more information, see Writing Proficiency Portfolio in the current USCA Program Bulletin.


6. Satisfactory completion of three courses designated as 
Writing Intensive, at least one of which is in the student’s 
major. For more information on Writing Intensive Course Definitions, please see the current USCA Program Bulletin.


C. Personal and Social Responsibility.............................3


1. American Political Institutions............................................. 3 
(POLI 201, HIST 201, or HIST 202)


2. Inter-Curricular Enrichment Program (ICE)
Two approved events in each semester of enrollment. 
For more information, see ICE Program  in the current USCA program bulletin.


D. Integrative Learning

While there are no specific course requirements in this category, students are 
strongly encouraged to include one or more integrative learning experiences 
in their academic programs: linked courses, study abroad internship, service 
learning, faculty-mentored research, capstone.


2. Interdisciplinary Studies Program Requirements.........................36

Based upon each student’s educational goals, the student and his/
her sponsoring faculty members will develop a curriculum contract 
consisting of a combination of courses from those currently offered 
at USCA. A minimum of 36 hours of coursework is required, and 
at least 24 hours must be 300 level or above. No more than two (2) 
independent studies courses may be taken in any single discipline. 
A C or better is required in all coursework applied to the program of 
study.


3. Interdisciplinary Studies Methodology Course and Senior Thesis/Capstone 
    Experience .......................................................................................6


4. Minor or Cognate Courses........................................................ 12-18


5. Electives ........................................................................................ 7-16


6. Portfolio on file with Interdisciplinary Studies Director


Total hours required .............................................................................120

 

More detailed information regarding the academic requirements of the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree can be found in the current USCA Program Bulletin or by contacting the program coordinator, Prof. Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (803) 641-3492.

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