Is Interdisciplinary Studies a Good Major?

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Is interdisciplinary studies a good major? Many students aren’t quite sure what they want to major in. Most undergraduate programs focus on just one field of study. But what if one field isn’t enough?

Is Interdisciplinary Studies a Good Major

What if you have many interests you want to pursue, and you can see yourself at the intersection of two or more majors?

If this sounds like you, a bachelors in interdisciplinary studies might be the answer you are looking for.

Is Interdisciplinary Studies a Good Major?

Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Yes, interdisciplinary studies is a good major for many undergraduate students. Most interdisciplinary studies degree programs are versatile and customizable.

If you want to study more than one field, such as psychology and art, an interdisciplinary studies program may allow you to do that. You could combine both fields to create your own program, such as an art therapy degree.

A problem some students face is trying to figure out what they want to major in. Many degree programs focus on one area of study. This may lock you into one career path. Yet, some people change careers many times throughout their lifetime.

With a degree in interdisciplinary studies, you could work in a variety of fields. Many teachers, managers, nurses, software developers, administrative assistants, and lawyers have interdisciplinary studies degrees.

Many people with this degree go on to work in healthcare, education, management, business, and finance. These industries are all experiencing higher than average growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Interdisciplinary Studies Major Curriculum

Interdisciplinary Studies Major Curriculum

An interdisciplinary degree may allow you to combine your many interests into one degree to pursue your specific career.

You can choose two or three disciplines and create a very specific program where the disciplines intersect or overlap. This can give you the opportunity to specialize in what interests you.

Some common course topics offered by interdisciplinary programs include:

  • Political science
  • International studies
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Religion
  • Women’s literature
  • Psychology
  • Anthropology

Which courses you take will depend on what type of degree you are pursuing. Someone who is studying art and psychology will take different courses than someone who is studying women’s literature and international studies.

That’s why many find a degree in interdisciplinary studies appealing. You can use this customizable degree to pursue your varied interests.

Top 5 Things You Can Do with an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree

Interdisciplinary Studies teacher

Common concentrations for interdisciplinary studies include the social sciences as well as intercultural and international studies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most interdisciplinary studies graduates go on to work in healthcare, management, education, office and administrative support, business, and finance.

1. Teacher

Many teachers, from preschool all the way up to college professors, hold a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies. A degree in interdisciplinary studies can allow teachers to dive deeper into a particular area of interest.

For example, a teacher might have studied both education and a foreign language or education and international studies. A degree in interdisciplinary studies can help a teacher customize their expertise. Depending on the teaching position, advanced training and licensure may be required.

2. Archeologist

Archeologist

Many archeologists also hold a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. Most archeologist positions require a masters degree, but a bachelors in interdisciplinary studies can offer a solid foundation.

Archeologists study cultures within a specific region. Their research provides insight into the ways of life, languages, and characteristics of people all over the world. They also study customs, values, and social patterns of different cultures.

Their findings are often used to advise organizations on the cultural impact of policies, programs, and products.

3. Journalist

A journalist could be a reporter, correspondent, or a broadcast news analyst. They typically work for television stations, radio stations, newspapers, or websites.

Journalists perform research, conduct interviews, investigate stories, and write for various forms of media. They also often edit interviews and stories. Because it can help you gain a well-rounded background in a variety of fields, a degree in multidisciplinary studies or interdisciplinary studies can be useful in a journalism career.

4. Political Scientist

Political scientists spend time researching national politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory. They also work as policy analysts for government offices, labor unions, and political groups. Their research can help plan, develop, and carry out new policies.

A political scientist with an interdisciplinary degree may have studied foreign relations, intercultural studies, or international studies along with their political science courses. Most political scientists hold a masters degree, so an interdisciplinary degree can build a strong foundation for graduates to pursue further studies.

5. Public Relations Specialist

communications specialists

Public relations specialists can also be called communications specialists, media specialists, and press secretaries. They are responsible for an organization’s communication with the public.

Public relations specialists write press releases for radio, television, newspapers, magazines, websites, and social media. They often respond to social media questions and concerns as well.

A public relations specialist with a multidisciplinary degree could benefit from a variety of disciplines, such as intercultural studies, mass communications, and political science.

Interdisciplinary Studies Careers

Interdisciplinary Studies Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are many career paths you may take with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, depending on your chosen areas of study.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Political Scientists $125,350
Postsecondary Teachers $80,790
Accountants and Auditors $73,560
Anthropologists and Archeologists $66,130
Human Resources Specialists $63,490
Public Relations Specialists $62,810
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers $60,660
Social Workers $51,760
Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts $49,300
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors $47,660

These are just a few of the careers you may pursue with an interdisciplinary studies degree. Some of the degrees listed here may require graduate degrees or licensure in addition to your bachelor’s degree.

How to Know If a Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies Is Right for You

Students enroll in interdisciplinary programs for different reasons. Some have a lot of interests and want a more flexible career. Some have a lot of credits but not enough in any one specific program. Others need a program that better fits their lifestyle.

This degree may attract those who have the following skills or talents:

  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Critical thinking skills

Because there is no set path to follow, interdisciplinary studies students design their own program, which is not required in other degree programs.

Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Pros and Cons

Before deciding if an interdisciplinary studies degree is right for you, it may be helpful to consider the pros and cons of this program.

Pros Cons
  • Can learn multiple disciplines
  • Can take advantage of how different disciplines overlap
  • Opportunities for new research and development
  • May pursue topics you’re passionate about
  • May be difficult for professors to understand your program
  • May be difficult to transition between subjects
  • May be harder to get into grad school
  • May require more discipline and focus than other degrees

If you pursue a degree in interdisciplinary studies, you will be responsible for your education. You may have to put more effort into it, but you may also reap the rewards of a personalized education.

What Is Interdisciplinary Studies?

Interdisciplinary studies degree

Interdisciplinary studies is a degree that combines two or more traditional academic disciplines into a more personalized major. It is sometimes called a general studies major, but it is not a liberal arts degree.

An interdisciplinary degree can give you the opportunity to explore a more focused topic across multiple fields, whereas a liberal arts degree studies a wide variety of unrelated subjects.

This may allow you to apply the knowledge gained in one discipline to another discipline in order to enrich your learning experience. This degree can help you pursue studies that you are passionate about at a deeper level.

What Are the Advantages of Interdisciplinary Studies?

Interdisciplinary Studies advantages

The beauty of an interdisciplinary degree program is that it resembles how many of us work in the real world. This can help give you an advantage over other candidates because you may be better trained for the job.

Since you studied in more than one area, you may have developed more skills. Designing your own program may also require a higher level of discipline and motivation, two highly sought-after characteristics. Many employers are looking for versatile self-starters, especially as jobs become more and more diverse.

Pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies may also increase your creativity and critical thinking skills. You’re more likely to learn new things, think outside the box, and solve problems. These are all things that many employers want.

Is an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Useless?

interdisciplinary degree program

An interdisciplinary studies degree can help you gain entry-level employment in a wide variety of fields. Interdisciplinary studies degrees can help you build a strong foundation in science, business, psychology, humanities, social sciences, and so much more.

Employers often look for well-rounded, flexible candidates. They often want workers who have strong creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. An interdisciplinary studies degree can help you develop these skills.

A traditional degree program may lock you into one set career path, but many workers change careers multiple times. An interdisciplinary degree may give you more options.

What Can You Do with an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?

bachelors degree in interdisciplinary studies

While getting a bachelors degree in interdisciplinary studies does not guarantee employment in and of itself, it can help open the door to a variety of careers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates of interdisciplinary degree programs most often work in healthcare, management, education, business, and finance. The fastest growing fields include software development, education, nutrition, medicine, and law.

Graduates with a bachelors in interdisciplinary studies may gain entry-level employment or go on for a masters degree.

How Much Does an Interdisciplinary Major Make?

Interdisciplinary Major

Because you can work in so many different fields with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, the salary range is wide.

For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for public relations specialists is $62,810, while the median wage for accountants and auditors is $73,560.

How much you make will depend on your specific level of education, experience, industry, and chosen career path. Your geographical location may also play into your salary.

What’s the Difference Between a BA vs. BS in Interdisciplinary Studies?

A BA (Bachelor of Arts) and a BS (Bachelor of Science) in Interdisciplinary Studies are not synonymous.

BA in Interdisciplinary Studies BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Combines humanities and liberal arts programs
  • May pursue 2 BA fields of study
  • Typically requires 30 to 36 credit hours in each field of study
  • Combines fields of science with business or humanities
  • May pursue 3 BA fields of study or 2 BS fields of study
  • Typically requires 60 to 70 credit hours, with a minimum of 20 in each field of study

While both degrees have their differences, both can help you pursue a variety of interests and career opportunities.

Is an Interdisciplinary Studies Major Worth It?

Interdisciplinary programs

Yes, an interdisciplinary studies major is worth it for many students. Interdisciplinary programs allow you to pursue custom degrees in concentrations that you’re passionate about or in subjects focused on specific careers. You may want to consider this degree path if you’re looking to shape your own educational program.

An interdisciplinary studies program may also be a good choice if you currently have a lot of credits but no real major or if you want training that can benefit your current career. It is a flexible degree option that can make it easier to return to college after a break.

Getting Your Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies Online

Interdisciplinary Studies Online

If you want more flexibility with your career choice and more control over your education, then a bachelor degree in interdisciplinary studies might be a good fit for you. You can customize your degree with two or three academic disciplines that suit your personal career goals.

Motivated students who think outside of the box are often a good fit for these types of programs. If you’re interested in exploring the many options for interdisciplinary studies degrees, you can start today by researching online interdisciplinary programs from accredited universities.

Shannon Lambert
WRITTEN BY
Shannon Lambert
Shannon has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, from Bemidji State University, along with a minor in both Psychology and Sociology. Shannon loves motivating and empowering people to dream big and go after what they want in life.