Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies


Program Description

Interdisciplinary Studies is designed for traditional and adult returning students whose needs are not met with the history major or minor program. Interdisciplinary Studies is all about looking at education from the student's perspective and offering them a customized plan to learn, professionalize, and access the best of what UNA offers.

Additionally, interdisciplinary programs have developed in response to demands from employers that college graduates have diverse "ready-to-work" skills, the ability to think across traditional academic lines, a change orientation, and excellent communication skills. To meet these demands we offer students an individualized path to complete their Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree by offering areas of emphasis containing complementary courses that cross traditional disciplinary lines. 

Our responsiveness to student and employer needs explains in part why our program is the choice for so many students who need a unique academic program of study. "Start to Finish" is our motto and we're ready to back that up with quality academic advising.

Interdisciplinary Studies Areas of Emphasis

In the Interdisciplinary Studies major, students choose from the following eight broad areas of emphasis. Within each area of emphasis, a student may choose from a wide array of courses to complete their bachelor's degree and develop the skill sets needed to take the next steps in their professional career.


Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an arts emphasis will benefit from an array of courses in related fields such as graphic design or visual and performing arts that develop creative and critical thinking skills.  English classes focused on improving reading comprehension, creative and technical writing are also recommended.  As many students in the Arts must, by necessity, be entrepreneurs, courses focused on marketing and business administration can be extremely beneficial.


Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Business will obtain knowledge from traditional business courses but are expected to take that knowledge and apply it to professions one may find in higher education, the non-profit sector, social and human service agencies or government (e.g., emergency management, criminal justice, business development, tourism). Students selecting an area of emphasis in business may complete a maximum of 30 semester hours from courses offered by the College of Business and a minimum of 12 semester hours of supporting coursework offered outside the College of Business.


Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Health investigate health-related issues from several perspectives – including natural sciences, social sciences, education, and traditional health professions.  It is not designed to prepare students for any specialized or licensed health professional. Some students will find this program an attractive route to prepare for further study in the health professions such as Health Care Administration or Public Health Education. Courses in this area may require background clearance checks.


Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Humanities draw from several disciplines that study the human condition through literature, history, philosophy, and the arts. Students gain an understanding of the vast array of topics within these disciplines. The degree can satisfy personal interests, prepare one for graduate studies, or work in careers built on a liberal arts base.

Organizational Leadership

Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership will progress through a curriculum that integrates knowledge and skill-sets from multiple academic departments and is organized around interpersonal relations, globalization, data management and analysis, and a direct professional experience or internship.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences gain exposure to multiple disciplines and bases of knowledge common to human and social service occupations as well as knowledge related to legal studies, public policy, and counseling. A broad array of courses from natural sciences, social sciences, education, and health professions are included to provide student maximal flexibility and opportunities.


Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Technology receive training in a diverse range of related fields with technological applications.  With proper training in computer science and information systems, students may pursue upper-level credit through courses offered at the Robotics and Technology Park of Alabama (an AIDT Training Center).

Women's Studies

Students pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Women's Studies will develop a program of study that crosses several disciplines addressing women’s struggles and achievements, locally and globally, historically and ongoing. Required enrollment in WS 100 (Introduction to Women’s Studies) and WS 495 (Senior Seminar in Women’s Achievement and Theory) will enhance the student’s individualized program of study and result in an applied community-building outreach opportunity. Students will learn to embrace and celebrate the diversity of women’s identities and experiences across categories that include ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, social class, and abilities. Disciplines appropriate for the interdisciplinary Women’s Studies emphasis include literature, history, psychology, political science, nursing, education, sociology, criminal justice, and the arts. The degree can satisfy personal interests, prepare one for graduate studies, or work in a number of careers.  Such careers may involve the health professions, public recreation, human resources management, entrepreneurship, social services, counseling, and the legal system.

Option 2: Applied Entrepreneurship

Students who have graduated from a community college with an Associate of Applied Science or Occupational Technology degree may be accepted into the program to pursue a BS/BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Applied Entrepreneurship. This allows students to transfer their academic credits plus up to 30 hours of technical course credit towards their bachelor's degree. Students may then choose from a wide range of coursework to develop their program of study to build the business competencies they need to achieve their professional goals. 

Requirements for the Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Interdisciplinary Studies students pursue a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree. The Interdisciplinary Studies major, in addition to completion of the general education requirements, requires all students to complete an area of emphasis and three additional IDS specific courses: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS 100, 3 credit hours), Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Practice (IDS 250W, 3 credit hours), and Capstone Project (IDS 450, 3 credit hours). These three required courses are offered on-line. The IDS 100 introduction course must be taken within the first 12 credit hours of admission to the IDS major. The IDS 450 capstone course is taken during the student's last semester at UNA.  

The Interdisciplinary Studies major offers two options: Option 1, a flexible and individualized program of study based on academic and career interests in one of eight areas of emphasis (Arts, Business, Health, Humanities, Organizational Leadership, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Technology, or Women's Studies); and Option 2, an applied entrepreneurship option that allows students to apply approved technical coursework toward their overall degree requirements.

Degree Requirements for Option 1

  1. A total of 120 semester hours is required as a minimum for graduation with 36 semester hours of this total coming from courses numbered 300 or 400.
  2. General Education Requirements (44 semester hours minimum).
    1. The same General Education Component required of all students if approved by the student’s academic advisor.
    2. May follow either requirement for Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree (requires completion of 6 credit hours of foreign language courses at the introductory level).
  3. A minimum of 42 hours must be earned from the selected Area of Emphasis (the 42 does not include the 3 credit hour IDS 100, the 3 credit hours IDS 250W and the 3 credit hour IDS 450 which are required of all BIS degree-seeking students) with no more than 24 hours coming from a single academic prefix (for example MG - Management; PY - Psychology; NU - Nursing) and no more than 30 hours from the College of Business. In IDS 100 the student will, in addition to other requirements, choose an area of emphasis and develop a program of study to complete their degree program. Students must meet prerequisites before taking any given course.
  4. In the selected Area of Emphasis, a minimum of 24 semester hours of the 42 must be taken in courses numbered 300 or 400 (Courses taken to satisfy the general education requirement cannot be counted again within an area of emphasis through those courses may be prerequisites to courses in the area of emphasis.).  Please keep in mind that all UNA students, regardless of traditional academic major, must complete a minimum of 36 credits hours at the 300-400 level.
  5. The remainder of the 120 hours or remaining 300 or 400 level may be selected by the student with the approval of the Department Chair (at least one course must be a designated writing-intensive course.)
  6. An average of C (2.0) is required for all hours attempted toward the degree, hours counted in the area of emphasis, and all hours are taken at the 300-400 level.
  7. All other university policies (e.g., residence requirements) relating to requirements that must be met for all degree programs apply to Interdisciplinary Studies students.

Degree Requirements for Option 2

Option 2 is open to graduates of community college two-year vocational-technical programs. Students may enter this program after receiving their associate degree from a regionally accredited community-technical college.

  1. Option 2 students will complete a maximum of 42 semester hours in the ‘Applied Entrepreneurship’ area of emphasis, of which no more than 30 hours may be from courses offered by the College of Business.
  2. The remaining 12 hours may include transferred technical courses or other supporting courses offered from outside the College of Business. Option 2 students will be allowed to transfer a maximum of 30 semester hours of block credit for technical coursework completed in their associate degree program. All of the 30 semester hours of block credit may be used to apply to the 120 semester hours required for the bachelor’s degree. None of the technical coursework may be transferred into any other academic program offered by the University, however. Questions regarding the Option 2 program should be directed to the Department Chair.

Meeting degree requirements is the student's responsibility.  Helping the student navigate through the process is one of many responsibilities held by the student's academic advisor.  Dr. Craig Robertson and Mrs. Heather Stancil will function as your academic advisors.  Let us help you be successful as you "Start to Finish"!

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

The College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, 19 different departments with an array of majors, minors and certificate programs working independently and together to ignite th ... Read More

The College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, 19 different departments with an array of majors, minors and certificate programs working independently and together to ignite the dream that creates the steam that powers your future. Join us and get ahead! Read less