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Interdisciplinary Studies Major

The Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) Major offers a flexible program in the Christian liberal arts that explores rich and complex interactions between disciplines. Your course of study begins with designing a personalized curriculum, known as an “Interdisciplinary Pathway.” You will integrate knowledge across disparate fields of inquiry, communicate clearly and creatively, and practice ethical and moral discernment through the lens of Scripture. The goal is to help you employ knowledge and skills effectively within and through various vocations in love for Christ and in service to your neighbor. In short, the major fosters faith seeking understanding for service.

Opportunities for the Bethany Interdisciplinary Studies graduate

Because it offers students an opportunity to develop important job skills identified by employers, your Interdisciplinary Pathway will prepare you for many different careers.

  • Analyze resources and think critically
  • Engage in purposeful creativity
  • Solve complex problems
  • Wield strong rhetorical skills
  • Collaborate with a diverse team

Graduates with an interdisciplinary studies major are positioned to pursue graduate studies in many fields, such as law, theology or education. They bring valuable knowledge and understanding to areas in communication, public service, non-profit service, public affairs, management, and many others. Many areas of business and industry are attracted to graduates who have a broad knowledge and interests, with the flexibility to adapt to many different work environments.

Program Learning Outcomes

Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Bethany Lutheran College affirms the graduate is able to:

    1. Demonstrate critical integrative thinking by synthesizing the theories, methods, and analytical frameworks of multiple disciplinary emphases
    2. Practice applied learning by employing cross-disciplinary tools to interrogate enduring issues and answer complex questions
    3. Apply Biblical truth and ethical reasoning to difficult problems that span disciplinary boundaries
    4. Communicate clearly using oral and written forms for a variety of audiences, in diverse settings, and utilizing multiple media formats.

Entry into the Major

The independent character of the Interdisciplinary Studies major requires careful planning, focus, motivation, and reflection. Interested students must first take INST201: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, which serves as an orientation to the
program, as well as the context in which students define their course of study, known as an “Interdisciplinary Pathway.” In preparing and proposing an Interdisciplinary Pathway, students lay out their rationale and goals, precise courses to be taken, and potential interdisciplinary capstone projects to culminate their course of study.  Additionally, the following qualifications are
necessary for acceptance into the major.

  • An overall GPA of 3.0
  • A grade of “B” or above in INST201 Introduction to InterdisciplinaryStudies
  • Formal approval of an “Interdisciplinary Pathway” by the program coordinator and at least one faculty member in each
    discipline of emphasis

Core Requirements

A major in Interdisciplinary Studies requires the completion of 37 credits, beginning with a 1-credit foundational seminar (INST201), continuing with 30 upper-division credits with a focus in at least two, and at most three, different disciplines, and culminating in a 6-credit capstone experience. Interdisciplinary Studies majors must maintain a 2.5 average GPA (C+) in courses chosen for their “Interdisciplinary Pathway.” No more than 6 credits may be used to fulfill program requirements simultaneously
in an additional major, minor, or certificate program.

Major Requirements

  • Foundational Seminar (1 credit): INST201 Introduction to InterdisciplinaryStudies (offered only in fall semester)
  • Select one of the following Interdisciplinary Pathways (30 credits):
    • Pathway A: Select a minimum of 12 upper-division credits from each of any two disciplines
    • Pathway B: Select a minimum of 9 upper-division credits from each of any three disciplines
  • Any remaining upper-division credits may be taken from any discipline that complements the student’s Interdisciplinary Pathway.
  • Select one of the following Capstone Options (6 credits):
  • Additionally, all students must complete a 0 credit (P/F) INST498: Portfolio and Showcase (in
    final semester)

To view the most recent requirements for the Interdisciplinary Studies major, please consult the Academic Catalog.

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Next Steps

Interested in studying at Bethany? Scheduling a campus visit is a great way to see what we have to offer. You can meet professors or sit in on a class too! Contact our admissions office to learn more.