Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary studies trains students in a methodology for answering a question, solving a problem, or addressing a topic that is too broad or complex to be dealt with adequately by a single discipline or profession. It draws on multiple disciplinary perspectives and integrates those insights through the construction of a more comprehensive perspective.

IDSC students have multiple disciplinary interests. They are highly engaged, and tend to learn best by doing. They are thoughtful; they know that no single discipline has all of the answers; and they seek to work collaboratively to arrive at robust and effective solutions.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary University Studies allows students to attain a broad education and acquire diverse skill sets unique to interdisciplinary studies. It offers students an opportunity to create a unique program of study to meet their personal, academic and professional goals. The degree enables students to seek professional careers in diverse occupational fields and prepares them for the challenges of today’s global economy.

Students draw from different areas of study in at least two colleges at Auburn University to create an academic emphasis not otherwise available. Students identified as best served through an Interdisciplinary Degree format include those with a desired career that requires a unique combination of academic disciplines, students whose main interest is in the connections between discipline, and students unable to locate an academic major of interest to them.

For more information about Interdisciplinary Studies

Careers in Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies Curriculum from AU Bulletin

The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary University Studies allows students to attain a broad education and acquire diverse skill sets unique to a profession they desire to enter. Students seeking an Interdisciplinary University Studies degree have the opportunity to create a personalized academic program, by customizing a curriculum that demonstrates proficiency in broad skills as well as discipline-specific knowledge.

Students may be admitted as freshmen. For progression to the third-year IDSC course (IDSC 3210), a student must first complete Life, Career, and Everything (IDSC 1010) with a grade of C or better and Foundations of Interdisciplinary University Studies (IDSC 2190/IDSC 2193) with a grade of C or better and complete an approved individualized curriculum plan prior to enrolling in IDSC 3210. Students with more than 90 hours of coursework must receive special permission to be admitted to the major.

Students must also earn a grade of C or better in Public Speaking (COMM 1000), and in one written communication class to be selected from Technical Writing ENGL 3040), Business Writing (ENGL 3080) or Advanced Composition (ENGL 4000). Students may elect to use COMM 1000 to meet 3 hours of the Humanities Core requirements. Students admitted during Fall 2017 and after must take IDSC 3210 before they will be allowed to take the Capstone course.  IDSC 3210 cannot be taken until the student has passed IDSC 2190/IDSC 2193 with a grade of C or better.  All students must also complete a capstone experience (IDSC 4930 orIDSC 4920) with a grade of C or better. In the capstone experience, students integrate acquired knowledge through a research project (IDSC 4930), or an internship program (IDSC 4920). Students must earn 3 hours of capstone credit and may earn a maximum of 6 hours of capstone credit. Students electing to take the capstone course twice must use elective hours for the additional three hours.

The student creates two or three identifiable areas of emphasis using coursework from two or three different Schools or Colleges. The major must have a total of 45 hours of approved coursework. If a student elects to have two areas of emphasis they must have at least 21 hours of coursework in one emphasis (the majority of which is from one college or school) and up to 24 hours in the other (the majority of which is from the second college or school) for a total of 45 hours. Twenty-seven of the 45 hours in the major must be at or above the 3000 level. If a student elects to have three areas of emphasis they must have 15 hours of coursework in each emphasis. Students with three areas of emphasis may use existing minors as emphasis areas or they may work with the departmental representative in a specific area to develop an emphasis. Within the 15 hour emphasis plan, at least nine-hours of each emphasis must be 3000 level or above coursework. If a student elects to use existing minors and a minor requiring more than 15 hours is selected the student must complete the entire minor.  Minors used as emphases become part of the Interdisciplinary Studies degree and will not be listed on the official transcript or the diploma.

Additional information about the major can be found at

Interdisciplinary University Studies

Auburn University Core Curriculum (old or new core curriculum)41-42
Life, Career, and Everything
Foundations of Interdisciplinary University Studies
Advanced Interdisciplinary Problem Solving
Interdisciplinary Supporting Coursework
Oral Communications 1,23
Advanced Written Communication 13
Select one of the following: (each course is 3 hours)
Technical Writing
Business Writing
Advanced Composition
Capstone Experience 13
Interdisciplinary Capstone Experience
Interdisciplinary Capstone Experience
Major Course Hours 3,445
Prerequisites/Major Supporting Courses/Electives 5Varies
Minimum Number of Required Hours120

Must have grade of C or better.


Oral Communication (COMM 1000) may be used to satisfy 3 hours of Humanities in the University Core Curriculum.


Major course hours are used to calculate the GPA in the major.


Total of 45 hours selected across two emphases (at least 21 hours in one emphasis and no more than 24 hours in the second emphasis) or across three emphases (each with 15 hours). Emphases must be selected from at least two different Schools or Colleges. Approval of the appropriate academic advisor, faculty advisor, program director or department head for courses in each emphasis is required. Students may use existing minors for emphases. Students must receive a grade of C or better in IDSC coursework to successfully progress to the upper level IDSC courses. 


Total number of prerequisite/major supporting course/elective hours varies depending on choices made. Students who elect to use existing minors with more than 15 hours must use elective hours to complete the minor; students who elect to take a second capstone must use elective hours for the second course. Elective hours may also be used to allow the student to complete a minor outside of their areas of emphasis and must be used to bring the total number of hours in the students degree plan to 120. The minors used as emphases become part of the Interdisciplinary Studies degree and will not be listed on the official transcript or diploma.

View in AU Bulletin

Last Updated: August 30, 2018