Interdisciplinary Studies (IDSC)

IDSC Degree Requirements

In addition to completion of the individually designed plan of study as approved by faculty members overseeing the undergraduate programs inside each emphasis, all majors must fulfill Auburn University’s general education requirements (Core Curriculum) and the following specific IDSC requirements:

IDSC 1010: Life, Career, and Everything (3 Credit Hours) 

Open to any Auburn University student, this course is designed to provide in-depth exploration of your strengths, interests, and abilities. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do as a career, or how to get there, this is the course for you. In IDSC 1010, you will learn methods for discovering and creating career opportunities while you hone interview and presentation skills. You will study personality types in order to better understand what drives you and learn how knowing your preferences and tendencies can empower your personal and professional choices. This knowledge will help you to understand others, and will assist you in navigating relationships at work and at home. You will use techniques like career prototyping to explore potential careers and then use the results of that exploration to design the best degree path for you. You will work with your IDSC advisor to develop a plan of of study that lays the groundwork for yourcareer. Students who wish to continue into the upper division IDSC program must earn a C or better in this course.

IDSC 2190, Foundations of Interdisciplinary University Studies (3 credit hours)

This course is your entry into the interconnected world of Interdisciplinary studies. Interdisciplinary studies makes use of a number of different tools and methodologies to solve problems that are too complex to be dealt with by a single discipline or profession. You will be introduced to these tools and methods during this course and will apply them in developing solutions to complex problems. You will learn how to leverage your multiple disciplinary interests as part of this task, and will learn to work effectively in teams as part of this experience.  Students who wish to continue into the upper division IDSC program must earn a C or better in this course. 

IDSC 3210: Advanced Interdisciplinary Problem Solving
(3 Credit Hours)

IDSC 3210 is a synthesis course that provides you with practice in applying interdisciplinary methods to the solution of real-world problems. You will work collaboratively with your peers to solve these problems and will learn how to communicate your solutions to diverse audiences. This course offers you opportunities to work as part of a team of scholars in service of society as a whole. You will gain deep knowledge of research methods and the effective application of research, and you will practice using presentation and Web design tools to create aesthetically pleasing presentations that increase audience engagement and comprehension. To showcase your writing and research projects, you will begin to develop an ePortfolio that you will continue to build on in the final semesters of the program. This course will also guide you in refining your interdisciplinary focus for the degree program. As part of this course, you will research and write a pitch for your capstone thesis or internship. Your pitch will be reviewed by the IDSC faculty and they will give you feedback to help you refine your pitch. By the end of the semester, you will have a focus for your interdisciplinary scholarship (capstone).

IDSC 4920 or 4930, Interdisciplinary Capstone Experience
(3 - 6 credit hours)

IDSC 4920 Capstone Internship

IDSC 4920 is a Canvas-based capstone course that you will take if you are completing your capstone experience through an internship in your final year of the program, preferably in your last semester. You will have opportunities to strengthen your writing skills in this course as you work on weekly writing assignments, culminating in a collection of writing reflections that you will add to your ePortfolio. As part of the Canvas course, you will also prepare a presentation about your internship experience. This presentation will demonstrate how the internship integrated your interdisciplinary research over the course of the program. Submission of the final ePortfolio is another requirement of the course, containing curated projects that you have completed as part of the degree program

IDSC 4930 Capstone Project/Thesis

IDSC 4930 is a capstone course available to you in your final year of the program, preferably in your last semester. This highly structured class will offer you ongoing opportunities to investigate your academic areas of concentration, advancing your interdisciplinary research. Working as a single researcher in a classroom setting, this is the stage of scholarship where you will synthesize your learning, innovating new products or strategic solutions, and evaluating those innovations before revising for final submission. You are required to locate a faculty member in one of your emphasis areas and receive feedback and direction for your research project prior to beginning the course. Throughout the semester, you will work closely with the IDSC faculty, developing your research and refining your project presentation. Capstone presentations will take the form of an academic paper or lecture. You will also curate the projects that you have worked on throughout the degree program and will submit your final ePortfolio for evaluation.


Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Components

Required Hours

Auburn University Core Curriculum (old or new core curriculum)


Life, Career, and Everything (IDSC 1010) 1


Introductory Course to Interdisciplinary Studies1


      IDSC 2190-Foundations of Interdisciplinary University Studies


Advanced Interdisciplinary Problem Solving (IDSC 3210) 1


Oral Communication1,2


Interdisciplinary Supporting Coursework


Advanced Written Communication1


Select one of the following: (each course is 3 hours)


     ENGL3040-Technical Writing


     ENGL 3080-Business Writing


     ENGL 4000-Advanced Composition


Capstone Experience1


      IDSC 4920--Interdisciplinary Capstone Experience (Internship)  or 


      IDSC 4930--Interdisciplinary Capstone Experience (Thesis)


 Major Course Hours3,4


 Prerequisites/Major Supporting Courses/Electives


Minimum Number of Required Hours



  1. Must have a grade of C or better.
  2. Oral Communication (COMM 1000) may be used to satisfy 3 hours of humanities in the University Core Curriculum.
  3. Major courses are used to calculate the GPA in the major.
  4. 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 specified departmental representative for courses in each emphasis is required. Students may use existing minors for emphases. The Director of the IDSC Program must approve the application for admission to the degree program. Students with >90 earned hours must have their application approved by the IDSC Faculty Advisory Committee before being accepted into the major.
  5. 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; students who elect not to use COMM 1000 to satisfy three hours of humanities in the Core must use elective hours for COMM 1000. 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 student’s degree plan to 120. The minors used as emphases become part of the Interdisciplinary Studies degree and will not be listed on the official transcripts or diploma.


In addition to the required major and Interdisciplinary coursework, students must also complete the following:

  • 3 hours of oral communication. Students can satisfy this requirement with COMM 1000 (Introduction to Public Speaking) or an additional upper-level course with an emphasis on oral communication. If an oral communication course is used to satisfy both the AU Core Curriculum requirement and the Interdisciplinary Studies requirement it must be COMM 1000 or an approved upper level communications course.
  • 3 hours of written communication. Students can satisfy this requirement with ENGL 3040, ENGL 3080 or ENGL 4000.

Students desiring an IDSC degree must get approval of their individual degree plan of study from the minor advisors or other designated faculty members in the concentrated areas selected. At least 25 of the 45 hours in the major must be at the 3000 level or higher. Courses in the major that are outside the College or School of the concentration areas must be at the 3000 level or higher.

Last Updated: June 29, 2018