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BA in Interdisciplinary

Degree Program Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS BA) degree is designed for students who want to build an individualized major to meet their educational and career objectives. Students choose two or three areas of study called component areas. Component areas consist of coursework either from a single program, or from thematically-related coursework across multiple programs. Component courses may come from any department or program at MU, or through approved transfer coursework.

Students are attracted to IDS BA for various reasons: the desire to create a unique degree; to combine broad interests; a need for flexibility; timely degree completion; or preparation for further study at the graduate level. Career options are as varied as the combination of component areas.

Major Program Requirements

Students majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies may design an individual course of study. Students with very specific career plans and goals not easily accommodated in any one department may find this program suited for their needs. Others may find that this option permits a broader approach than the major found in a single department.

The Interdisciplinary Studies major is comprised of two or three components to total 36 credits. A component consists of course work from a single department or area, which may include programs outside the College of Arts and Science (e.g., Journalism, Business or Social Work). At least 18 hours must come from the College of Arts and Science. In addition to the 36 hours required in the major components, Interdisciplinary Studies students must also complete a 3-credit capstone.

Interdisciplinary Studies candidates must earn no less than a 2.0 GPA in each component. They are bound by rules and practices of the College of Arts and Science that pertain to admission to degree programs, the awarding of credit, and the awarding of degrees. Students must complete college as well as University requirements, including University general education. A student who has earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, (excluding majors with emphases in Black Studies, Peace Studies or Women's and Gender Studies), may not pursue a second degree in a field that was used as a component of the first degree.

Major Core Requirements

Area of concentration (select one option) 36

  • Three components of 12 credits each
  • Three components, one of 15, one of 12 and one of 9 credits
  • Two components of 18 credits each
  • Two components, one of 21 and one of 15 credits

All courses in the major must be at the 2000 level, and at least 15 credits must be 3000 level or above.
A minimum of 12 credit hours within all components must be MU courses.
A maximum of 6 hours of Internship may apply to graduation.
A maximum of 12 hours of Internship, Readings and/or Special Problems may apply to graduation.

Capstone requirement (to be completed during final 45 hours of course work)
There are several ways a student can complete the capstone experience in Interdisciplinary Studies.

  1. Special Readings project: With this option, the student completes an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member. The project allows the student to explore an area of interest and is designed to be an academic challenge. The department is open to creative, innovative approaches to learning. The supervising faculty member is responsible for grading the project. The student is responsible for locating a supervising faculty member.
  2. Service Learning project: Students will engage in service activities, directly relevant to their areas of academic emphasis, in community not-for-profit agencies. At the same time as participants work in the community, they will research their agency and organization, undergo mock employment interviews, create a cover letter and résumé based on the professional skills they have gained through their service, and reflect on careers and leadership in public service. Course will be submitted for Writing Intensive credit each semester. Restricted to Interdisciplinary, General and International Studies students.
  3. Internship: Students work approximately 50 clock hours per credit at an agency, company or corporation of their choice. Grades are on a pass-fail basis. For an internship to be approved as a capstone experience, it must help the student solidify and explore the areas of concentration. Internships must have prior approval from the Office of Multidisciplinary Degrees.
  4. Capstone course: Students may have a specific course designated as a capstone course for the individual degree program. The course must be upper level, and the course must be taken in the last 45 hours of course work as a major. A course taken previously cannot retroactively be counted as a capstone course. Approval for the course must be provided in advance of registration from the Interdisciplinary Studies advisor.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
ENGLSH 10003MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
Second Language I4Second Language II4
Social Science (MO State Law) 1000+3Behavioral Science 1000+3
Humanities and Fine Arts 1000+3Humanities and Fine Arts 1000+3
 General Elective 1000+3
 13 16
Second Year
Second Language III4A&S Diversity Requirement3
Science with a Lab 1000+3-5Behavioral Science 2000+3
Writing Intensive I 1000+3Social Science 2000+3
Social Science 1000+3Humanities and Fine Arts 2000+3
Humanities and Fine Arts 1000+3IDS Component #1 2000+3
 16-18 15
Third Year
Science 1000+3IDS Component #1 3000+3
IDS Component #1 2000+3IDS Component #2 2000+3
IDS Component #2 2000+3IDS Component #3 2000+3
IDS Component #3 2000+3Writing Intensive II 3000+3
General Elective or Minor 1000+3General Elective or Minor 1000+3
 15 15
Fourth Year
IDS Component #1 3000+3IDS 4000+ Capstone3
IDS Component #1 3000+3IDS Component #2 3000+3
IDS Component #2 3000+3General Elective or Minor 1000+3
IDS Component #3 3000+3General Elective or Minor 1000+3
General Elective or Minor 1000+3General Elective or Minor 1000+3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120-122

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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