Introduction to the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Office:  4th Floor Reed Library

Academic Advising / Liberal Arts
(716) 673-3188

Amy Marshall, Director of Academic Advising


The Interdisciplinary Studies degree program provides students with the greatest possible flexibility in meeting their educational goals by offering the opportunity to participate in creative and individualized interdisciplinary majors and minors. Students in the Interdisciplinary Studies programs are committed to exploring innovative connections and emerging relationships drawn from the traditional disciplines and those developing areas of overlap and interface. These students are typically explorers and creative problem solvers, and many Interdisciplinary Studies students construct their own topics of study (for either major or minor) using analytical approaches and tools from several fields. The degree program constitutes a student’s major; the interdisciplinary minors may be taken by students majoring in any program offered by the university.

Students who opt for a truly individualized degree program must develop their own program under the guidance of two faculty members and with the approval of the Associate Provost for Curriculum, Assessment and Academic Support. Students should see the Associate Provost for the necessary forms and guidelines for submitting a formal individualized major proposal. The individualized degree program and the model major programs will lead to the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (B.A. or B.S.). Students interested in declaring an interdisciplinary minor should consult with the coordinator from the appropriate area. Minor programs and coordinators are listed on the chart. All minors must be formally declared through the Office of the Registrar.

Requirements for the Undergraduate Major in Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Program

  • Students must meet with the director of Academic Advising to discuss and develop a program.  Once completed, it should be submitted to the office of Curriculum, Assessment and Academic Support for approval.  
  • All students in this major program must complete the university’s requirements for the General Education Program and earn the number of credit hours required outside of the major.
  • A maximum of 45 credit hours in any one discipline may count toward the 120 credit hours total required for the baccalaureate.
  • The proposed major must constitute at least 36 credit hours of which no more than 15 credit hours may come from one discipline.
  • At least 24 of those 36 credit hours must be at the 300-400 level.
  • A minimum of 45 credit hours of 300-400 level courses must be included overall in the 120 hours required for graduation.

Requirements for the Undergraduate Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies

An Interdisciplinary Studies minor is a group of six to nine courses centering on a topic or problem studied from many different points of view. Each minor may be studied in combination with any major. Individualized minors may be created under advisement. Minors must be formally declared through the Office of the Registrar.

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies Courses

In addition to the major programs and minors, the Interdisciplinary Studies program offers several courses developed for interdisciplinary or special interest purposes.

Independent study and internship options are available through Interdisciplinary Studies at the undergraduate level. Internships may receive up to 15 hours of credit. Students proposing an internship are required to prepare a “Learning Contract” describing the goals of the internship and how they will be met. Internship forms are available from the Career Development Office and must be completed in consultation with the coordinator of the program. Only 6 credit hours earned through internship or independent study may be applied toward the 300- and 400-level course requirements of the individualized major.