Choosing a college major can be challenging and stressful, especially if you have many interests. That’s why students decide to double-major so often. But sometimes this isn’t the best fit since it involves studying two subjects that don’t necessarily overlap and receiving two separate degrees. For many students, an Interdisciplinary Studies degree is the better choice. Here’s what this academic path is all about, some common combinations, the benefits of earning this type of degree, which jobs you can pursue after graduation, and more.
What’s an Interdisciplinary Studies program?
Interdisciplinary Studies programs allow college students to study overlapping disciplines for a more focused approach. An interdisciplinary program will expertly combine the areas where these subjects intersect—for example, International Business, a popular choice for Interdisciplinary Studies, allows students to build a more insightful understanding into how business and global communication are interwoven. It’s like a create-your-own-major program in which you choose the curriculum to design an ideal field of study your school doesn’t already offer.
If you’re interested in designing your own course of study, some universities allow students to build interdisciplinary majors with the help of an advisor or professor, ensuring your learning materials best align with your interests and goals. With the right interdisciplinary program, you can pursue unique careers and not feel limited by a pre-planned major that just doesn’t fit. Here are a few common examples of interdisciplinary programs students can create:
- Behavioral Marketing: Knowing who customers are is essential to the marketing process. Behavioral Marketing combines marketing with psychology to teach students how people think and what influences their behaviors, providing them with the know-how to advertise to a specific customer effectively.
- Ecological Art: This major combines environmental practices and creation—weaving art, culture, and nature together. It tends to focus on producing eco-friendly art that fosters public engagement and sheds light on environmental issues such as climate change.
- Gender Studies: This program focuses on gender roles worldwide and how they differ between cultures and throughout time. Gender Studies often combines literature, psychology, and history to provide students with a broad understanding of how gender roles have evolved over the years.
- Forensic Science: Criminal law, psychology, and biology meet within this program to teach students why people commit crimes, how these crimes are orchestrated, and how to analyze the biological evidence left behind.
Related: What Is an Interdisciplinary Major?
Benefits of Interdisciplinary Studies
Humans have multiple passions and interests—simultaneously! With an interdisciplinary program, you’ll be able to pursue everything and not limit yourself to just one or two. This allows you to style your college courses to the specific job you want. Interdisciplinary programs also enable you to learn other points of view and how to approach problems from different angles. Not only will this multi-perspective learning approach help you become a critical thinker, but it will also help you find creative solutions to obstacles. This broadening of your knowledge and skill sets from many overlapping fields will make you an effective problem-solver and communicator in your chosen profession.
Jobs for Interdisciplinary Studies graduates
You can pursue a wide range of careers with an interdisciplinary degree. However, it’s vital to note the type of program you choose will often determine what career path you can follow. In many cases, you can customize your program to align it with the specific career you want to obtain. However, the skills you learn from these programs can open many different career sector opportunities. Some of the most common professions you can pursue with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree include:
- HR Specialist
- Event planner
- Marketing coordinator
Should you choose an Interdisciplinary Studies degree?
Interdisciplinary Studies programs have numerous advantages but are best suited for independent and extremely motivated students. When choosing a major, double-major, or interdisciplinary program, it’s essential to do proper research and talk to an academic counselor who can help you decide what fits your desires best. If you’re interested in pursuing a degree that overlaps with different areas and encourages critical thinking and creative problem-solving, an interdisciplinary degree might be the right path for you.
Start looking for schools that let you create your own major using our College Search tool.