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What Is Interdisciplinary Studies?

Interdisciplinary studies enables students to combine two or more areas of academic interest into a customized major. Many schools offer interdisciplinary studies degrees with optional majors, including education, technology, business, and the humanities. A variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in interdisciplinary studies exist.

Pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies can help undergraduates identify and hone their true interests. Students may uncover their passion for a niche career field while pursuing this degree. Graduate students can use interdisciplinary studies programs to develop soft skills and gain field experience for careers spanning more than one professional sector.

Frequently Asked Questions About Interdisciplinary Studies

What jobs can you get with an interdisciplinary studies degree?

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Graduates of an interdisciplinary studies degree program can pursue career opportunities across diverse job fields. Options include, but are not limited to, entrepreneur, journalist, researcher, teacher, or education administrator.

Employers appreciate interdisciplinary studies majors because they often have strong soft skills, including problem-solving, communication, and abstract analysis skills, which are applicable in almost every type of setting.

How much can I make with an interdisciplinary studies degree?

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The salary range for graduates with an interdisciplinary studies degree is as broad as the careers available to these professionals. According to Payscale data from May 2022, graduates with a bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies earn a median annual salary of $58,000. However, salaries for graduates with a degree in interdisciplinary studies vary based on a worker's position, experience, location, and degree level.

What is multi- or interdisciplinary studies?

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Multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary studies is a personalized major of two or more academic, artistic, or scientific disciplines. Unlike a general or liberal arts major that touches on multiple related fields of study, multi- or interdisciplinary programs enable students to deeply explore two or more related or unrelated fields.

Schools may offer interdisciplinary studies through a bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of science (BS), master of arts (MA), or master of science (MS) program. Multi- or interdisciplinary studies degrees may also group related majors in a particular category, such as STEM.

Is an interdisciplinary studies degree right for me?

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A customizable interdisciplinary studies degree often suits students with an entrepreneurial spirit or those aspiring to find work in a specialized field. Interdisciplinary studies may appeal to undergraduate students interested in exploring more than one academic or artistic endeavor to broaden their career options.

Graduate students in these programs can prepare for careers requiring multiple specialized skills, such as HR management in a medical field or education with a focus in psychology research. Earning a degree online may offer additional benefits, including flexible scheduling options, generous credit-transfer policies, or reduced tuition rates.

Is an interdisciplinary studies degree worth it?

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An interdisciplinary studies degree can lead to a unique and lucrative career. Learners who major in interdisciplinary studies can tailor their degree to their interests while developing critical career skills, including decision-making, organization, and problem-solving.

Well-paying jobs for graduates with an interdisciplinary studies degree include human resources manager and financial advisor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these positions paid median annual salaries of $126,230 and $94,170, respectively, in May 2021. Employers may also consider interdisciplinary studies program graduates for unconventional positions requiring unique skills across multiple fields.

How long does it take to get an interdisciplinary studies degree?

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Most BA or BS degrees in interdisciplinary studies take four years of full-time study to complete, while a typical MA or MS takes about two years. However, students may enjoy quicker paths to graduation if they enroll in a nontraditional program.

Many schools accept transfer credits toward an interdisciplinary studies degree based on a student's previous academic, military, or professional experience. Some online programs also offer accelerated schedules or competency-based learning options.

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