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Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
Interdisciplinary Studies
Two female students
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Work with Northwestern experts to customize a degree that combines different fields of interest and fits your unique goals. The purpose of the interdisciplinary studies major is to provide you with high-quality, academic preparation for future goals that require an extra specialized course of study. This program is flexible and can open up opportunities in any field.

Why do interdisciplinary studies at Northwestern?

God has given many students a unique mission that may not fit the mold of pre-existing degrees. Now you can pursue your dreams while still building on a foundation of biblical truth. In this program, you will consult with an advisor to design a comprehensive program that meets your specific academic goals.

Each individualized degree will be approved by an advisory committee. The program is open to self-motivated students who have demonstrated the ability to do academic work successfully by achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or by providing other compelling documentation.

How do I create an IDS major?

  • Gather informational materials available outside N3205 on the 3rd floor of Nazareth Hall. There are specific eligibility requirements as well as an application.
  • If your idea for your IDS major is a major that is offered at other universities, then do some research and make a list of courses that these universities include in that major. Be sure to consult several course listings for universities.
  • If your idea includes graduate school, then search several universities that offer that Master’s Degree and make a list of any necessary prerequisites that you would need before you start the Master’s Degree. Look for the prerequisites that these Master’s Programs have in common. Include those courses in your proposed curriculum.
  • If your idea is a combination of majors that Northwestern already offers, look through Northwestern’s online catalog at the list of our courses. Make a list of possible courses from different departments that you think might be useful to your major.

Examples of interdisciplinary majors developed by students at Northwestern:

  • Ancient & Classical Languages
  • Art & Psychology
  • Biblical Counseling
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Biblical Languages & Historical Interpretation
  • Broadcast Computing/New Media
  • Communication, Psychology & Ministry
  • Entrepreneurial Business
  • Intercultural Studies & Criminal Justice
  • Life Sciences & Spanish
  • Linguistics & Ancient Languages
  • Performing Arts Ministry
  • Philosophical & Literary Studies
  • Political Science and American History
  • Social Work & Criminal Justice
  • Sports Business Administration
  • Theatre Design
  • Victim Advocacy & Counseling
  • Visual Narrative & Writing

If you are ambitious, passionate about serving, and willing to follow a rigorous program, this might be the right degree for you.

What will I learn?

You will learn to think critically, develop effective communication skills, and investigate different areas of interest.

100%

of Northwestern’s interdisciplinary studies graduates felt professionally prepared by their education

96%

of seniors feel prepared to integrate their faith with their academic field

90%

of Northwestern’s interdisciplinary studies graduates are satisfied with their job

Careers in interdisciplinary fields

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.

What types of work are related to this degree?

The Interdisciplinary Studies major is closely related to your career goal. Work with a career counselor and other advisors to establish career direction before you create your Interdisciplinary Studies major.

View Career Guide
The possibility to combine the specific areas I am interested in and to tailor a holistically equipping path of study to my personal goals is invaluable. The flexibility to build in many different subject matters in creative yet conducive ways combined with the support from the various departmental faculty and staff has made the experience worthwhile. Forming a solid skill set through various cross-departmental opportunities is distinct to the IDS course of study and truly sets the program apart.
Deborah Spooner
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies - Class of 2018

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • Gain experience in your field of interest. Pursue volunteer work, internships and shadowing experiences.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your area of interest.
  • Research any professional certifications that are common within your field.
  • Join related professional organizations and LinkedIn groups.

Professional associations:

Professional associations are organizations seeking to further the practice, research and visibility of a particular profession. Examples of professional associations include American Marketing Association or the Society of Technical Communication. The value of joining one of these groups as a student is enormous! You will meet professionals in your field, gain knowledge of current trends and best practices, and be well positioned to acquire internship and job opportunities. Ask a professional or talk with a career counselor to strategize which associations you should consider joining.

Discover the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies


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