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Interdisciplinary Studies


Interdisciplinary studies programs include topics from two or three departments. Students may be able to combine and overlap majors.

Interdisciplinary studies programs teach students to approach their academic interests from different angles. Many schools prefer the term "multidisciplinary studies."

Interdisciplinary studies programs include topics such as:


In interdisciplinary studies programs students may be able to specialize in:

A degree in interdisciplinary studies can provide good preparation for many graduate programs.


Most community colleges offer associate degree programs in interdisciplinary studies. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies. A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.

Some universities offer graduate degrees in interdisciplinary studies. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers to Consider

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

You may first need to complete general education course requirements and meet with potential advisors to make sure you follow the guidelines for your school. You usually also need to write a proposal describing your planned course of study.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

In some cases, you also may have to take the GRE subject test for one of the subjects in your planned interdisciplinary course of study.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following:

You would take these core courses to gain a broad set of academic tools before you take elective courses that focus on your specific and individualized study.

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs tends to vary according to your interests. This is especially true of interdisciplinary studies. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum in this program looks like the following:

Things to Know

Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies programs vary from school to school. Some schools offer structured programs; others prefer that students work closely with their advisors to design individualized programs.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Central Washington University - Moses Lake

Central Washington University - Wenatchee

Walla Walla University

Washington State University - Pullman

Whitman College

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Central Washington University - Des Moines

Central Washington University - Lynnwood

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Everett

Green River College

North Seattle College

Northwest University

Seattle Central College

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

University of Washington - Bothell

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Whidbey Island

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Fairchild AFB

Gonzaga University

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Central Washington University - Pierce County

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Evergreen State College, The (Tacoma Campus)

Pacific Lutheran University

University of Puget Sound

University of Washington - Tacoma

Tri-Cities Area

Washington State University - Tri-Cities

Vancouver Area

Washington State University - Vancouver

West Side Area

Evergreen State College, The

Northwest Indian College

Saint Martin's University

Western Washington University

Yakima Area

Central Washington University - Yakima

Heritage University