Interdisciplinary Studies

Not finding the exact program you want? Customize your JBU degree with this option.

More About Interdisciplinary Studies

In special circumstances, a student wishing to pursue a course of study not available within the stated offerings of John Brown University may present a petition to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies requesting approval of an individualized program leading to a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Such a program should be thoughtfully designed in consultation with a faculty advisor after the student has had significant college experience. Therefore, a student should not begin the proposal process prior to the second semester of the sophomore year. The bachelor’s Interdisciplinary Studies degrees are not available to students pursuing another degree.

Bachelor’s Interdisciplinary Studies Programs must conform to general university degree requirements, including the following:

  • Full Core Curriculum, possibly employing substitutions allowed within existing degrees.
  • For B.A. programs, major field consisting of at least 36 semester hours and 12 hours of foreign language.
  • For B.S. programs, major field consisting of at least 48 semester hours.
  • The major field requirements must include courses from two or three different primary disciplines. These courses could also meet Core Curriculum requirements.

With two primary disciplines, each discipline should be at least 12 hours for B.A. programs and at least 16 hours for B.S. Programs.

With three primary disciplines, each discipline should be at least 9 hours for B.A. programs and at least 12 hours for B.S. programs.

  • At least 18 hours of upper-division courses included in the major field, with no presumption of waiver of specified prerequisites.
  • Stated minimums for major, minor, and cumulative grade-point averages.
  • Minimum credit of 124 total semester hours.

A student considering an Interdisciplinary Studies degree should begin discussion with the general academic advisor toward the establishment of a Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) to supervise the degree project. The FAC consists of two or three faculty members representing the academic colleges or divisions where substantial proportions of the desired courses are offered. FAC members offer guidance as the student initiates and navigates the process: defining/refining personal goals, designing a coherent program that is professionally relevant and academically valid, and completing the requirements as approved for the degree. One of the FAC members must also agree to be the student’s academic advisor.

The student must submit to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies a detailed proposal that includes the following:

  • Rationale for the desired major, including the student’s personal aims.
  • Documentation of any similar curricula offered by other accredited institutions.
  • If the program is to form a foundation for advanced study, a statement of potential acceptability from a graduate institution to which the student may eventually apply.
  • Specific course plan arranged in accordance with scheduled offerings stated in the catalog.
  • Current transcript showing a grade-point average of at least 2.8.
  • Signatures of members of the Faculty Advisory Committee.

Final approval of proposals for Interdisciplinary Studies is granted by the Undergraduate Council.