Everyone has a field of study that he/she finds great interest in. This field might be a combination of two or more academic interests, which can be unrelated and as much seem challenging to study. Still, if you want to find specialization and uniqueness in two or more unrelated fields, then you need Interdisciplinary Studies.
Most times, you attend college to get a degree in a specific field like Agriculture, Mathematics, Psychology, Computer science, and you are specific in each field but in an Interdisciplinary program, you can combine Mathematics and Computer science into a single degree.
Does Interdisciplinary Studies sound new to you? Don’t worry, in this article, I will give you a detailed explanation, the kinds of students that succeed in it, the jobs for students that did Interdisciplinary Studies, and how to do well in the program. So read on till the end.
What is Interdisciplinary Studies?
Interdisciplinary Studies focus on multiple degrees and finds a way of combining them to form a single degree. You create a degree specific to you such that you are connecting two different and sometimes unrelated majors to one major that you can specialize in.
The unique thing about Interdisciplinary major is that you study what you are passionate about, and you combine the various disciplines you love into a complete package that makes you exceptional. Also, you can explore some courses in the majors as electives and study it to the fullest.
Example of Interdisciplinary Studies:
Example 1: Let’s assume you love mathematics and Computer science. You can combine the mathematics program and computer science program to create your own Maths/Computer Degree. The degree will enable you to understand the mathematics aspect of computers and how mathematics formed the programming codes the computer understands.
Example 2: Let’s assume you love Psychology and Business Management. You can combine Psychology programs and Business management programs to create your Business therapy Degree. You hence understand the impact of psychology in business and, on the other hand, having insight into the business of psychology.
Diff between Interdisciplinary Studies and Integrative studies
Interdisciplinary Studies and Integrative studies seem the same, but both are unique in their way.
In Interdisciplinary Studies, you study both programs distinguished and find the relationship between both. For instance, In studying Psychology and Business Management, you can combine Psychology programs and Business management programs to create your Business therapy Degree. Thus you consider both programs separately and understand their relationship.
As for Integrative studies, In studying Psychology and Business Management, you can study how psychology feeds into business but not the other way round. Integrative studies don’t treat the two majors as separate fields but as one supporting the other.
How to succeed in Interdisciplinary Studies
Interdisciplinary majors are generally not easy at all, such that you are studying two courses that are unrelated and as much you seek the relationship between the two majors.
For you to succeed in this program, you need to add additional effort to excel because it is not easy to combine two unrelated fields. These are some specific qualities you need to have:
Willing to Learn:
Willingness to learn is the number one factor in getting out of your comfort zone to read. Students that offer Interdisciplinary Studies have the zeal to be unique; that is why they have decided to combine two or more related to create a unique field for themselves. As a student, when you are willing to learn new things regularly, it becomes a way of life such that any field becomes a routine.
Because the Interdisciplinary major is not straight-forward, you need to be motivated to scale through the number of years of study. You will design your course schedule with your course adviser, including courses that seem slightly weird than average.
Let’s still use the case of Psychology and Business Management as an instance; there are some topics/electives in the Psychology major that will require a lot of motivation to study and to pass the exam. The same applies to the business management major.
Creative thinking skill:
The skill of creative thinking is needed more in finding the relationship between two unrelated courses in Interdisciplinary Studies. The ability to overlap both courses and see the unclear link is a major skill that you need to have or even create.
In the aspect of Psychology and Business Management, with creative thinking skills, you need to determine how to psychologically sell a product to a customer, as much, know the business of psychology in everyday life.
Conversion with a student of Interdisciplinary major
A conversation with a student offering Psychology and Business management. Here are his responses:
What keeps you motivated to study?
The zeal to be unique, exceptional and create something new out of what I’m passionate about.
Why did you choose to go into Interdisciplinary studies?
Interdisciplinary programs helped me to step out of your comfort zone and be unique in my workplace. During my studies, I learned new things that are beyond my field, and my mentality grew beyond just my field but how my field relates to other fields.
Do you have time for yourself?
Yes, I do create time for myself even though I’m hooked up with a lot of studies and research to do. I create a time management campaign, understanding my academic strengths and weaknesses, and how to use my time wisely. But truly, it’s not easy for me.
How do you relate with your lecturers?
Interdisciplinary Studies make you come across a lot of lecturers as you pass through your studies. With the help of your course adviser and course schedule, you will meet your lecturers, let them know your course of study, and fixing a plan for your classes and assignments.
College that offer Interdisciplinary Studies:
- SUNY at Fredonia
- University of Denver
- Purdue University
- Lehigh University
- Brown University
- Portland State University
- New York University
- University of Virginia
- Duke University
- Creighton University
- University of Connecticut
- University of California – Berkeley
- Valparaiso University
- University of California- Los Angeles
- Boise State University
Interdisciplinary Studies jobs:
When you go for a job interview and you have a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, it makes you unique and creates a special position for you in your work place. Some of these jobs include:
The average salary of a teacher with Interdisciplinary Studies is about $60,000, with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. A job of a teacher is to educate children and adults in different spheres of their careers.
The average salary of a counselor with Interdisciplinary Studies is about $42,000, with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. A job of a counselor is to provide advice to people in different spheres of life, helping them to solve various problems psychologically.
The average salary of a journalist with Interdisciplinary Studies is about $40,000, with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Due to the nature of the job, which involves writing and researching on different topics, the journalist needs interdisciplinary majors to excel in the job.
Advantages of Interdisciplinary majors:
- You are different from the crowd
- You are doing what you love and have passion for.
- There is an understanding how the relationship between two unrelated disciplines
Disadvantages of Interdisciplinary majors:
- It won’t be easy combining two or more majors
- You might find limited jobs in your combined field.
- You may not have time for yourself due to too many studies.
- Your professors may not understand what you are studying.
An Interdisciplinary major opens you up to a new discipline and changes your view on the way people see things. However, for you to do well in the studies, you need to put these factors into consideration:
Getting close to your professor and letting them know what you are studying will go a long in helping you graduate at the right time because you have the support of your professors.
The ability to collaborate with the students of each field you are studying will help you succeed faster. On the other hand, with the skill of collaboration, your colleagues will help make work easier for you. They can stand in for you when you are not available or not fit in health.
In summary, Interdisciplinary studies are not easy but it is worth the time and energy because it sets you apart from the crowd.
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