Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 
    Mar 04, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies, B.I.S.

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The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree offers programs of study for students interested in integrating multiple disciplinary perspectives and applied fields to achieve a better understanding of multidimensional and dynamic phenomena, to accomplish creative works, or to solve complex problems. The BIS currently provides four interdisciplinary pathways:
  1. Individualized Pathway
  2. Film Pathway
  3. Religion Pathway
  4. Forensic Science & Investigation Pathway

Core Areas A-E: 42 Hours

Individualized Pathway

The Individualized Pathway allows the student to design a major field around a particular theme and grounded in at least two disciplines. A degree plan specifies this thematic program of study and is developed by the student in consultation with a BIS advising committee. The BIS advising committee consists of an Interdisciplinary Studies advisor and two disciplinary mentors, each representing one of the selected grounding disciplines. Both the student and the committee sign the degree plan as well as any subsequent revisions of it. Any BIS major with at least 60 hours must have a signed degree plan.

The elements of the degree plan are described in more detail as follows:

  • Degree topic - A theme, question, problem, etc. around which the degree is organized.
  • Learning outcomes - Specification of knowledge, skills, and experiences the student aims to develop or achieve through academic and co-curricular activities beyond the following, which apply to all BIS majors:
  1. Describe the defining elements of interdisciplinarity.
  2. Distinguish between two or more disciplines in how they produce knowledge.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to engage in perspective-taking.
  4. Develop structural knowledge pertaining to a problem or theme.
  5. Integrate knowledge and modes of thinking drawn from two or more disciplines.
  6. Produce an interdisciplinary understanding of a complex problem or intellectual question.
  • Long-term goals - What the student hopes to achieve after graduating from UWG (e.g.graduate degree, career path, etc.). As the student progresses, these goals, as well as learning outcomes, will be revisited and, as warranted, revised during advising appointments and through reflective writing in the academic portfolio.
  • Specific courses, including

Courses from the grounding disciplines–At least nine credit hours (and no more than 18) of 3000/4000-level coursework from at least two disciplines. Disciplinary grounding is essential in integrative learning.


The XIDS course sequence, including XIDS 2000 - Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, XIDS 3000 - Interdisciplinary Methods, and XIDS 4000 - Interdisciplinary Capstone


Courses from additional disciplines, and/or a minor, and/or electives–Selected in accordance with the degree theme, learning outcomes, goals, and capstone project.

  • Capstone project idea–A brief (1-2 paragraph) description of a self-directed project. The description will be refined during advising appointments and through reflective writing for the academic portfolio. A plan for the project will be developed in XIDS 3000 and the final project will be submitted and presented in XIDS 4000.

For more details please see: https://www.westga.edu/academics/university-college/ids/bachelor-of-interdisciplinary-studies.php

Film Pathway

This pathway offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study and practice of Film. Students in the Film Pathway develop a degree plan as detailed above, selecting courses from at least two of the following film-related disciplines: Critical Studies, Screenwriting, Art and Lens-Based Media, Production Design, Performance, and Production.  In addition, students are able to earn the Certificate in Film & Television Production offered by the Georgia Film Academy as part of their interdisciplinary program of study.

Forensic Science and Investigation Pathway

This pathway offers an interdisciplinary program of study for students interested in applying science, social context, and rules of criminal procedure to the seizure and analysis of physical evidence. Students in the Forensic Science and Investigation Pathway develop a degree plan that includes courses from Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, and Criminology.

For more details please see: https://www.westga.edu/academics/university-college/ids/forensic-science-and-investigation-pathway.php

Religion Pathway

This pathway provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of religion. Students in the Religion Pathway develop a degree plan that includes courses from four focus areas, including: Religion in the Arts and Humanities, Religion in the Social Sciences, Religion and Social Justice, and Spirituality and Health.

For more details please see: https://www.westga.edu/academics/university-college/ids/religion-pathway.php

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