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Interdisciplinary Studies

Are you interested in studying multiple approaches to enduring and topical human concerns? The Interdisciplinary Studies major teaches the approaches, lexicons, and methodologies of discrete disciplines. Such comparative and interdisciplinary exploration encourages awareness of where different disciplines share assumptions and where they construct distinct heuristic processes.

Why Saint Martin's University?

The interdisciplinary studies major at Saint Martin’s University exists to further the school’s mission of integrative learning in the Benedictine tradition. Highly motivated students who are interested in more than one area of study are able to combine two or more disciplines into a single degree.

This major is designed for students who want to engage in rigorous intellectual training in understanding how varying methodologies and modes of inquiry raise different questions and serve different purposes. It also requires independence of thought and a strong work ethic.

Program highlights

Team-teaching, as a major aspect of this program, allows professors from diverse backgrounds to come together to design unique and often unconventional courses that carry such remarkable titles as:

  • Social Action: Introduction to Troublemaking in a World that Needs Troubling (a course on initiating social change)
  • Jesus on Film and in the Gospels (an examination of the figure of Jesus in the Gospels and in popular film)
  • Chasing the American Dream (an examination of the American myth)

The IDS graduate leaves Saint Martin's with an appreciation of a myriad of modes of inquiry and a flexibility of method that will enrich the skills they will bring to future employers, as well as enhance their own enjoyment of intellectual inquiry and civic engagement throughout their lives.

The uniqueness of the interdisciplinary studies major is reflected in the theses submitted by the program's students. Below is a sampling of theses produced by graduates of the Interdisciplinary Studies program.

  • Religious studies/History/Art/Art History: Kandinsky & the Spiritual Roots of Abstract Art
  • History/English: The Vietnam War in the Memoirs of American Soldiers
  • Psychology/Education: Effects of a University Education on Students' Psychological Development
  • Business/Music: What Makes a Hit Song?
  • English/Film Studies: Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring on Film
  • Cultural Anthropology/English: The culture and Literature of Self-Help

Interdisciplinary Studies Requirements

  • 40-46 credit hours of CORE requirements (Visit the undergraduate academic catalog for a complete breakdown of CORE (general) requirements for bachelor's degrees.)
  • 24 upper-division credit hours in two distinct disciplines, 12 credits in each discipline
  • First-year competency in two world languages or second-year competency in one world language
  • Successful completion (2.0 or better) of two junior seminars in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS 301)
  • Successful completion of IDS 498 (Senior Thesis I) and IDS 499 (Senior Thesis II)

In addition to the major requirements listed above, Interdisciplinary Studies majors are expected to work with their advisors as the IDS Board of Study to choose a course of electives that will not only deepen their major but also broaden their university degrees.

IDS 301: Junior Seminar
Team-taught classes with changing subject matter. These seminars study significant ideas, texts, and occurrences that students are required to interpret with two distinct sets of disciplinary methods. At least two IDS 301 seminars are required of IDS majors.

IDS 498: Senior Thesis I
After submitting a plan to the Board of Study and receiving its approval, students gather substantial bibliographies and produce drafts of their senior theses

IDS 499: Senior Thesis II
Students revise and present their senior theses before Board of Study

  • Understanding of some multi-cultural and transnational issues
  • Familiarity with fundamental professional terminology of at least two disciplines
  • Competency in writing, reading, speaking and listening
  • Ability to gather information via appropriate sources and to evaluate information critically
  • Ability to identify discrete methodologies in their shared assumptions and distinct heuristic processes and to use these methodologies productively to define questions and explore responses

Interdisciplinary Studies at a Glance

Bachelor of Arts
Program Type
Main (Lacey)
Type of Instruction
In Person
College of Arts and Sciences
What can I do with this major?
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Transformative outcomes

Career paths

  • Domestic or international careers as designers
  • Fundraising
  • Contracting
  • Architecture
  • Grant writing
  • Mediation
  • Education
  • Management
  • Administration
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College of Arts and Sciences

Spanning the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, and characterized by an educational environment that is both rigorous and supportive, the College of Arts and Sciences offers 20 undergraduate major programs and 20 minor programs.

Next steps

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