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.

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

The Interdisciplinary Studies major is particularly useful for students who wish to engage in occupations that touch on multiple areas of human interest and/or activity. Students interested in a wide variety of professions will profit from the major’s emphasis on “ways of knowing.” These professions include:

  • Domestic or international careers as designers
  • Fundraising
  • Contracting
  • Architecture
  • Grant writing
  • Mediation
  • Education
  • Management
  • Administration

For a complete list of professional applications, visit "What Can I Do With Major?". For additional information about how Saint Martin’s can help you find the career for you, visit our Career Center.



  • 40-46 semester hours of CORE requirements
  • 24 upper-division semester 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 (IDS301)
  • Successful completion of IDS498 (Senior Thesis I) and IDS499 (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.

Visit the undergraduate academic catalog for a complete breakdown of CORE (general) requirements for bachelor's degrees.

  • 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

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 IDS301 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


Saint stories

Ben Lopez

Finding your true self

"At Saint Martin’s, I learned that there is no reason to be afraid of being your true self."

Ben Lopez Interdisciplinary studies Class of 2015

Read full story