Cumberland University

Interdisciplinary Studies

The Interdisciplinary Studies program is a Baccalaureate degree combining a General Education core, a particular academic focus that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries, and electives to total a minimum of 120 semester hours. The Interdisciplinary Studies degree is designed to provide a framework of study in which a focus can be designed by faculty across disciplines to meet the specific and dynamic demands of changing career fields.

Interdisciplinary Studies degrees are purposefully designed to allow students to pursue particular areas of interest, while also learning to use multiple disciplinary and academic methodologies in the exploration of existing bodies of knowledge. Students with these differing approaches will gain skills and depth of knowledge in their areas of interest.  

Students may choose an Interdisciplinary Focus listed below.


Individualized Major
An individualized program of study is possible if it is an interdisciplinary combination of courses created in collaboration between advising faculty from each discipline and approved by the Interdisciplinary Studies program head. Students interested in such a self-designed major will work with the Program Head and a committee of faculty in the disciplines to be studied. A proposal must be prepared by the student and defended before the committee for approval. See the Dean of Humanities, Education, and the Arts, or the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Head for more information.

American Studies  

The American Studies emphasis combines courses from across the University catalog that explore the history, philosophical foundations, artistic accomplishments, and lived social experience of the United States. 

Humanities and Social Sciences  

The Humanities and Social Science is designed to provide a value-centered education focused on understanding oneself, one's society, one's history, one's culture, and the increasingly multicultural nature of one's world. The student will be helped to find vision and purpose in life for contribution to and integration into his or her world. This program provides a broad-based liberal arts education with one or more areas of concentration for meeting the challenges of the changing century and for pursuing graduate studies in a variety of fields.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Humanities and Social Sciences is designed to provide the student with an opportunity for concentration in one or more areas of interest within the humanities and social sciences with reinforcement from related disciplines. While focus and concentration are provided in a particular discipline, a broader based education is provided through connecting the humanities with social sciences. The degree is a liberal arts degree that equips the student for a variety of professional opportunities or to pursue graduate specialization in a variety of fields including law, human relations, politics, and the behavioral sciences, and religious ministry. It further provides an understanding and context for functioning effectively in the multicultural world of the 21st Century.

Liberal Arts 

The Liberal Arts program is based on the classic Liberal Arts curriculum and designed to provide the graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive as a knowledgeable, productive, and successful citizen in a free society. A survey of disciplinary approaches provides the graduate with the skills needed to locate, collate, evaluate, and synthesize existing knowledge, to communicate and present information effectively and persuasively, and function in professional environments in which critical, creative, and flexible thinking are required for the solving of unique challenges in novel contexts. 

Education and Human Development  

The Education and Human Development emphasis is designed to give the graduate a thorough understanding of the origins and nature of human development and improvement by blending coursework in psychology, education, sociology, and human performance. 

General Requirements for the Degree:

A minimum of 45 hours coursework at or above 300 level; of those 45 hours, 15 hours must be at the 400 level.

6 hours of Philosophy (including 3 that may be taken as part of the General Education Core), and
6 hours of internship or disciplinary or research methods (e.g. Teaching Methods, Historical Research Methods, Statistics).
Junior Seminar: An important component of the Interdisciplinary Studies program is the Junior seminar. Students must participate in a seminar course (planned for the Spring semester in the Junior year). In this seminar, the course instructor will work with students to develop post-graduate plans and to hone the skills needed for their post-baccalaureate plans, whether that includes graduate school or a career. The instructor of the course will work in coordination with the advisor of each student to design a project that synthesizes the student's interests with post-college professional or graduate study plans.
Student must have a 2.00 GPA to qualify and must maintain 2.00 GPA to graduate with interdisciplinary studies degree.

General Design for a Baccalaureate in Interdisciplinary Studies Hours 
General Education Core courses 45-47
Interdisciplinary Studies Variable
Electives Variable
Philosophy, Ethics 6
Research, Methods, or Internships 6
Junior Seminar (IDS 375) 3
Minimum total hours 120