Considering Interdisciplinary Studies? Here’s What You Need to Know

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For some students, their desired career path or interests don’t fit in a specific major. Because of this, students may end up taking classes that they do not necessarily need or enjoy. Luckily, WOU has the answer. Students searching to customize their major can look into the Interdisciplinary Studies program, which allows more personalization to a student’s educational path (with some restrictions, of course). We spoke with two Interdisciplinary Studies experts, Dr. Sriram Khé and Susan Griffin, both of whom work extensively with students in the major. Check out their answers below:

Can you describe how the Interdisciplinary Studies major works?

A wonderful feature of Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) is this: Students are able to study more than one subject area for the major. Students can pursue two (or more) focus areas of content in the IDS major.
The focus areas do not have to be within the College of Education or within Liberal Arts & Sciences. They can be from the same college, or from either college. The bottom-line is that IDS provides students a structured opportunity to pursue their intellectual curiosities.

What kind of guidance do students receive within this major?

Guidance and advising is at multiple points through a team of committed advisors. There is a designated team of faculty who work with students. In the advising office, Susan is the point person for IDS.

What career paths have alumnus of the department followed?

The flexibility of the IDS major means that there are perhaps more career options than one might imagine. Here are a few examples: Law enforcement; interpreting; paralegal; healthcare; etc. Some go on to graduate school.

What kind of skills can a student pursuing this major expect to gain?

This is an important question that often gets marginalized. Whatever be the major, we hope that students will pick up valuable skills that employers look for.. The university refers to these as Undergraduate Learning Outcomes. These outcomes include communication, critical thinking, quantitative abilities, understanding of diversity, etc. IDS emphasizes these skills, and provides students with opportunities to become proficient in them. In the capstone class, IDS students will also have to demonstrate their proficiency with evidence.

Are there certain minors that pair well with this major?

Because minors are no longer required by the university, very few IDS students pursue minors. If students wish to pursue a minor, the faculty advisors will guide them on that also.

Who can students contact for more information?

Students who want to know more about IDS can contact the Faculty Program Coordinator, Dr. Sriram Khé, or the IDS Student Success Advisor, Susan Griffin, at ids@wou.edu.

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