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How Online Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees Are Defining a New Trend in Distance Learning

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 5/27/2010

It is an open secret that institutions of higher learning are scrambling to keep up with the ever changing global marketplace. Visionary distance educators and savvy students now take matters into their own hands with online interdisciplinary studies degrees. Are you game?

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    What Are the Advantages of Online Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees?

    Distance education is a mainstay for students who are already involved in their chosen careers or whose personal lives do not allow for relocation to study at a particular university. Moreover, if you are a student with an active social life and familial obligations, studying online allows you to make good use of spare time rather than conforming to a predefined schedule.

    Interdisciplinary studies degrees are advantageous for students who wish to custom tailor their education to meet specific learning or career goals. Students on a serious career track have the chance to enhance their education with industry specific courses to such an extent that they become an expert in the field, even at the undergraduate level. This, in turn, allows for a great boost on the resume. In addition, this kind of degree allows the as of yet undecided students to broaden their educational horizons and include courses from a number of disciplines to which a predefined degree would not ordinarily expose them.

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    Schools Offering Degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies

    Keiser University

    Bright Hub’s own Willa has previously offered a review of Keiser University in “A Review on Keiser University Online Degree Programs.” This school includes an interdisciplinary degree among its programs. Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, this degree is a bachelor of dScience. Students may select two or more fields of study and work them together into a stand alone degree which is then approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs. Since transfer credits are accepted and students have an almost free hand at designing the degree, it is hard to tell just how many credits you will have to take to complete it.

    Walden University

    Walden University---accredited by the Higher Learning Commission---offers a bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies that requires students to select only two undergraduate majors as their preferred fields of study. The emphasis of this degree is global awareness in addition to workplace readiness. The complete degree requires 181 quarter credit hours of which 95 are slated for interdisciplinary studies.

    Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University offers a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies. Of the 120 credits required, thirty-six are for interdisciplinary studies. This degree is geared to an understanding of the spiritual development of civilizations coupled with communications and Spanish language. The courses offered permit some choices but in general are already predefined, and of all the interdisciplinary degrees, this one offers the least need for extensive student input. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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    Who I a Good Candidate for These Degrees?

    Enrolling in online interdisciplinary studies degrees is not for everyone. Only students who have a clear understanding of their expectations from the educational process should opt for a degree that combines two or more disciplines. On the other hand, students unsure of their exact place in the workforce who are ready to explore academic offerings leading to a degree rather than to the accumulation of credits and who have an eye for the globalization of the workforce might also be a good fit.

    Do not enroll in an interdisciplinary course of study until you have seen the curriculum and are familiar with the amount of interdisciplinary credit hours required. Since they vary among schools---just like one might offer this degree under the umbrella of the bachelor of science, while others may choose to make it a bachelor of arts---picking the right educational venue is extremely important. This makes this a degree uniquely slated for the informed student who is willing to play an active role in her/his educational outcomes.

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    Sources

    • Keiser University - http://www.keiseruniversity.edu/olads/landing_pg/IS.html?gclid=CM2v8vLdppwCFShRagodzCOQjw
    • Walden University - http://www.waldenu.edu/Degree-Programs/Bachelors/B.S.-in-Interdisciplinary-Studies.htm
    • Grand Canyon University - http://online.gcu.edu/index.php?page=liberal-arts