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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

BA in Interdisciplinary Studies

Students in the forrest inspecting the ground

Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at the University of Mississippi!

Many like to think of Interdisciplinary Studies as a “build-your-own” major for students who feel that no single major is the right fit for their personal career goals. While this program does allow you to craft an individualized major, it is more than that. At the core of Interdisciplinary Studies is a philosophy of integration and collaboration.Andrew Pfrenger and student

We believe that some questions, some problems are too complex to be adequately addressed by a single methodology or disciplinary perspective. We also believe that some students have interests that are either too broad or too narrow for one major. Students in this program will

  • develop a nuanced understanding and respect for multiple disciplines
  • collaborate with faculty and peers across disciplines
  • learn to appreciate the interdependence of disciplinary knowledge
  • draw on the expertise and methodologies of two or more disciplines
  • integrate their insights and experiences to develop a personal expertise

As a student in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, you have the unique opportunity to develop a 42-credit hour plan of study that speaks to your interests, integrating two or more disciplinary concentrations across all the majors offered here at the University of Mississippi.

I will be there by your side throughout your time in the program, helping you to develop your personalized plan of study, acting as a sounding board for your ideas, teaching you in our introductory and capstone courses, and serving as your major advisor.

I encourage you to explore our website and make use of the resources here. If you feel like Interdisciplinary Studies might be a good fit for you, fill out our quick form to get the ball rolling. As the Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, I am eager to work with you and happy to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to schedule an appointment anytime.

On behalf of the entire College of Liberal Arts and our wonderful faculty and staff, welcome to Interdisciplinary Studies! We look forward to getting to know you and being a part of your journey here at the University of Mississippi.

Warmest Regards,

Dr. Andrew Pfrenger
Director of Interdisciplinary Studies
(662) 915-1518

What is Interdisciplinary Studies?

Interdisciplinary studies begins with the acknowledgment that some questions, some problems, some topics are too big to be understood through a single disciplinary lens. The interdisciplinary student seeks to gather the relevant knowledge, methodologies, and experience from a variety of disciplines to develop a more complete understanding of the issue that interests them. This approach to education requires movement beyond the traditional major.

The Interdisciplinary Studies major invites students to design a 48-credit hour individualized plan of study that speaks to their specific interests or career goals not addressed by the other majors offered here at the University of Mississippi. This plan of study includes 6 hours of core courses, including

IDS 101 – Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies (3) – students entering the major learn what it means to be interdisciplinary and develop their plan of study

IDS 499 – Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone (3) – senior IDS students employ interdisciplinary methods and critical-thinking skills in a research project that links their plan of study with career and intellectual interests

The typical IDS student will enter the program with a concept for the unifying theme that defines the interdisciplinary path they hope to take. This path is then fleshed out into a 42-credit hour plan of study through scaffolded assignments in our Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies course and through continued consultation with the program director. The plan of study should draw thematically relevant course offerings from two or more fields of study.

Learning across disciplines fosters the kind of intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills essential to success in future employment and graduate school. Interdisciplinary Studies students will leave the university better able to understand other value systems, to think conceptually, to critically engage with the work of diverse experts, and to wield their knowledge with informed intention.