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What Is an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?

Dec 12, 2012 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

Not everybody’s interests fit into the neat, organized categories that most majors fall under. Some students may want to major in music and math at the same time—or gender studies and international relations, or French and food science. An interdisciplinary studies degree essentially lets you design your own major, picking classes from two, three, or more different disciplines to fine-tune a major that fits your specific interests exactly.

Interdisciplinary studies degrees are ideal for students whose career goals require an education in two separate disciplines—and no two interdisciplinary studies degrees are the same. Usually, you will work with an academic advisor to custom-design your own degree based on your
interests and goals. Some popular combinations of
studies and fields include:

Business and psychology

Understanding the psychology of leadership and management can add considerably to your success in a business-related career. If you’re sure you want to go into corporate leadership or management, combining studies in psychology and business—with a focus on leadership or management psychology—could get you far.

See Also: Online Organizational Psychology Degrees

Education and science

Or education and English, education and a foreign language, education and music—the options are endless. Earning an interdisciplinary studies major that combines classes in traditional or online education plus the subject or subjects you plan to teach can make you more qualified for a position teaching—both in the public school systems and in private schools.

See Also: Online Music Education Degree Programs

Music and math

Music and math often go hand in hand—and those with a head for composition are often naturals in mathematics. A focus in both of these subjects can draw on both your left- and right-brain talents—and provide you with a degree that would work well in a variety of different fields, from teaching to sound engineering to composition.

Marketing and graphic design

If you’re interested in graphic design or the visual arts, getting a career in some area of marketing is an obvious slam dunk. If you have the ability to combine a strong artistic sensibility with solid design skills, you’ll be able to convince marketing agencies and private clients alike that you have both the artistic and marketing savvy to be a valuable addition to their team.

See Also: Online Marketing Degrees

Political science and economics

If you have an interest in policy, having a background in both political science and economics can be a strong asset. This type of degree could land you a job setting and analyzing policy in a government agency, working with a nonprofit advocacy group, writing for newspapers on political or economic subjects, and more.

See Also: Online Political Science Degrees

Religious studies and social work

If you have a passion for religion and a desire to help others, social work and religious studies could go hand in hand. This degree could help you get a job that involves community outreach or counseling in a religiously affiliated setting—or eventually qualify you to work in a leadership position at a church, synagogue, or other religious organization. It could also help you combine religious counseling with a knowledge of social services and assistance programs that could prove valuable to the communities you work with.

See Also: Online Religious Studies Degree Programs

International studies and a foreign language

If you’re interested in a career that takes you abroad—either working for government, nonprofits, or a private company—earning an interdisciplinary studies degree in both international studies and a foreign language could raise your value in the marketplace. It could demonstrate that you are not only culturally aware and able to operate in a variety of international settings, but that you have the language skills you need to be truly effective in specific markets.

An international studies degree can be highly useful and perfectly targeted to a specific area. They tend to be the most effective in the job market for people who know exactly what they want and can tailor their degree program to make their qualifications highly focused in a specific field. If you know what you want, you could create the perfect degree program for your ideal job—and clear the way to landing your ideal job when you graduate.

See Also: Online Foreign Language Degree Programs



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