Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
The Interdisciplinary Studies major is designed for students who want to pursue interdisciplinary studies without a major in a single department or in one of the structured interdepartmental degree programs. Students who are accepted into the Interdisciplinary Studies major pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) degree.
The Interdisciplinary Studies major focuses primarily on disciplines within the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. It is individually designed by each student and a committee of at least four faculty members from the student's areas of interest. Students must apply and be accepted for this major through the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences.
Students who wish to explore academic fields as diverse as: Southern Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; Performing Arts Management; Environmental Studies; Linguistics... often pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree program. The curriculum is individually designed in consultation with the student's Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.
Career choices vary widely for Interdisciplinary Studies majors. Career preparation should be tailored to each student according to individual needs. Interdisciplinary Studies majors also provide strong preparation for certain graduate and professional school programs.
Each student meets with an Interdisciplinary Studies Committee composed of four faculty members from the student's areas of interest. After this initial meeting, the Chair of that Committee serves as the student's advisor of record. The other Committee members serve as resources for the student. While the advisor monitors the student's progress, it is the responsibility of the student to make sure that he or she completes all program, Collegiate, and University requirements for graduation.
. Know the facts about the BAIS degree program. There are two BAIS degrees at the University of South Carolina: one in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management, the other in the College of Arts and Sciences. The BAIS degree in the College of Arts and Sciences must focus primarily on disciplines within the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. The BAIS degree is not intended to be a substitute for approved traditional major and minor programs. The BAIS degree is not available for students who do not qualify for traditional majors.
2. Read the section of the University Bulletin on Interdisciplinary Studies under the College of Arts and Sciences.
3. Set up an appointment with the Assistant Dean to discuss your idea for an Interdisciplinary Studies major. The Assistant Dean will discuss with you the feasibility of your idea, and may suggest research or interviews you should conduct to sharpen your idea into a workable proposal.
4. Write the proposal. The proposal is an essay which explains your reasons for wishing to pursue the BAIS degree, your academic and professional goals, and a list of courses you propose to fulfill the Interdisciplinary Studies major requirements. The proposal should also indicate four faculty members from your areas of disciplinary interest that you would like to serve on your Committee. ( The Dean's Office will suggest Committee members, if necessary, and has the right of appointment for all Committee members.)
5. Submit the proposal to the Assistant Dean. You will be notified of provisional approval in writing.
6. Once you have received provisional approval of your proposal, you may then schedule a meeting of your Committee. This involves determining a date and time that you and your four Committee members can meet (usually for about an hour.) Once you have determined a meeting time, you must request a room for the meeting. The Dean's Office will assist you by reserving a room for the meeting, providing a copy of your proposal and academic record for each Committee member, and designating one faculty member as the Committee Chair. Please allow two weeks for room reservations.
7. During the meeting, the Committee members will review your proposal and make any necessary changes or adjustments to your plans. Final approval of the proposal and formal entrance to the BAIS degree program can be made only by the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.