Jun 03, 2023  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies Major, B.S.

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School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach

Interdisciplinary Studies Program Information

Box 70659
Phone: (423) 439-4223
916 W. Maple St.

The web-based Bachelor of Science with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies is especially designed to meet the needs of those with limited access to higher education; typically, adult students whose work, place of residence, family obligations, or other confinements have made attendance difficult in traditional on-campus courses. The Interdisciplinary Studies program is most suitable for adults who have completed an associate degree, or at minimum, some college credit. The program gives students the opportunity to integrate personal and professional growth through the exploration of perspectives, philosophies and experience in a variety of disciplines. Students complete two areas of concentration, which they may fulfill either by completing an ETSU minor or by completing 12 hours of related, upper-level coursework in an area appropriate to their educational or professional goals. Students may obtain the degree entirely through online courses or through a combination of traditional classroom and online courses. Students who have previously earned a four-year degree are not eligible to enroll in this program. Due to the unique nature of the Interdisciplinary Studies degree, students may not double major.

Admission Requirements

  1. Students apply to ETSU and must meet ETSU general admission requirements.
  2. Upon acceptance to ETSU, students complete an admissions interview with an Interdisciplinary Studies advisor. The interview may be completed over the telephone or through some other electronic means. The purpose of the interview is to determine whether the Interdisciplinary Studies major is the best program for the student, or if the student would be better served by another degree program.
  3. Students must complete the Cross-Disciplinary Studies application.
  4. The Interdisciplinary Studies advisor recommends admission or denial to the department chair, Division of Cross-Disciplinary Studies.
  5. The department chair accepts or denies admission.

Major in Interdisciplinary Studies

Curriculum Requirements

The Prior Learning/Experiential Learning Portfolio

The prior learning portfolio is an option available only to students in the Bachelor of General Studies and Bachelor of Science with majors in Interdisicplinary Studies or Professional Studies that allows them the opportunity to earn credit for their college-level learning that has taken place outside the traditional college classroom. In consultation with the advisor, students prepare a prior learning portfolio. The finished portfolio is submitted to the advisor to appraise form and content. Final approval is made by the appropriate departmental faculty. Credit may only be awarded for prior learning that directly equates to specific ETSU courses.

If a student transfers from the majors listed above to another major, hours earned through the prior-learning portfolio cannot be applied to the new major. No more than 25 percent of the degree may be earned through the prior learning portfolio process. In a 120-semester-hour program, this limit is 30 credit hours. Credit earned through the prior learning portfolio is ungraded and does not affect the student’s grade point average. Portfolio credit does count as ETSU residence credit.

General Program Information

To earn a degree from ETSU, there are specific course requirements put forth by ETSU, by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), by each college, and by each department. All students must meet the degree requirements at each of these levels. Please follow the format below:

University-level Degree and Graduation Requirements

Total Credit Hours for Degree: 120

TBR General Education Requirements: 41 - 42 Credit Hours

Below you will see the categories and courses specified under TBR General Education Requirements. Note that certain courses are required for this degree, specific to this major. Thus, these courses will satisfy both a TBR General Education requirement AND a requirement of this major. (Other majors may require different General Education courses.) Where specific courses are required for this major, we only list those courses under the category. If there are no specific major requirements for a category, all course options appear.


9 credits, consisting of 6 credits of written composition and 3 credits of oral communication.

Written Composition

Complete both of the following: 

Oral Communication

Complete one of the following:

Humanities and Fine Arts

9 credits, consisting of 3 credits of literature, 3 credits of fine arts, and 3 credits of humanities electives.


6 credits, consisting of both of the following:

Natural Sciences

8 credits, consisting of two of the following (some require labs which are listed directly after the lecture):

(Note: Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in the College of Arts and Sciences must select 8 credit hours in a SINGLE laboratory science. Please see listing in College of Arts and Sciences B.S. Degree Requirements for options.)


3 - 4 credits, consisting of one of the following:

Minor: no minor required

Additional graduation requirements:

Proficiency intensives

Two Concentrations. The student will complete two concentrations of his/her choice. Each concentration is a minimum of 12 hours of related coursework in the same discipline. Of the 12 hours required for each concentration, 9 of those hours must be at the 3000-4000 levels. There may be no duplication of courses between the two concentrations.

Professional Field Experience. Satisfactory completion of the Interdisciplinary Studies Professional Field Experience (BSIS 4210 ) is required to graduate.

Guided electives. The student will complete up to 52 hours of advisor-approved elective courses.

Upper division requirement. 34 hours of the student’s entire degree program must be at the 3000/4000 levels.

All other graduation requirements of the university must be met. See listing of these requirements in the Degree and Graduation Requirements  section of the catalog.

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