A degree in interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary studies allows you to create your own unique program of study, simultaneously specializing in two or more disciplines. However, this type of broad, self-designed education isn't for everyone. Check out the following sources to see if it's the right fit for you.
If you're interested in several different yet overlapping fields of study, you might consider a degree in interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary studies. Contrary to popular belief, such programs aren't meant for students who're undecided or want to 'feel out' several different fields of study at once. Rather, they're for students whose educational goals can't be met with a single available degree program. For example, you might choose to combine the study of ethics and biotechnology, aesthetics and computers, women and media, or film and journalism.
A clear advantage of interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary studies is the flexibility to design your own program of study. These programs largely allow you to dictate your own focus and curriculum, although you'll likely be assigned an adviser to assist with and approve your choices. In comparison with other majors, this arrangement gives you more control over your education, which is very appealing to some students.
An interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary studies program can prepare you for a variety of different careers. Since programs are self-designed, it's nearly impossible to list all the potential career options. Opportunities exist in education, health care, administration, higher education, journalism, public relations and more, all depending upon the disciplines you choose to study. A bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary studies could also prepare you for graduate study in many different areas.
The terms 'interdisciplinary studies' and 'multidisciplinary studies' mean basically the same thing. Typically, programs are titled either one or the other, based on the preference of the individual college or university. An interdisciplinary studies associate's degree can often be earned in two years of full-time study, whereas you can generally earn a bachelor's degree in four. Graduate options include 2-year master's degree programs in interdisciplinary studies and interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary Ph.D. programs that can typically be completed in 4-5 years beyond a master's degree.
What you'll study is up to you, although each school is likely to have some rules governing your curriculum design. For example, you may need to come up with a theme or title for your concentration. You may also be required to take a certain number of courses in the humanities, liberal arts, natural sciences or social sciences. Rather than selecting courses at random, you'll be expected to be able to explain how your chosen disciplines relate to one another and your overall theme. Additionally, you may be discouraged or restricted from taking too many courses in any one area.