Interdisciplinary Studies Program

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Interdisciplinary Studies Program

WIU's Interdisciplinary Studies Program (ISP) is interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary in spirit and practice. It is intended to offer creative alternatives for students interested in emerging fields of study, such as Renewable Energy and Youth Leadership; and more generally, for students whose academic needs and interests do not conform to a traditional major at Western Illinois University. The Interdisciplinary Studies Program provides an educational experience that encourages students to think critically, comprehend what they read, communicate orally, and write effectively. Internships that incorporate relevant work-site experiences are encouraged in the Student Designed Curriculum, and are required in the prescribed curriculum of each concentration.

Student Designed Curriculum

One of the goals of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program is to encourage and support students who wish to take an active role in creating their own educational experience that prepares them for certain graduate programs or careers that do not require a specific undergraduate major.

Students are challenged to make deliberate, thoughtful, and meaningful choices in developing a coherent plan of study that draws on resources from two or more academic departments. The student's degree plans are individually designed and tailored to the personal academic and professional objectives of each student that leads to either a Bachelor or Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. The Interdisciplinary Studies advisors are there to help students define and think clearly about their objectives, provide them with resources important in their decision making and offer guidance in the design of their course of study.

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

Another goal of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program is to provide specialized curricula including coursework from multiple disciplines, in areas of Renewable Energy and Youth Leadership. In addition to a major in Interdisciplinary Studies, students earn a concentration. Minors are additionally possible to add, if feasible. Minors are not required.

    Wind Energy Turbine Renewable Energy concentrations

The Renewable Energy concentrations are earned in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. These concentrated curricula provide a challenging opportunity to develop skills necessary in a broad range of careers in a variety of renewable energy industries. Professionals in the renewable energy industry are at the forefront of identifying and solving the need for renewable energy.


     Youth Development concentration Youth Leadership concentration

The Youth Leadership Concentration is earned in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies or a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies depending on the student's choice. This concentrated curriculum provides the opportunity to develop skills necessary in a broad range of careers in nonprofit youth and human service organizations. Professionals in these organizations play pivotal roles in making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others.


At A Glance

  • Degrees Available:
    • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Minor: Available in Interdisciplinary concentrations only
  • Graduate Degree: No
  • Campus: Macomb

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Contact Info

Office located in Horrabin Hall Room 6, Macomb Campus

  • Phone: (309) 298-1929
  • FAX:  (309) 298-2226
  • Email:


ISP student






“Since the Renewable Energy program includes courses in all disciplines, it really helps give a broad perspective into each area within the renewable energy industry. I initially thought I wanted to be more on the business development side of things, but since I had a background in GIS, I was given the opportunity to intern with Invenergy for their project engineering team working on project mapping needs. Since there is such a variety within the WIU Renewable Energy program, students can become well-rounded and gain a variety of skills in order to qualify them for a larger number of opportunities.”

Rachel Mead, ISP Graduate