Academics

Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Details

  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Campus Availability: Macomb
  • Study Options: 1) Self-Designed; 2) Renewable Energy and Biofuels Technology, 3) Renewable Energy and Wind Technology, 4) Renewable Energy Policy, Planning and Management, & 5) Youth Development
  • Minor: Available in Interdisciplinary concentrations only
  • Graduate Degree: No
  • Study Opportunities: Honors
  • Download the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Brochure (pdf)

The Interdisciplinary Studies (ISP) program offers alternatives for students interested in emerging fields of study and, more generally, for students whose academic needs and interests do not conform to a traditional academic major. These Interdisciplinary Studies alternatives include a student-designed, personalized curriculum option or concentrations in the following areas: Youth Development, Renewable Energy and Biofuels Technology; Renewable Energy and Wind Technology; and Renewable Energy Policy, Planning, and Management.

Student designed multidisciplinary degree option

The Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies is a creative alternative in which students are encouraged and supported to take an active role in designing their own educational experience. The curriculum is tailored to the personal academic and professional objectives of the student. The program is interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary in spirit and practice and, thus, challenges students to make deliberate, thoughtful, and meaningful choices in developing a coherent plan of study that draws on resources from two or more academic departments. Interdisciplinary Studies graduates pursue a variety of careers or graduate school programs. Career opportunities include but are not limited to advertising, public relations, college student personnel, retail sales, sports management, counseling, management, ministry, medicine, hospitality/conference services, law, paraprofessional health care, and human services.

Students interested in admission to this self-designed Interdisciplinary Studies program must have a curriculum proposal reviewed and approved by the ISP office. Applicants must be in good standing and have earned at least 24 semester hours of credit. Students who have earned more than 75 semester hours will be admitted only by exception granted by the Interdisciplinary Studies Appeals Committee and only if the student has a grade point average of 2.0 or better. Students admitted by exception must complete at least 24 semester hours of credit after admission to the Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Youth Development Concentration

The BA or BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Youth Development provides the opportunity to develop skills necessary in a broad range of careers in nonprofit youth and human service organizations working with youth. Professionals in these organizations play pivotal roles in making a difference in the youth of their communities and in the lives of others. Students choosing this option might pursue careers in community nonprofit youth organizations.

Renewable Energy Concentrations (Bachelor of Science only)
  • Biofuels Technology – This concentration focuses on the technological aspects of using plant materials to produce ethanol and biodiesel. Students will take an array of courses in agriculture, chemistry, biology, physics, GIS, and finance. Students will be expected to understand the fundamentals of feedstock production, fermentation, fractionation, supply chain management, and plant management. Students choosing this option might pursue careers in private sector or cooperative biofuel production facilities. They might also find jobs in local planning agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, nonprofit environmental groups, state agencies, or federal regulatory departments.
  • Policy, Planning, and Management – This concentration emphasizes the numerous public policies that affect the development and utilization of renewable energy. Students will understand how laws, contracts, and regulations operating at the local, regional, state, federal, and international level affect renewable energy development. They will also gain an understanding of many technical aspects of renewable energy, such as commodity and energy markets, facility site location, and the general operations of biofuel processors and wind turbines. Students choosing this option might pursue careers in local planning agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, nonprofit environmental groups, state agencies, federal regulatory departments, or the private sector.
  • Wind Technology – This concentration emphasizes the technological aspects of using wind to generate electricity. Students will be required to take a series of technical courses in physics, engineering technology, GIS, meteorology, materials science, management, and finance. They will understand how to locate, finance, develop, and manage a community-scale or utility-grade wind power facility. Students pursuing this concentration can expect to find jobs working for private sector wind consulting companies to locate and develop wind projects, for municipal and state planning agencies, or in the nonprofit sector, among a range of other career options.

Internships

ISP concentrations require internships. Students designing their own interdisciplinary curriculum may elect to incorporate an internship experience into their academic plan to further enhance their career preparation. Most Interdisciplinary Studies graduates have completed internships as part of their curriculum.

Honors Program

Students eligible for participation in the Centennial Honors College will complete specific requirements for designation as an Honors Scholar. In the Interdisciplinary Studies program, honors students take courses for honors credit and, as seniors, prepare an honors thesis or honors project under the direction of a faculty member in the student’s area of study.

Possible Career Paths

Renewable Energy

The Renewable Energy Concentrations will enable students to develop skills necessary in a broad range of careers in the biofuels industry, wind energy industry, or in developing policy, project planning, and management in a variety of renewable energy industries.

Youth Development

The Youth Development Concentration enables students to develop skills necessary in a broad range of careers in nonprofit youth and human service organizations which seek to assist young people in developing the capacities needed to live a quality life. Students are required to select an internship to help them incorporate relevant work-site experiences with academic courses they have taken or plan to take.

Professionals in these organizations play pivotal roles in making a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.

  • Youth Director or Coordinator in Recreation, Resort, or Non Profit Setting
  • Camp Director
  • YMCA/YWCA Supervisor/Director/Coordinator of Youth Programs
  • Youth Recreation Leader
  • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Executive
  • Boys and Girls Club Director
  • Youth Program Director
  • After School Program Director

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

Concentrations

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science—Youth Development

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Youth Development must complete I, II, III, and IV below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 47 or 49 s.h.
    B.A.—University General Education plus 6 additional s.h. in the Humanities (49 s.h.)
    B.S.—University General Education to include 8 s.h. of lab science plus 6 additional s.h. in the Natural Sciences/Mathematics category (47 s.h.)
  2. Concentration Courses: 46 s.h.
    • BC&J 340—Fundamentals of Public Relations (3)
    • FCS 121—Introduction to Life Span Development (3)
    • PSY 221—Psychology of Child Development (3)
    • PSY 422—Adolescent Development (3)
    • PSY 425—Psychology of Exceptional Children (3)
    • RPTA 111—Introduction to Leisure Services (3)
    • RPTA 199—Fieldwork in Leisure Services (1)
    • RPTA 230—Leadership in Leisure Services (3)
    • RPTA 235—Programming Principles and Applications in Leisure Services (3)
    • RPTA 270—Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations (3)
    • RPTA 322—Administration of Leisure Services I (3)†
    • RPTA 424—Fund Raising and Volunteerism in Leisure Services (3)
    • RPTA 428—Youth and Leisure Services (3)
    • SOC 425—Juvenile Delinquency (3)
    • UNIV 490—Career Internship (6)
  3. Other: 9 s.h.
    PSY 100, SOC 100, SOC Elective
  4. Open Electives: 16–18 s.h.

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) a designated foreign language requirement [see Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement]; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.

† RPTA 322 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement.

Bachelor of Science—Renewable Energy and Biofuels Technology

All students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Renewable Energy and Biofuels Technology must complete I, II, III, and IV below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 47 s.h.
    B.S.—University General Education to include 8 s.h. of lab science plus 6 additional s.h. in the Natural Sciences/Mathematics category
  2. Concentration Courses: 46 s.h.*
    • AGEC 333—Agricultural Marketing (3)
    • AGTM 461—Surveying and Soil and Water Conservation Engineering (4)
    • CHEM 331—Organic Chemistry I (5)
    • CHEM 332—Organic Chemistry II (4)
    • ECON 465—Economics of Energy (3)
    • ENG 381—Technical Communication (3)†
    • ET 345—Continuous Improvement: Quality (3)
    • ET 356—Introduction to Power Systems (3)
    • ET 448—Industrial Safety (3)
    • GEOG 100—Introduction to Human Geography (3)
    • GEOG 208— GIS Map Design (3)
    • MICR 200—Introductory Microbiology (4)
    • SCM 211—Supply Chain Management (3)
    • UNIV 490—Career Internship (2)
  3. Other: 32 s.h.*
    BOT 200; CHEM 201, 202; ECON 231, 232; ET 105; MATH 137; METR 120; PHYS 150
  4. Open Electives: 18 s.h.

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) a designated foreign language requirement [see Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement]; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.

† ENG 381 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement.

* 23 s.h. of II and III may count toward the University General Education requirement.

Bachelor of Science—Renewable Energy and Wind Technology

All students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Renewable Energy and Wind Technology must complete I, II, III, and IV below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 47 s.h.
    B.S.—University General Education to include 8 s.h. of lab science plus 6 additional s.h. in the Natural Sciences/Mathematics category
  2. Concentration Courses: 42 s.h.*
    • AGEC 333—Agricultural Marketing (3)
    • AGEC 342—Agricultural Law (3)
    • AGTM 461—Surveying and Soil and Water Conservation Engineering (4)
    • ECON 465—Economics of Energy (3)
    • ENG 381—Technical Communication (3)†
    • ET 345—Continuous Improvement: Quality (3)
    • ET 356—Introduction to Power Systems (3)
    • ET 448—Industrial Safety (3)
    • ET 477—Programmable Control and Data Acquisition (3)
    • FIN 331—Financial Management I (3)
    • GEOG 100—Introduction to Human Geography (3)
    • GEOG 208— GIS Map Design (3)
    • SCM 211—Supply Chain Management (3)
    • UNIV 490—Career Internship (2)
  3. Other: 33 s.h.*
    ACCT 201; AGRI 220; CS 114; ECON 231, 232; ET 105; MATH 137; METR 120; PHYS 114, 115
  4. Open Electives: 21 s.h.

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) a designated foreign language requirement [see Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement]; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.

† ENG 381 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement.

* 23 s.h. of II and III may count toward the University General Education requirement.

Bachelor of Science—Renewable Energy Policy, Planning and Management

All students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Renewable Energy Policy, Planning and Management must complete I, II, III, and IV below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 47 s.h.
    B.S.—University General Education to include 8 s.h. of lab science plus 6 additional s.h. in the Natural Sciences/Mathematics category
  2. Concentration Courses: 41 s.h.*
    • AGEC 333—Agricultural Marketing (3)
    • AGEC 342—Agricultural Law (3), OR
      AGEC/ECON 430—Environmental Economics (3)
    • B L 431—The Law of Commercial Transactions
    • BC&J 340—Fundamentals of Public Relations (3)
    • BCOM 320—Business Communications (3)†
    • ECON 465—Economics of Energy (3)
    • FIN 331—Financial Management I (3)
    • GEOG 100—Introduction to Human Geography (3)
    • GEOG 208— GIS Map Design (3)
    • MGT 349—Principles of Management (3)
    • POLS 302—Introduction to Public Policy (3)
    • POLS 393—Environmental Politics (3)
    • SOC 345—Rural Social Organizations (3)
    • UNIV 490—Career Internship (2)
  3. Other: 36 s.h.*
    ACCT 201; AGRI 220; ECON 170, 231, 232; MATH 123 or STAT 171; METR 120; PHYS 114, 115; POLS 122; SOC 100
  4. Open Electives: 19 s.h.

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) a designated foreign language requirement [see Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement]; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved study abroad program.

† BCOM 320 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement.

* 23 s.h. of II and III may count toward the University General Education requirement.

Contact

Interdisciplinary Studies

Email: ISP@wiu.edu
Location: Horrabin Hall 6
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1929
Fax: (309) 298-2226

Interdisciplinary Studies Website

School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach

Dr. Jeff Hancks, Executive Director
Email: JL-Hancks@wiu.edu
Phone: (309) 298-1929

School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach website

Interdisciplinary Studies Advising

Ron Pettigrew
Horrabin Hall 6
Phone: (309) 298-1929
Email: R-Pettigrew@wiu.edu

Larry Pickett
Horrabin Hall 6
Phone: (309) 298-1929
Email: LH-Pickett@wiu.edu

Jen Tibbitts
Horrabin Hall 6
Phone: (309) 298-1929
Email: JL-Tibbitts@wiu.edu

Interdisciplinary Studies - Youth Development Advising

Keri Allison
Horrabin Hall 091
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: HL-Allison@wiu.edu

Youth Camp Student