Jul 13, 2024  
2020-2021 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2026 
2020-2021 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2026 [Archived Catalog]

Interdisciplinary Studies (BA)

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Affiliation: Interdisciplinary Studies


Degree programs in interdisciplinary studies are defined by, and were developed through, the following objectives: 

Knowledge – Students who successfully complete an IDSM degree:

1. Understand advanced concepts, terminology, methodology, subject matter, problems, and issues from multiple academic disciplines;
2. Are aware of the strengths and limitations of individual academic disciplines; and
3. Develop and increase the precision and depth of one’s understanding of issues and academic disciplines by employing multiple perspectives, experiences, and approaches.

Skills – Students who successfully complete an IDSM degree:

1. Develop the writing, speaking, analyzing, and computing abilities expected of all Truman students;
2. Recognize connections between traditional academic disciplines and integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines to develop a better understanding of a single issue;
3. Communicate knowledge using the conventions of multiple academic disciplines; and
4. Develop a versatility of thought that allows one to apply knowledge learned to issues and problems associated with varied subject areas.

Attitudes – Students who successfully complete an IDSM degree:

1. Recognize the importance of individual disciplines as a means to address problems and to generate knowledge;
2. Understand the interconnectedness of knowledge and academic disciplines;
3. Appreciate the value of a liberal education; and
4. Value “life-long learning.”


All Interdisciplinary Studies majors will develop their skills as speakers and as writers while earning this degree. This development starts in IDSM 175 Intro to Interdisciplinary Studies, where students write to understand various disciplines and work on multiple drafts of their major proposals. Writing skills are reinforced throughout students’ individually designed curricula. Strong competence in writing is shown in IDSM 475 Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone, where students conduct guided research on a topic related to their interdisciplinary concentration, culminating in a final research paper. The IDS major emphasizes speaking in classroom discussions and formal presentations. In their first year in the program, students present their major plans to an audience of their classmates, mentors, and faculty; as seniors they present their capstone projects to an even wider audience at the Student Research Conference.


Truman’s Interdisciplinary Studies program is intended for students with strong academic records, high motivation, a clear sense of direction, and the desire to design a challenging academic program. Accordingly, students who wish to pursue this degree must apply for admission into the program.

The Interdisciplinary Oversight Committee and the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies have established these guidelines for successful applicants to the program:

  1. Students must complete one semester of classes at Truman as full-time students before they can apply to the program. Interested students are encouraged to enroll in IDSM 175 - Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies  in their first or second year at Truman.
  2. Students must have a Truman GPA of at least 2.50 for admission to the IDSM program. No grade of D will count toward the Interdisciplinary Studies major.
  3. All applicants to the Interdisciplinary Studies major program must propose a plan for an individualized curriculum. This curriculum must be interdisciplinary - it must “integrate or synthesize content, perspectives, discourse, or methodologies from a number of disciplines.” This curriculum must be intentional, i.e. designed to include a series of significant educational experiences. Finally this curriculum must be commensurate with the size and rigor of other Truman major curricula. (See major requirements below.)
  4. Students must submit a written statement identifying their academic their academic goals and describing the course of study they wish to pursue in interdisciplinary studies. In some cases, the faculty oversight committee may require additional supporting documentation.
  5. Students must secure statements of support from at least two faculty evaluators.
  6. Students must complete at least 45 undergraduate credits after their program of study is approved.


Dialogues Requirements: 42-61 Credits

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-4 Credits

Bachelor of Arts Requirement: 0-8 Credits

  • Intermediate proficiency in ONE foreign language



No grade of “D” is accepted toward the Interdisciplinary Studies major.

Electives to Total: 120 Credits

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