Interdisciplinary Studies Major
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Dates & Deadlines
- Fall Deadline: September 1
- Spring Deadline: February 1
The interdisciplinary studies program (IDST) provides an alternative for students whose academic interests cannot be met by an existing major. The IDST major requires considerably more preparation and academic focus than many of the more traditional majors and should not be seen as a default for someone undecided about their course of study. The major must be well conceived and should not parallel existing majors or replicate courses of study in the professional schools. Students are strongly encouraged to complete most of their General Education requirements before pursuing an IDST major.
- A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
- Sophomore standing (or above) with at least 45 hours left before graduation (approximately three semesters of coursework)
- Eight core courses from at least three departments, with a maximum of four from any one department.
- At least eight substitute courses
- All courses must be appropriate for juniors and seniors majoring in those departments. Please be aware of courses that have prerequisites, major restrictions, or have not regularly been offered.
The IDST Advisory Board strongly discourages double majors in the IDST program.
- Review the application form and requirements.
- Identify a faculty sponsor who has teaching and/or research experience directly related to the IDST topic.
- Complete the application form, in consultation with your faculty sponsor.
- Submit a complete and signed application form to the following email IDST-Director@unc.edu by September 1 for the fall semester or February 1 for the spring semester.
- Students will be notified of a final decision within 4 weeks after the application deadline.
A faculty sponsor helps students develop their coursework and program topic. A faculty sponsor is also available for support, advice, and guidance, particularly regarding research opportunities, graduate study, and career options. The faculty sponsor must be from the College of Arts and Sciences and from one of the departments reflected in the core course requirements.
IDST students may participate in the undergraduate research opportunities available in the departments and curricula that constitute their program of study; they sometimes complete an internship either in the summer or during the academic year, and an honors thesis in their senior year.
Examples of Previous IDST Topics
- arts management
- cultural studies
- food studies
- medieval studies
- medical geography
- medical humanities
The IDST program is directed by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curricula in conjunction with an Advisory Board, representing the three divisions of the College. The Board reads and approves all proposals, and initiates any policy changes.
Questions about the major can be directed to IDST-Director@unc.edu.