You are here

Policy Statement - 99-13 Interdisciplinary Studies, Bachelor of Science in

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (code 3-0405)

This new degree was recommended by the Academic Senate on February 4, 1999, concurred by the President on March 23, 1999 and approved by the Office of the Chancellor on June 25, 1999.

The Interdisciplinary Studies major for the bachelor of science degree allows selected students to engage in an individualized baccalaureate program when legitimate academic and/or professional goals cannot be accommodated by existing academic programs or combinations of such programs (i.e., majors, minors, certificates). The Interdisciplinary Studies major adheres strictly to the University's mission statement and consists of a closely correlated program of study in two or more departments developed in conference with faculty members from the respective departments who have the academic and professional expertise necessary to support the individualized course of study.

The Interdisciplinary Studies major is not a means of bypassing normal graduation requirements nor a means by which students may seek to graduate who have failed to gain admission to impacted programs or to complete a degree major in which they are currently enrolled. Consequently, a candidate must apply for approval of an Interdisciplinary Studies major when:

1. At least one full year of academic work (30 units) remains to be
completed to meet minimum graduation requirements.

2. At least 2/3 of the upper-division (300-400) units in the proposed
course of study remain to be completed at the time the application is
submitted for approval.

3. The GPA in the current major is 3.0 or better. Exceptions to this
rule will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The Interdisciplinary Studies program of study must be justified by legitimate career, academic, and /or professional goals commensurate with the broader mission of the University in baccalaureate education. Interdisciplinary Study majors are considered on a case-by-case basis. Approval is determined on the basis of the academic merit of the proposed course of study, the proposal rationale, the applicant's potential for successful completion of the program, and on the ability of the University to support the proposed program. Goals should be carefully reviewed before proceeding with an Interdisciplinary Studies major.


1. To prepare for the initial interview:

A. Make an appointment with the Interdisciplinary Studies Director
to discuss eligibility for the program.

B. Prepare a written proposal, eight pages in length, identifying
your educational goals and objectives, your career goals and
objectives; explaining why these cannot be met through an existing
major; and listing the courses at CSULB appropriate to your goals.

2. Present your written statement for initial review to the
Interdisciplinary Studies Director from whom guidelines,
recommendations, and forms necessary for the following steps may be
obtained if the proposal is determined to be promising.

3. Seek out a faculty advisor from each discipline in which substantive
course work will be undertaken. These faculty must have the expertise
appropriate to the Interdisciplinary Study you propose, must find merit
in your proposal, must agree to meet with you and all other faculty
adviser to develop a program of study, and must agree to continue to
act as your program advisors.

4. Arrange a meeting of the faculty advisors for the purpose of
developing the list of specific courses that will constitute the
Interdisciplinary Studies degree program. Any modification of this
program after it has been officially approved by the Interdisciplinary
Studies Director requires the concurrence of all faculty advisors and
must be the result of consultation with them, usually at an advisory
meeting. Faculty advisors sign the official Interdisciplinary Studies
Major Program form and any subsequent Program Addendum forms.

5. Submit the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Program, signed by the
faculty advisors, to the departmental chairs of each department in
which substantive work is projected. Their signatures on your program
form indicate they have reviewed its contents, approved the proposed
program, and are granting you the same priority status for enrollment
in courses in their departments as that accorded departmental majors.

6. Return your program with all signatures to the Interdisciplinary
Studies Director along with your typed Interdisciplinary Studies
proposal and transcripts from all schools attended, including a current
set of transcripts from CSULB. Completed programs must be approved by
the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Director and will be filed in the
Interdisciplinary Studies Office and the Records Office. Be advised
that pending final approval of your Interdisciplinary Studies Program
you should proceed with the course work for your previously declared
major or with General Education and elective courses. You should delay
taking courses that will count only toward the fulfillment of your
Interdisciplinary Studies Program until the semester following formal
admission into the major.


1. An Interdisciplinary Studies Program consists of a maximum of four
lower-division courses (100-200) and a of a minimum of 36 units of
upper-division courses (300-400) totalling a minimum of 48 units in the

2. An Interdisciplinary Studies Program is based on a thematically
cohesive core of classes involving significant work in more than two
disciplines. A rationale must accompany the program and be signed by
the faculty advisors when the program is submitted to the
Interdisciplinary Studies Program Director for approval.

3. Interdisciplinary courses (1) taken to satisfy General Education
requirements may be double-counted to meet Interdisciplinary Studies
Program unit requirements, if the program consists of more than 48
units of credit.

EFFECTIVE: Fall 1999

Code: 3-0405
College: 94
Career: UG
IPEDS (Major) ERSS: 49993
IPEDS (Degree) ERSD: 49993