Jul 16, 2024  
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies, B.A.

Interdisciplinary Studies (B.A./B.S.) 52-54 units

Major Requirements

Note: The programs are currently undergoing review.  Students interested in pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies B.A. or B.S. or a Special Certificate should contact Linda Beebe in the General Education Office, SA 1500 for forms and information.

The university offers both the B.A. and B.S. degrees with an Interdisciplinary Studies Major. There are no clearly defined differences between the two degrees, although B.S. degrees tend to be applied programs, while the B.A. is usually considered a liberal arts and social sciences degree. Normally, the type of degree awarded for an Interdisciplinary Studies Major reflects the degrees offered by the involved departments. To be eligible for an Interdisciplinary Studies Major, a student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50. An Interdisciplinary Studies Major must be a coherent program organized around a sound academic theme. The title of an Interdisciplinary Studies Major should be short (three to five words) and should describe the central academic theme of the program, not the student’s career objectives unless the two coincide.

An Interdisciplinary Studies Major must be fully approved before the student has fewer than 40 quarter units to complete the major and 60 for the degree. An Interdisciplinary Studies Major must contain at least 52 quarter units for the B.A. or 54 quarter units for the B.S. degree. The maximum number of quarter units for the Interdisciplinary Studies Major is 93 units for either the B.A. or the B.S., of which at least 36 are upper division (junior/senior level). Coursework in at least two different disciplines is required. The B.A. and B.S. degrees with an Interdisciplinary Studies Major require a total of at least 180 units.

Courses in the Interdisciplinary Studies Major are not applicable to the General Education-Breadth Requirements. (However, previously completed transfer evaluations will not be reevaluated). A student can take courses for G.E. purposes in departments involved in the major. However, any individual course used for G.E. cannot also be used in the major, except for courses which are exempt under the G.E. policy. (See the B.A./ B.S. Degree Requirements chapter.). Only one course from a department involved in the major can be applied to G.E.


A student who contemplates developing an Interdisciplinary Studies Major must have an overall and CSUEB grade point average of at least 2.50. Forethought and planning will need to precede any formal action. You may make an appointment to discuss all the necessary steps for getting your Interdisciplinary Studies major approved by emailing the Office of General Education at vicki.cosgrove@csueastbay.edu or call (510) 885-2941.

The prospective Interdisciplinary Studies Major student must prepare a one page prospectus of at least 200 words describing the theme or central academic focus of the proposed program (including the departments to be involved), the reasons why the objective cannot be fulfilled through a regular major, the academic and experiential background the student will bring to the program, the occupational goals of the student in relation to the proposal, the approximate time frame for completion of the major and the degree, and other pertinent information. A sample prospectus for a hypothetical Interdisciplinary Studies Major will be given to the student by the Interdisciplinary Studies Coordinator when they meet at the information appointment, which starts the process towards an approved Interdisciplinary Studies major. The student must also contact three faculty advisors in the involved departments, secure their support, and nominate them as his/her Interdisciplinary Studies Major committee. (One of these faculty advisors should be designated as chair of the committee.)

The prospectus, including the names of the three faculty advisors (and their departments), must be submitted to the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Coordinator in the Office of General Education before the student has fewer than 40 units left to complete in the proposed major and 60 units in the degree.

If the proposal is found academically sound and logistically feasible by the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Coordinator will forward copies of it to the proposed faculty committee members along with an explanation of the Interdisciplinary Studies Major policies and procedures, copies of the student’s transcripts, and a form for development and approval of the specific program of courses.

The three-person committee and the student must meet at a mutually acceptable time to design the program (i.e. to prepare the list of required and elective courses). When this is done, the form is completed, signatures of approval are affixed, and it is returned to the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Coordinator by the chair of the student’s faculty committee. The Interdisciplinary Studies Major Coordinator circulates the proposal to the deans of the involved colleges for commentary. After reviewing any comments, the Senior Director of Undergraduate Studies and General Education will act on the proposal. If it is approved, a final copy is prepared and the coordinator and the student sign it. When the student comes in to sign and receive a copy, a “Change of Major/Minor/Option” form must also be signed. The student will also be informed of the college from which he/she will graduate.

General Education

All students must also complete the general education-breadth and other graduation requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Normally, courses used for the Interdisciplinary Studies Major cannot be used for G.E., but transfer G.E. evaluations will not be redone. Check your catalog or see an advisor at the University Advisement Center for more information.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described throughout this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.