Interdisciplinary Studies, B.A./B.S. (35-62 units)
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 the Dean of Academic Programs and Services 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 27 semester units to complete the major and 40 for the degree. An Interdisciplinary Studies Major must contain at least 35 semester units for the B.A. or 36 semester units for the B.S. degree. The maximum number of semester units for the Interdisciplinary Studies Major is 62 units for either the B.A. or the B.S., of which at least 24 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 120 units.
The Interdisciplinary Studies Major requires more depth in the disciplines than the Liberal Studies Major. Accordingly, Interdisciplinary Studies Majors are expected to progress beyond general education courses in their fields.
To be eligible for an undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies Major, the student must:
- Have an overall (all-college) and Cal State East Bay grade point average of at least 2.50.
- Develop a one-page prospectus of at least 200 words describing the theme/focus of the academic program, giving it a title, listing the departments involved (at least two), discussing the reasons the objective cannot be met through a regular program, providing their academic and experiential background relevant to the program, stating their occupational goals, giving their time frame for completion of the program, and including their name, address, daytime phone, horizon e-mail address, and Net ID.
- After securing their consent, nominate three regular full-time faculty members to comprise the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Committee and serve as the academic advisors. The three committee members (one of whom would be the chair) must come from at least two different Cal State East Bay departments. All three members must come from departments from which the courses are chosen (e.g., an English instructor cannot be on the committee if no English courses are in the Interdisciplinary Studies Major proposal).
- Have at least 40 more semester units to complete for the degree, including at least 27 more semester units to complete for the major. Ideally, a student contemplating an Interdisciplinary Studies Major should undertake the implementation process no later than the first semester of their junior status so approval can be obtained before the completion of 80 semester units.
Students who meet the criteria above and are interested in declaring the Interdisciplinary Studies Major must:
- E-mail the Interdisciplinary Studies Coordinator’s assistant at email@example.com to obtain the information and instructions handout and a sample prospectus.
- Submit a prospectus (see criterion 2 above), which includes the names of the three faculty committee advisors, to the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Coordinator’s assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org) before having 40 semester units left to complete the degree, including 27 semester units left to complete the major.
- The Dean of Academic Programs and Services (or their designee) reviews the prospectus and, if it is academically sound and logistically feasible, the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Coordinator forwards it (along with this description of the Interdisciplinary Studies Major policies and procedures, copies of your transcripts, and a Proposal Form) to the three faculty advisers who comprise the student’s Interdisciplinary Studies Major committee.
- The three-person committee meets with the student to design the program and agree upon 3-4 learning outcomes. To avoid possible course planning problems, it is the student’s responsibility to verify with the appropriate department chair(s) when the chosen major courses will be next offered and if there will be any problems with enrolling in them. One faculty member, designated as the committee chair, completes the Proposal Form, obtains the approvals of the student and all committee members, and submits the form to the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Coordinator.
- The Dean of Academic Programs and Services or their designee reviews the proposed major and learning outcomes and, if they satisfy University requirements, the Coordinator forwards a copy along with the College (Associate) Dean’s Approval Form to the (associate) dean of the college in which the most units are taken and which will be the sponsoring college. That (associate) dean must approve the program and learning outcomes if they are to be implemented. A copy of the Proposal Form, proposed learning outcomes, and a college (Associate) Dean’s Approval Form are also forwarded to the (associate) dean of any other college in which there are program courses.
- Each college associate dean reviews the proposed program and learning outcomes and has 2 weeks (10 class days) to respond to the Coordinator.
- If an objection is received from any college (associate) dean by the Coordinator, the proposal will be held pending resolution by that (associate) dean, the faculty committee, and the student. If the (associate) dean of the college from the sponsoring college approves the proposal and learning outcomes and if no objection is received from the other (associate) dean(s), the Dean of Academic Programs and Services will act on the proposal. If an objection is successfully overcome, the Dean of Academic Programs and Services will act on the proposal. If there are no objections or the objections are resolved, the proposal and learning outcomes will normally be approved by the Dean of Academic Programs and Services.
- When a proposal has been approved, the final document will be sent to the General Studies Department Office and the Approval Sheet signed by the Coordinator and the student.
- When the proposal is fully approved, the student will complete a Change of Major form. Copies of the program will be held by Academic Programs and Services and may be accessed at any time by the committee members, the associate dean of the sponsoring college, the Registrar’s Office, and/or Coordinator.
- If changes to the program become necessary, the student shall e-mail the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Assistant at email@example.com and they will initiate a Petition for Change in Interdisciplinary Studies Major Requirements form for approval by the faculty committee chair, college (associate) dean, and the Coordinator. Upon approval, the program will be changed and notifications will be sent to the committee members and the student.
- When filing for graduation, the student shall inform the Coordinator. The graduation check for the Interdisciplinary Studies Major will be handled by the Coordinator and delivered to the Registrar’s Office.