32 Online Bachelor Degree Programs Available in Liberal Arts & Sciences

All About a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies Online

The last century has seen many professions become increasingly specialized. Medical professionals have their choice of niche areas to study, focusing on any one of a number of organs, body parts or internal systems. Meanwhile, engineers may spend decades working with one specific kind of technology or piece of equipment.... However, developments in a particular field often occur when people take a broader approach, incorporating new and different disciplines to old, hyper-specialized modes of thought. If you're interested in entering a field that may benefit from a unique, multi-faceted educational approach, then you may want to consider earning a bachelors in interdisciplinary studies online.

What is a bachelors in interdisciplinary studies online?
Interdisciplinary studies is a degree based on the concept of flexibility. Sometimes there are professions that would benefit without any one particular focus, or, the current degree programs in that field don't offer the right kind of focus for the work you intend to do. Interdisciplinary degrees may come as pre-packaged curricula offered by schools that blend multiple fields into one major. For example, an architecture degree may be combined with a landscaping or urban planning major to create a hybrid field of study. A degree in American studies may incorporate courses from English, history, art and politics departments. The resulting syllabus doesn't quite fit into any one of those departments, but rather provides a more holistic view of the subject in question.

More interesting are the interdisciplinary degrees that are customized by the students themselves. Generally, these kinds of programs require people to submit a proposal for the curriculum or even a thesis outline, and the classes that may best be suited to it. Once approved, students start down an entirely tailor-made path, often with the support and oversight of a professor or mentor. The degree may be tailored for careers in law, medicine, science or the arts. So long as a meaningful connection can be made between two fields, it may be suitable as an interdisciplinary degree.

Jobs available in interdisciplinary studies
The careers available to someone with a bachelors in interdisciplinary studies depends entirely on the subjects involved. If, for example, you've chosen an interdisciplinary study involving architecture and engineering, then you may be on the track toward a profession involving those fields. Meanwhile, if you're looking to open a business, an interdisciplinary studies degree in business and whatever field relates to the intended product or service may be best.

An interdisciplinary studies degree may be used as a means of studying for a profession that has no exact department correlation or as a way to bring a broader educational scope to an already existing field, such as medicine. Some professions that lend themselves to a degree of this nature include grant or technical writers, marketing managers and graphic designers. Writers may combine English with their chosen area of interest. Marketing managers may want to incorporate communications with psychology. Graphic designers can combine fine arts with history or communications.

Potential Salaries for interdisciplinary studies jobs
Given the wide scope of the field, wages and job outlook will vary greatly. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics provides insight into annual median wages and the estimated job growth for the next decade.

  • Technical writers: $65,500[i] (15 percent expected job growth through 2022)[i]
  • Advertising, Promotions or Marketing manager: $115,750[ii] (12 percent expected job growth through 2022)[ii]
  • Social worker : $44,200[iii] (19 percent expected job growth through 2022)[iii]
  • Graphic designer: $44,150[iv] (7 percent expected job growth through 2022)[iv]

Skills required in interdisciplinary studies
Interdisciplinary degrees often demand plenty of initiative and a strong work ethic on the part of the student, who must make connections across fields and develop their own coursework. Additionally, it's important to have skills best associated with the fields of study involved. 


[i] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/technical-writers.htm
[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-1
[iii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-1
[iv] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm

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