Interdisciplinary Studies

Karen Bell

Dr. Karen G. Bell
Director of BSIS and Associate Professor of German Literature
Summer Office: Kethley 233
DSU Box 2377
1003 W. Sunflower Rd. Cleveland, MS 38733
Tel.: 662-846-4279

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS) is ideal for students who are critical thinkers, independent scholars, and have varied academic interests.

This unique degree provides a program of study targeted toward students who desire a non-traditional approach to learning within a broad range of disciplines. The BSIS program allows students to prepare for careers requiring functional knowledge of multiple disciplines.

The BSIS is a university-wide degree program that enables students to create interdisciplinary specialties that prepare them for careers in a world that increasingly bridges academic disciplines. Students pursue two or three subject-area concentrations that represent academic interests they wish to integrate into a meaningful program.

A four-course core offers students the intellectual tools to identify connections between their concentrations and engage in interdisciplinary problem-solving. The interdisciplinary core is issues-driven and provides pragmatic and thought-provoking approaches to thinking, research, problem solving, and communication. Students, working with the program director, will choose two or three major areas of concentration.

Core Courses

BIS 300 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies

Introduction to the concepts and methods of interdisciplinary study by critically examining anticipated workplace and civic trends. The course focuses on ethics and effective decision-making in contemporary society. Emphasis is placed on development of critical and analytical thinking skills, and written and oral communication. Key ethical questions will be addressed from a variety of perspectives both past and present as a basis for informed decision-making. 3

BIS 310 Interdisciplinary Research and Applications

Critical analysis of quantitative and qualitative information. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and using methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis, including issues such as understanding variability in data and making decisions in the face of uncertainty. Multiple methods of presenting findings of such research to support an argument are also explored. Prerequisites: BIS 300 or permission of the instructor. 3

BIS 400 Applied Interdisciplinary Studies

Applications of interdisciplinary thought and research. Students will use concepts and methods learned in previous BIS courses to explore issues in their chosen areas of emphasis. May involve individual or group projects combining concentrations. Over the course of the semester, students will develop a proposal for their Capstone Projects. Prerequisites: BIS 300, 310. 3

BIS 410 Capstone Project

Integration of classroom and experiential learning. The culminating academic activity of the BSIS program, the Capstone Project requires students to apply interdisciplinary concepts and practices to one or more of their chosen areas of emphasis. Students must successfully complete BIS 400 with an approved proposal and a grade of C or better before registering for the Capstone Project. Prerequisite: BIS 400. 3

What type of jobs can a student obtain with this degree?

BSIS is a liberal arts degree (there are no specific careers or jobs that require a BSIS degree) – you will earn no certificates or licenses necessary for specific careers such as teaching or social work; you will need to convince employers of how the skills you learned as part of the degree program and the Capstone Project you researched, implemented, and wrote are the qualifications you have that they need (Career Services can help with that).

How has the program been beneficial to prior students?

The program has prepared students for a changing workforce and graduate programs. Graduates work in careers in higher education, business, K-12 education or run their own businesses.

What is at least one unique thing that sets the program apart from others?

This degree provides a program of study targeted toward students who desire a non-traditional approach to learning.

Is the program fully online, on campus, or hybrid?

Only the core BIS courses are fully online.

Admissions requirements to the program

A student must be in good-standing to be admitted in to the program.

Requirements for majors and minors

A 2.5 GPA in BIS core courses and each concentration is required.

Scholarship opportunities

The Jutta Karnstedt-Ferretti BSIS Scholarship

Faculty expertise, research, past projects, work experience, industry services

Expertise in Interdisciplinary Studies comes from researching and writing a thesis that examined theatre, film, and literary theory, and a dissertation that drew on social history, psychology, film, and literary theory. The faculty stays abreast of developments in Interdisciplinary Studies through membership in the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies, and German literature and culture, through membership in the German Studies Association engage in interdisciplinary research.