Photo of Ronny Nowland

Ronny's story: Becoming the architect of his education through Interdisciplinary Studies

January 30, 2018
Writer: Ben Taylor

Before a single brick is laid, the foundation poured, or beam secured, a careful and comprehensive plan is made. The master architect creates his blueprint. The blueprint is specific to the end goal: a structurally sound and beautiful building. Like any great architect, Ronny Nowland is beginning with the end in mind. He knows what he wants to accomplish in his career and is using his Interdisciplinary Studies degree to better prepare for his future.

Ronny is an Interdisciplinary Studies Major with a Concentration in Architecture and Minor in World Languages (French and Malay). He eventually hopes to become an architecture professor, teaching at the collegiate level.

Ronny has known for a long time that he wanted to study architecture; but, as there was no architecture program offered at any of the BYU campuses he tried to find a major that could help him reach his career goals. He studied both Construction Management and Interior Design but quickly realized that neither program was teaching him enough about his true passion, architecture.

When Ronny came across the Interdisciplinary Studies major he had to overcome some of the common misconceptions associated with Interdisciplinary Studies. He said, "[The Interdisciplinary Studies Major] is not an 'easy bachelor's degree' where you do whatever you want." He emphasized that it is a more targeted way of preparing for your career. As he familiarized himself with the Interdisciplinary Studies major he saw how he could spend more time learning what is important to him and preparing for his future career.

Because he had already taken several classes under other majors, a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies allowed him the flexibility to use some of his prior classes to create a minor and speed up his graduation. "I was able to make a minor out of some other classes I had done here and while studying abroad. It all coalesced really well and helped me to graduate a couple semesters earlier than I was going to."

Ronny's career goals involve attending graduate school and getting a Doctorate degree. As he has counseled with various professors they have told him that his Interdisciplinary Studies major could set him apart from the average graduate architecture applicant. His well-roundedness will be seen as a valuable asset and help him to stand out.

Ronny recommends to anyone who knows exactly what they want to do, but who can't seem to find the major that fits their needs, to consider an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree. "[The Interdisciplinary Studies degree] is helping me to fine tune my degree and actually prepare me for what I want to do in life."