Interdisciplinary Studies is a strong alternative to a traditional degree. Unlike most, with this degree, students at BYU-Idaho can customize their degree to fit their goals. It’s a great way to prepare for a specific career. You can use different components from several subject matters to become more qualified for a specific job.
Sam Nelson, a team lead in the Academic Advising Center explained how the degree works with the example of becoming a flower shop owner. He said they could have a concentration in horticulture with a minor in business management or they could receive an entrepreneurship certificate.
Oftentimes, students look to interdisciplinary studies so they can study what they want, but that only works if there’s a clear career goal in mind.
“People come in curious. They come in thinking ‘I like a lot of different things, I have a hard time deciding my major and this will let me study everything I want,’ and it’s a cool way you can combine all your interests, but we don’t really recommend it if your interests can’t work together. You really only want to come in if you have a plan of how to use these different subjects and components together. If they can’t work together, then it won’t be a strong degree,” Nelson said.
However, if done right, Interdisciplinary Studies is one of the stronger degrees BYU-Idaho offers, Nelson said. Which may be why they see so many students get jobs within 100 days of graduating.
Another lesser-known option is getting a degree in Professional Studies. It is also highly customizable, and is best for those who have changed their major and have too many credits, or can’t finish their major. You can declare a minor to go with what you’ve already studied and then a cluster in a different area to give you a different subject to study.
Nelson said the degree requires students to take general courses, declare a minor and a cluster or receive three different certificates.
“It helps people in situations where they don’t have a lot of better options,” Nelson said.
If you’re considering an Interdisciplinary Studies degree, or are working toward one and aren’t sure how to market yourself, you’re in luck! BYU-Idaho is holding a forum on June 10 to address those concerns.
“This is a good way for you to learn a little bit more about how to phrase your degree on a resume, how to conduct yourself in an interview, how to explain to people that yes I have this degree that you haven’t heard of, but this is what I can bring to a company, this is the benefits that I offer,” Nelson said.You can learn more about the degree here. You can also sign up for an email notification for the forum and Zoom link.