Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Interdisciplinary Studies, Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (558)


Program Coordinator

Cortney S. Basham, cortney.basham@wku.edu, (270) 745-6343

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree provides an academic alternative to a traditional major program. The integration of studies within an overarching emphasis (complementary courses from different disciplines or academic programs) allows considerable latitude and flexibility to satisfy individual interests and needs. 

Areas of Emphasis

  • Emphasis in Arts (GSAR)
  • Emphasis in Business (GSBU)
  • Emphasis in Education (GSED)
  • Emphasis in Health (GSHE)
  • Emphasis in Humanities (GSHU)
  • Emphasis in Military Studies (GSMS)    
  • Emphasis in Organization and Communication of Ideas Science (GSCO)
  • Emphasis in Social and Behavioral (GSSB)
  • Emphasis in Science (GSSC)
  • Emphasis in Social Justice and Equity Studies (GSSJ)
  • Emphasis in Sustainability (GSSU)
  • Emphasis in Technology (GSTE)

Program Requirements (36 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

The student must complete an emphasis of at least 36 semester hours. These hours will include a capstone course (student may choose from IDST 495 or IDST 499). Students wishing to earn a minor as a secondary area of study must meet the published requirements for that minor. Courses in the minor may not duplicate those used to satisfy the emphasis in the BIS.

The 12 broad areas of emphasis for the Interdisciplinary Studies degree program include:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Health
  • Humanities
  • Military Studies     
  • Organization and Communication of Ideas Science
  • Social and Behavioral
  • Science
  • Social Justice and Equity Studies
  • Sustainability
  • Technology

Students also have the option of requesting a broad area of emphasis not listed above. The written request, based on specific individual objectives, must be made by the student and approved by a BIS advisor, the Director, and the Dean of University College.

Minimum Academic Requirements for the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

  • 36 hours in the Area of Emphasis

  • 42 hours of upper-level credits, including 12 upper-level hours in the Area of Emphasis

  • No more than 24 semester hours in a single academic discipline, no more than 24 semester hours from the School of Journalism & Broadcasting, no more than 30 semester hours in courses administered by the Gordon Ford College of Business, no more than 12 upper-level semester hours from the Gordon Ford College of Business.
First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENG 1003COMM 1453
MATH 116 or MATH 1093ENG 2003
IDST 1753HIST 101 or HIST 1023
Foreign Language (if Level II is not appropriate in the first semester)3Foreign Language II (meets world language requirement)3
Colonnade: Natural & Physical Sciences3Colonnade: Arts & Humanities3
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENG 3003Colonnade: Natural & Physical Science w/Lab3-4
Colonnade: Social & Behavioral Science3Area of Emphasis 23
Area of Emphasis 13Area of Emphasis 33
General or Certificate Elective3General or Certificate Elective3
General or Certificate Elective3General or Certificate Elective3
 15 15-16
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
IDST 3953Colonnade: Connections (Local to Global)3
Colonnade: Connections (Social & Cultural)3Area of Emphasis 63
Area of Emphasis 43Area of Emphasis 73
Area of Emphasis 53Area of Emphasis 83
General or Certificate Elective3General or Certificate Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
Colonnade: Connections (Systems)3IDST 495 or IDST 4991-3
Area of Emphasis 93Area of Emphasis 113
Area of Emphasis 103Area of Emphasis 123
General or Certificate Elective3General or Certificate Elective3
General or Certificate Elective3General or Certificate Elective3
 15 13-15
Total Hours 118-121