Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024

Interdisciplinary Studies, Associate of Interdisciplinary Studies (246)

Program Coordinator

Anne L. Heintzman, anne.heintzman@wku.edu, (270) 745-2966

The Associate of Interdisciplinary Studies degree is designed for those who need or desire a flexible degree program. Within the limits specified for the degree, students, with their advisors, may design programs to suit their personal needs and educational objectives.

This program requires 60 credit hours of coursework. Students who have previously earned 60 hours of credit with a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or above in all higher education coursework, including all coursework completed at Western Kentucky University, and have met all other requirements for the degree, may apply as candidates for the AIS degree. If upon evaluation of their transcripts, such students meet all the requirements for the degree, the degree will be awarded at the next graduation ceremony.


The Associate of Interdisciplinary Studies degree has become more attractive with the growth of business and industry in the area and with the increase of minimum educational requirements for employment or promotion. In addition to those wishing to enhance their employability, several other groups of students will find the program suits their needs. These include those who are seeking a degree for their personal satisfaction; those who plan eventually to move on to the main campus, but wish to have a degree at the two-year level; and those who wish to consolidate previously-earned credits into a degree program.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Arts
  • Organization & Communication of Ideas
  • Business
  • Science
  • Education
  • Social and Behavioral Science
  • Health
  • Humanities
  • Technology

Program Requirements (60 hours)

Minimum requirements for the AIS degree are 60 semester hours distributed among the WKU Colonnade courses and two “areas of emphasis.”

Colonnade Course Requirements
Written Communication:
ENG 100Introduction to College Writing3
Oral Communication:
COMM 145Fundamentals of Public Speaking and Communication (or other approved course)3
Quantitative Reasoning:
Select one of the following:3
General Mathematics
College Algebra (or other approved course)
Natural and Physical Sciences course
Arts and Humanities:
ENG 200Introduction to Literature (or other approved course)3
Select an Explorations AH course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences:
HIST 101World History I3
or HIST 102 World History II
Select an Explorations SB course3
Areas of Emphasis
Select 27 hours in the areas of emphasis with a minimum of 9 hours in each of the following areas: 127
Social and Behavioral Science
Organization and Communication of Ideas
Social Justice and Equity Studies
Select 12 hours of electives12
Total Hours60

One quarter of the areas of emphasis hours must be earned at WKU.

A student must obtain a 2.0 grade point average in both areas of emphasis. An overall 2.0 grade point average is required to be awarded the AIS degree.

Students seeking the AIS degree must complete a minimum of 25% of their degree program in residence at Western Kentucky University. Courses taken at WKU off-campus locations through regional campus offerings or through reachu@wku.edu are considered as having been taken in residence.

The Associate of Interdisciplinary Studies degree cannot be filed as a second degree program; as a result, students applying for concurrent or subsequent associate degrees must file the Associate of Interdisciplinary Studies as their primary degree program. Electives are in addition to the Colonnade courses and the areas of emphasis. They may come from Colonnade categories, or from courses that do not fall into any of the above Colonnade areas or the areas of emphasis.