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

What is BSIS?

The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS) is a unique degree for the Delta region.  It 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.

For More Information

Go to the DSU Undergraduate Catalog and view pages 96-98 for description of the program and the four core classes; then go to page 60 for the general education requirements for every degree; then view pages 61-63 for the minors we have right now at DSU, which we are using initially as “tracks” or concentration areas.  The minors are a great place for you to start to see if the classes you have will fit into a program; however, we are also working to develop “tracks” of concentration for you that may combine some of your previous or planned courses into a concentration that is not covered in the list of majors or minors.  One thing to note: the courses that count towards your general education requirements cannot also be counted towards the tracks. You have to have 18, 18, 18 hours in three different areas, or 27, 27 in two areas, and they all have to be in addition to the general education requirements.

What Else You Should Know

1. BSIS is a liberal arts degree (there are no specific careers or jobs that require a BSIS) – you will earn no certificates or licenses necessary for specific careers such as teaching or social work; you will have to convince employers of your skills (Career Services can help with that)
2. LIB 101 is now a Special Degree Requirement for BSIS.
3. You have the course work for three 18 hour concentrations or two 27 hour concentrations based on minors listed in the DSU Bulletin; you cannot “double dip,” i.e. hours in your concentrations are separate from your General Education requirements
4. There are four core courses for the degree (BIS 300, 310, 400, 410 – descriptions of the courses are in the DSU Bulletin)
5. You cannot take the core courses at the same time
6. You may be able to take the two 300-level courses at the same time and then the 400-level courses IF you have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher, you have satisfied the WPE or its equivalent requirement and you have completed the General Education English Literature and History courses
7. You must earn a 2.5 or above GPA in each concentration and in the BSIS core courses. If you earn below a C in a BSIS core course you must repeat it before taking the next in the sequence.
8. BSIS is ideal for students with a clear purpose and who are critical thinkers and independent scholars; those who are not are not well suited for BSIS as you are required to research, create and complete an original capstone project

Still interested?

1. If you are a DSU student with a 900# please email the director with that number. If you are not a DSU student, please send a copy of your unofficial transcript(s) via email so that the director can evaluate the transcript(s).

2. Wait 24-48 hours for the transcript evaluation to be emailed to you

3. Once you have received the transcript evaluation, think it over. If you are still interested in pursuing the BSIS degree, change your major by filling in this form if you are a current DSU student or declare BSIS as your major when you seek admission to DSU.

BIS Core Courses

Course Rotation

Course Fall Spring Summer 1 Summer 2
BIS 300 Offered Offered Offered Not offered
BIS 310 Offered Offered Not offered Offered
BIS 400 Offered Offered Not offered Not offered
BIS 410 Offered Offered Not offered Not offered

Currently all BIS core courses are completely online.

Course Descriptions

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