Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

A Note from the Director

At Southern Miss, students have the exciting option of designing an academic path that allows them to incorporate their interests and talents: the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS). In the BIS, students take charge of their own learning. They develop two concentrations from the many majors, minors, and programs offered across campus.  These concentrations may be specific disciplines or they may incorporate an organizing principle like gender studies or non-profit studies. These programs could also be organized by time period or geographic region, such as Southern Studies or Early American Studies.  

Once the students have established their concentration areas, they are charged with developing a research project that incorporates aspects of these concentrations. Over a three-course research design process, the students design, implement, and present their research, while also honing writing and speaking skills. The faculty members in this program are committed to engaged learning opportunities, so whenever possible, students’ projects involve actually going out into the community and volunteering their talents to see how their learning can be applied to real-life settings.

Student research projects range from documenting gang activity in the region to designing a charity fishing tournament.  Students have made films, and coached baseball. They have surveyed teachers and served people in need. Students have developed activities for children and adults, including a blues camp, children’s museum programs, and a professional presence seminar.

The opportunities for learning and serving are endless and every project is designed to help the student reflect on his or her own abilities and how those could best be utilized in the world of work.  Come join this exciting program! Imagine your future and make it happen!

Core Classes

All IDS Students are required to complete the following core classes:

  • IDS 201: “Interdisciplinary Studies Seminar”: This one-credit hour class, taken during the student’s first semester in the major, introduces core interdisciplinary principles and culminates in the creation of the student’s Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree plan.
  • IDS 301: “Foundations of Interdisciplinary Inquiry”: This variable-themed class introduces students to the nature of interdisciplinary theory and interdisciplinary research methods.  Can be taken concurrently with IDS 201.
  • IDS 350: “Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies”: Taught by faculty members from across the curriculum, this class gives students the opportunity to explore various topics from an interdisciplinary point of view.  Can be taken at any point in the curriculum.
  • IDS 401: “Integrative Research Methods and Design”: In this course, students design a research project that integrates their concentration coursework.  (Prerequisites: IDS 201, IDS 301.)
  • IDS 402: “Integrative Capstone Experience”: in this course, Students execute and present the substantial integrative research project designed in IDS 401. (Prerequisites: IDS 201, IDS 301, IDS 401).

Degree Plan Checklists

If you started your academic career at USM before Fall 2014, please download the pre-2014 checklist.

If you started your career during or after Fall 2014, please download the current checklist.