Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Interdisciplinary Studies

University College

 
Program description

In our increasingly complex global economy, 21st-century professionals need to have creative and entrepreneurial skills and be agile and nimble learners who can navigate the pace of career changes with confidence. The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree is one way to hone those skills as you explore the academic areas that match your passions and future plans.

The BIS is an individualized and interdisciplinary program for VCU students whose intellectual interests and professional goals are not easily met by a single major. Students who choose our Interdisciplinary Studies major have a wide range of academic interests, and our individualized program allows each student to work with their academic advisor to create a unique curricular pathway toward the BIS degree. Each student defines a focus area that is interdisciplinary in nature and is supported by taking courses in two or three disciplines. Some students choose to combine two minors that share interdisciplinary context while others develop a focus area that is more integrative.  The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies is open to all VCU students.

Career opportunities

Past BIS graduates have designed the following custom degree programs to prepare them for their professional lives after graduation:   Fashion Media and Advertising, Arts Journalism, Business Methods for Public Policy, Creative Marketing for Business, Cultural Identity and Global Health, Social Media Management, Multi-Media Marketing in Sports, Video Choreography, Environmental Policy & Planning, Creative Technology Implementation, Juvenile Behavioral Interventions, Dis/abilities Advocacy, Armed Forces Leadership, Brand Management, History of Costume Design

Change of major requirements

If you are undecided about which degree program is right for you, or are interested in combining multiple disciplines, consider a BIS major. Want to learn more? We’d love to meet you in person and talk about where you want to go and how the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies may be a viable pathway to your future!


Come visit us on the fifth floor of Harris Hall, room 5116, or contact us to set up a meeting with an advisor!


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Business Technologist
  • Disability Advocate
  • Event Planner
  • Fashion Writer
  • Healthcare Administrator
  • Music Business Management
  • Political Consultant
  • Public Historian
  • Realtor
  • Social Media Manager
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin

    To be designed in consultation with your academic advisor

Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Interdisciplinary Studies
Building/room location:
1015 Floyd Avenue, Box 842015 Richmond, Virginia 23284-2015
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Invalid campus
Phone:
804-827-0838
Email:
bis@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Apply to the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living and Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists
  • Explore What Can I Do With This Major? to learn about employers in your field of study.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a Gap Analysis Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based, value-added courses.
  • Collaborate with your BIS advisor to plan your Focus Area.
  • Take UNIV 301: Foundations of Interdisciplinarity
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue at ConnectVA and HandsOnRVA.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss your interests and opportunities to align with those.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Cafe.
  • Join a cultural organization
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and go to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career and Internship Fairs and events throughout the year. 
  • Work on developing your professional online presence with the aid of an e-portfolio, begun in UNIV 301.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Take UNIV 391: BIS Cornerstone
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP.
  • Seek research opportunities to refine your goals and to learn the rigors and discipline required for success.
  • Update your e-portfolio to incorporate new learning and experiences.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your advisors, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc.) 

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Take UNIV 499: BIS Capstone.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Write a diversity statement to be included in your e-Portfolio.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your e-portfolio.
  • Design an independent study course aimed at building your knowledge about your unique field.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline-specific conference.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Interdisciplinary Studies

University College

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete a Gap Analysis Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based, value-added courses.
  • Collaborate with your BIS advisor to plan your Focus Area.
  • Take UNIV 301: Foundations of Interdisciplinarity
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Cafe.
  • Join a cultural organization
  • Create a draft of your resume and go to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career and Internship Fairs and events throughout the year. 
  • Work on developing your professional online presence with the aid of an e-portfolio, begun in UNIV 301.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
Year 3
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Take UNIV 391: BIS Cornerstone
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP
  • Seek research opportunities to refine your goals and to learn the rigors and discipline required for success.
  • Update your e-portfolio to incorporate new learning and experiences.
  • Talk to your advisors, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc.) 
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Take UNIV 499: BIS Capstone.
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Write a diversity statement to be included in your e-Portfolio.
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your e-portfolio.
  • Design an independent study course aimed at building your knowledge about your unique field.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline-specific conference.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services