Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

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
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Higher Education Administrator
  • Nonprofit Director
  • Researcher
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
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Collaborate with your BIS advisor to plan your Focus Area.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • 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
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Take UNIV 303: Interdisciplinarity in the Professional World
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

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
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.
  • Write a diversity statement to be included in your e-Portfolio.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Design an independent study course aimed at building your knowledge about your unique field.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

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
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
Experience Year 2
  • Collaborate with your BIS advisor to plan your Focus Area.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Take UNIV 301: Foundations of Interdisciplinarity
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest.
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Take UNIV 303: Interdisciplinarity in the Professional World
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
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.
  • Write a diversity statement to be included in your e-Portfolio.
  • Design an independent study course aimed at building your knowledge about your unique field.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.