Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science - Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) Major, Individualized Integrative Studies (IIS)
Kathleen Fowler, Program Coordinator and Advisor

Individualized interdisciplinary studies at Old Dominion University is a degree program that seeks to serve the needs of students whose goals cannot be met within existing departmental curricula. Through interdisciplinary studies, students are able to combine courses from three or more disciplines into an individualized degree. The program makes possible the pursuit of a wide variety of interests in areas such as medieval and renaissance studies, advertising, legal studies, ecological studies, public relations, management of technical services, photo journalism, and health care administration.

Students who decide to design their own degrees must have departmental approval and faculty sponsorship. The degree awarded is a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts with a major in interdisciplinary studies in the student's area of interest.


Lower-Division General Education

Written Communication *6
Oral Communication3
Language and Culture **0-12
Information Literacy and Research3
Human Creativity 3
Interpreting the Past3
Philosophy and Ethics3
The Nature of Science8
Impact of Technology3
Human Behavior3
Total Hours41-53

Individualized Program Core Requirements

IDS 300WInterdisciplinary Theory and Concepts (C or better required) *3
ENGL/IDS 307TDigital Writing3
(Select one of the following): **3
Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies
IDS Electronic Portfolio Project *
IDS Individualized Senior Project
Total Hours9


All individualized program students must design a concentration that includes a minimum of 42 credit hours. This includes courses from three or more disciplines that the student integrates into a single program, subject to departmental approval. At least 30 hours must be upper level. No more than two-thirds of the major area may be in one discipline.  Topics courses, such as ENGL 395/ENGL 495, COMM 395/COMM 396, etc., must be approved by the student's advisor to ensure that the topic is appropriate for the major.  No more than two classes, or six credits, may be counted for both the major and a minor.

All IDS individualized program students must prepare and submit a proposal to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee for approval. The purpose of the proposal is to outline the courses and other learning experiences that will lead to the fulfillment of the proposed course of study. Students must have at least 30 hours of course work left in their overall degree program (this can include current and proposed courses) when the proposal is submitted to the IDS Committee. Students must complete at least 15 hours of course work in their major after acceptance into the program. Any exceptions must be approved by the IDS Committee. Students must also identify two faculty sponsors who will provide guidance as they develop their proposals and progress through the program. Acceptance decisions are made by the director of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee, and faculty sponsors. For more information see

Students must receive a grade of C- or better in all courses taken within the concentration area.


Elective courses may be taken for the remainder of the minimum 120 credits required for the degree.

Upper-Division General Education

Met in the major.

Requirements for Graduation

Requirements for graduation at ODU include a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 overall and in the major; 120 credit hours, which must include both a minimum of 30 upper-level credit hours overall, including 12 hours of upper-level courses in the major program from Old Dominion University; completion of ENGL 110C, ENGL 211C or ENGL 221C or ENGL 231C; a 3-credit upper-level writing intensive (W) course in the major with a grade of C or better; and completion of Senior Assessment.

Linked B.A./B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies - Individualized Integrative Studies and M.A. in Humanities

The linked B.A./B.S. program in interdisciplinary studies-individualized integrative studies (IIS) and the M.A. in humanities makes it possible for exceptional students whose IIS major is humanities oriented to count up to 12 hours of graduate courses toward both an undergraduate and graduate degree.  Students must earn a minimum of 150 credit hours (120 discrete credit hours for the undergraduate degree and 30 discrete credit hours for the graduate degree). Please refer to the Humanities section of this Catalog for additional information on the linked program.


IDS 300W. Interdisciplinary Theory and Concepts. 3 Credits.

An examination of the history, concepts and application of interdisciplinary study. This course includes an analysis of similarities and differences in academic disciplines and the application of interdisciplinary approaches to a specific topic of study. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in ENGL 211C, ENGL 221C or ENGL 231C.

IDS 307T. Digital Writing. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to issues of writing in various digital environments like web pages, email, blogs, wikis, and discussion boards. It also introduces fundamentals of hypertext authoring, digital and visual rhetoric, and image manipulation. Prerequisites: ENGL 110C and ENGL 211C or ENGL 221C or ENGL 231C.

IDS 368. Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies. 1-6 Credits.

An opportunity to integrate service and applied learning experience with interdisciplinary perspectives. Prerequisite: junior standing and permission of individualized interdisciplinary studies program coordinator.

IDS 369. Internship in Sustainability and Conservation Leadership. 3-6 Credits.

As part of the Sustainability and Conservation Leadership minor, this graded internship will provide an opportunity to integrate service and applied learning experience with interdisciplinary perspectives. 300 hours are required for the 3-credit option, and 600 hours are required for the 6-credit option. Prerequisites: BIOL 466W/OEAS 466W/IDS 466W and BIOL 467/OEAS 467/IDS 467.

IDS 397. Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.

IDS 398. Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.

IDS 400/500. Study Abroad. 0 Credits.

IDS 466W. Introduction to Mitigation and Adaptation Studies. 3 Credits.

Students will be introduced to the science underpinning mitigation of human-induced changes in the Earth system, including but not limited to climate change and sea level rise, and adaptation to the impacts of these changes. The course will cover the environmental hazards and the opportunities and limitations for conservation, mitigation and adaptation. This is a writing intensive course. Cross listed with BIOL 466W and OEAS 466W. Prerequisites: BIOL 291 or permission of instructor.

IDS 467. Sustainability Leadership. 3 Credits.

In this class, students will discover what makes a leader for sustainability. They will consider a range of global and local crises from a leadership point of view in the context of sustainability science, which addresses the development of communities in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental system-of-systems environment. The course will be based on taking a problem-motivated and solution-focused approach to the challenges considered. The course includes a service learning project focusing on a leadership experience in solving a real-world environmental problem. Prerequisite: BIOL 466W or OEAS 466W or IDS 466W.

IDS 493. IDS Electronic Portfolio Project. 3 Credits.

The preparation of an electronic portfolio integrating the student's academic study, work experiences, skill identification and work products. Alternative formats are used for varying uses of the portfolio. Prerequisites: IDS 300W or permission of the instructor and senior standing.

IDS 494. Entrepreneurship in Interdisciplinary Studies. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to help students enhance their personal and professional development through innovation guided by faculty members and professionals. It offers students an opportunity to integrate disciplinary theory and knowledge through developing a nonprofit program, product, business, or other initiative. The real-world experiences that entrepreneurships provide will help students understand how academic knowledge leads to transformations, innovations, and solutions to different types of problems. Prerequisite: IDS 300W and approval of the program coordinator.

IDS 495. Topics in Integrative Studies. 3 Credits.

Focused study of selected topics linking perspectives, research and applications from a variety of disciplines. Emphasis is on disciplinary synthesis. Prerequisite: IDS 300W.

IDS 497. IDS Individualized Senior Project. 3 Credits.

This course is a vehicle for the execution of the senior project requirement of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. The project will be negotiated between the student, faculty sponsors, and the program. Open only to individualized integrative studies majors. Prerequisites: IDS 300W, permission of the instructor and an approved individualized integrative studies curriculum plan.