Interdisciplinary Studies, B.S.


The mission of the Biola University Interdisciplinary Studies major is to provide a program in which students can be exposed to the central and essential concepts and practices multiple disciplines within a framework that simultaneously exposes them to central concepts and practices of interdisciplinary thinking and inquiry. In so doing, the major will develop Christian scholars whose position at the intersections of their chosen disciplines provides them with the unique knowledge, tools, and habits of mind that will allow them to comprehend, establish new insights about, and develop innovative approaches and solutions for both new and enduring local, national, and global problems and issues in ways that extend beyond the understanding, insights, approaches, and solutions available through the lens of a single disciplinary perspective.

Degree Program

​The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies is an undergraduate major designed for students who have previously completed some academic work and allows students to customize a degree that is unique to their personal, vocational, or intellectual goals and interests. Working closely with faculty and the Advising team, students select courses from the Biola online Post-traditional undergraduate course offerings, designing for themselves an individualized degree. 

A degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Biola University is intended to be distinct from other majors available at the university. The goal of the program is to build innovative courses of study that generate new ideas, fresh insights, and relevant skills. In keeping with that ethos, no more than 40 percent of the Biola courses built into each student’s Interdisciplinary Studies degree can come from a single discipline.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the issues that currently shape the field of Interdisciplinary Studies, and be able to offer their own critical opinions on the theories and debates which shape their contours (ULO 1).
  2. Evaluate, critically analyze, and synthesize disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives and practices with Biblical values and truths (ULO 1, 2).
  3. Identify and articulate connections between their interdisciplinary intellectual inquiries and their own ethical positions in terms of contemporary challenges facing individuals, communities, and societies (ULO 1, 2).
  4. Demonstrate an expanding range of knowledge, skills, and habits of mind from selected disciplinary perspectives and the ability to use this knowledge to generate new and innovative ways of knowing, seeing, and doing (ULO 1, 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admissions Requirements

All students are welcome to enter the Interdisciplinary Studies, B.S. program. However, a student must submit their proposal at the conclusion of ITDS 220 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. The proposals are the major assignment for that course and serve as the formal application to the ITDS program.

Proposals consist of:

A. ITDS Contract: a form that outlines the courses that will be taken and as a part of the customized program.

B. ITDS Program Statement Essay: a written explanation of the goals of a student’s designed major, the intellectual and/or vocational goals they hope to achieve through their course of study, and a rationale for each course they have included in their course of study.

C. ITDS Planning Guide: a form that asks students to plan the sequencing of the courses they have chosen in order to ensure program completion on their desired timetable. After submission for the ITDS 220 course, proposals are forwarded to and screened by the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee, a group consisting of Biola faculty and Academic Advising and registrar staff. The goal of the ITDS Committee is to ensure that all ITDS majors meet the university requirements and that the designed programs have academic integrity. 

Regarding the transfer of credits for online programs, the ITDS, B.S. program follows the university transfer policy which states:

  • Students may transfer a maximum of 70 credits from community colleges. Upper-division credit cannot be allowed for courses taken at a community college.
  • Biola will grant up to 30 semester credits as general electives for coursework on ACE transcripts, including military credit. Credit will be granted for "L" & "U" level courses only.
  • “Credit overlay” for corporate training, Straighterline, etc. is acceptable as elective coursework.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Portfolio

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) portfolio is a method by which students can potentially earn credit for their prior learning that has occurred outside of academic credit-bearing courses. Only 25% of courses in a given discipline in a student’s customized degree can be earned through PLA. The CAEL PLA Portfolio may be used to meet Core Curriculum requirements.

Graduation Requirements

  1. A student must meet a minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.0 and be in good academic standing. 
  2. Major must consist of a minimum of 39 credit hours integrating two or more disciplines. 
  3. These credits must include ITDS 220 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies (3 credits), ITDS 365 Interdisciplinary Topics and Research (3 credits), and ITDS 477 Interdisciplinary Capstone (3 credits). 
  4. 24 total credits of Upper-Division (300/400 level) course work must be included, 15 credits of which must be taken at Biola University. 

Curriculum Requirements

Program-Specific Core Curriculum Courses
The Core Curriculum requirement for Kinesiology and Health Science has been waived for this major. The following course is required to fulfill the Core Curriculum requirement Writing Competency:
Writing in the Disciplines
Bible Requirement
Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation
Foundations of Christian Thought
Old Testament History and Literature
New Testament History and Literature
Christian Theology
BBST Integrative course (taken as ITDS 365)
BBST Integrative course (taken as ITDS 477)
BBST Integrative course (see department for advising on available selections)
BBST Integrative course (see department for advising on available selections)
BBST Integrative Course (see department for advising on available selections)
Program Courses
ITDS 220Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies3
ITDS 365Interdisciplinary Topics and Research3
ITDS 477Interdisciplinary Capstone3
Select 30 credits for major 130
Total Credits39