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Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies

Western Kentucky University's Most Flexible Degree!

Designed for non-traditional students who desire the flexibility that only a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) can provide, this four-year degree program allows you the freedom to create a personal academic plan, around a chosen area of emphasis, that matches your professional and personal goals. Working with an academic advisor, each student develops a unique degree plan that both fulfills WKU degree requirements and supports professional and personal life goals.

With 12 areas of emphasis available, the BIS gives you a unique opportunity to choose an area most applicable to your life. Four areas of emphasis offer 100% online pathways for completion, giving you even more flexibility!  Others have significant portions available online, and may suit students with previous hours earned and those who can attend classes at one of WKU's four campus locations.

Areas of Emphasis

There are 12 areas of emphasis available; four of which have 100% online pathways for completion. Other areas offer a significant number of online courses, allowing students with previous hours earned, even more online options!

Fully online pathways include:

The minimum requirements for acceptance are as follows:

  • Application and Fee
  • Official copy of Transcript(s) if applicable
  • ACT or SAT scores if applicable

Application Process

1. Apply for admission 

  • Visit the Online Learning Admission Page for more information.
    • There is a $45 application fee.
  • Complete the WKU Domestic and International Undergraduate Application
    • Under Planned Course of Study Section, Choose:
      • Category of Study >>> Bachelor's Degree
      • Planned Course of Study >>> Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) (C)
      • Concentration >>> Select your concentration
      • Primary Location >>> Web (online only)

2. Submit Required Materials:

  • Beginning Freshmen
    • An official high school transcript (no faxed transcripts accepted)
    • ACT or SAT scores.
      • Students over the age of 21 may substitute the ACCUPLACER for ACT/SAT. Additional information: HERE.
  • Transfer or Readmit Student
    • Send your official transcripts from each college attended, other than WKU, to Undergraduate Admissions
      • You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail.
    • Students with fewer than 24 semester hours of college credit earned, must also submit:
      • High school transcript
      • ACT or SAT scores
  • For additional information on university admission requirements please visit WKU Admissions.

Deadlines for Admission Applications & Transcripts

Kentucky and Out-of-State Residents

  • Fall Semester: August 1
  • Spring Semester: January 1
  • Summer Term: May 1

International Students

  • Fall Semester: April 1
  • Spring Semester: September 1
  • Summer Term: March 1

In lieu of the major/minor required by traditional degree programs, you must complete a broad area of emphasis (complementary courses from different academic disciplines) of at least 36 semester hours of course work approved by the interdisciplinary studies advisor. For additional information or to contact your advisor visit the Academic Advisor page and choose the advisor listed according to your last name.

Required Core Courses (6 hours)

Please Note: Prerequisites are noted in parenthesis

  • IDST 395: Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone Investigative Methods in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • IDST 495: Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone (prerequisite: IDST 395)

Emphasis Courses (36 hours)

Students must complete 36 hours in their area of emphasis, of which 12 hours must be of upper-level (300-400 level) courses.There are 12 Areas of Emphasis available; 4 of which have 100% online pathways for completion. Other areas offer a significant number of online courses, allowing students with previous hours earned, even more online options! Fully online areas of emphasis include: Social & Behavioral Sciences, Organization & Communication of IdeasBusiness, and Health.

  • Upper Division Courses (300-400 level)
    • At least 12 hours
  • Lower Division Courses (100-200 level)
    • At most 24 hours

Electives (34 Hours)

Students must complete a total of 34 hours of advisor approved electives. Hours may be earned through completing a Minor Program of Study, an Undergraduate Certificate, additional electives or through a combination of these options.

Colonnade (39 Hours) or General Education Certification

In addition to the program specific courses previously listed, students without an A.A. or A.S from a regionally accredited school must complete 39 additional hours as part of the Colonnade Program (formerly General Education). However, students who transfer to WKU with an earned associate degree from a regionally accredited school could be considered General Education Certified and are not required to complete Colonnade requirements.

Please note the following as you plan your program of study:

  • A bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours and developmental courses DO NOT count toward the total number of hours earned. Remaining hours may be earned through completing a Minor Program of Study, an Undergraduate Certificate, additional electives or through a combination of these options.
  • Students must complete a total of 42 hours of upper-division (300-400 level) courses.
  • 25% of degree and 1/3 hours in emphasis earned in residence
    • At least 16 of which must be completed after the semester student earns a cumulative total of at least 90 semester hours.
  • Students seeking a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies may earn no more than:
    • 24 semester hours in a single academic discipline.
    • 24 semester hours from the School of Journalism and Broadcasting.
    • 30 semester hours in courses administered by the Gordon Ford College of Business.
    • 12 upper-level semester hours from the Gordon Ford College of Business
  • No second major can accompany the BIS degree.
  • BIS cannot be pursued as a second bachelor's degree.
  • A Grade point average of at least 2.0 (in all credits presented for graduation, completed at WKU and in the Area of Emphasis).
  • WKU’s Joint Undergraduate Masters Programs offer students an option to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in an accelerated timeframe. Students interested in a JUMP program should first meet with their advisor to determine what options are available. Find out more information about online JUMP programs.

Academic Department

Program Advisor: Advising is managed based on last name. Please Click Here to find your advisor's contact information.  
Email and Phone: Please Click Here to find your advisor's contact information.  
Website: wku.edu/idst/bis

WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: (888) 4WKUWEB / (888) 495-8932
Website: wku.edu/online

For more information about the program, fill out the form below.

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 Last Modified 5/20/20