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Program Requirements

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

Academic Requirements

  • 120 college-level undergraduate semester hours
  • Grade point average of at least 2.0 (in all credits presented for graduation, in all credits completed at Western and in the Area of Emphasis)
  • 44 semester hours of General Education courses
  • *36 hours in the Area of Emphasis, of which 12 hours must be upper-level (300-400)
  • 6 hours, programmatic requirements, consisting of IDST 395 and IDST 495 (IDST 395 is a prerequisite course for IDST 495)
  • 42 hours of upper division credit, of which 12 hours must be in the Areas of Emphasis
  • 25% of degree and 1/3 hours in emphasis earned in residence, at least 16 of which must be completed after the semester in which the student earned a cumulative total of at least 90 semester hours
  • No more than 24 semester hours in a single academic discipline, nor more than 24 semester hours from the School of Journalism and Broadcasting, no more than 30 semester hours in courses administered by the Gordon Ford College of Business, nor more than 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
  • You may select a minor to accompany your BIS degree, but it is not required.

*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! Learn more about areas of emphasis by visiting

Please Note: Developmental courses do NOT count toward the total number of hours earned.

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 Last Modified 8/3/16