Majors & Programs

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies (BA/BS)

Create your own major by combining courses from different departments.

About the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies Major

At Emerson College, students can combine virtually any major with any minor to expand upon their course of study—but for those wishing to pursue an even more specific academic path, there is another option as well. 

Emerson’s Interdisciplinary Studies BA/BS program allows you to design your own major by combining courses from two or more departments, or from a department and the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, around an anchoring concept or theme.

You can apply to be a part of this program after you’ve begun your studies. Once you begin designing your own major, you’ll enlist an advisory team of two faculty members from different departments to provide support and guidance along the way.

Some examples of past Interdisciplinary Studies majors are:

  • Art Criticism
  • Global Activism and Advocacy
  • Investigative Theater for Social Change
  • Photojournalism and Magazine Writing

...The open nature of the IDS program has helped shape my personal and professional path, allowing me to explore the interests I entered into Emerson hoping to pursue, while also encouraging me to explore new interests and fields that I had not been previously acquainted with, which is how I developed the major I am currently pursuing.

Real-World Interdisciplinary Experience

Interdisciplinary Studies majors have ample opportunity to gain real-world learning experience. Here are a few examples:

  • Students complete a senior capstone project that is centered on a coherent idea or solution to a problem that sparks their interest and that integrates learning across their chosen disciplines.
  • Students have the opportunity to work on major projects to add to their portfolios, such as producing and writing their own films and musicals.
  • As participants in the E3 Expo, students have the opportunity to pitch new business ventures for monetary awards.
  • Faculty hire students as research assistants to help them with projects focused on history, anthropology, math, and more.

Recent Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone Projects

  • “The Business of Translating Podcasts”
  • “The Future of Creative Economy: Blockchain to Achieve Equity in the Creative Industries”
  • “Isolation and Redemption: Robert Bresson’s Films of the ’50s”
  • “Marketing Sustainable Energy as Industrial Policy in a Time of Crisis”

Careers for Interdisciplinary Studies Majors

Interdisciplinary Studies graduates pursue careers in a variety of communication- and arts-related fields. Examples of careers include:

  • Data Analyst
  • Entrepreneur 
  • Marketing Designer
  • Public Relations Specialist

...If I could share one word for my college experience in the Marlboro Institute, I would heavily emphasize ‘community,’ because that’s what we thrive in and that’s what the program provides you. A sense of a community. Overall, IDS has been a part of my college education that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

Meet Our Faculty

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the IDS major, students are taught by faculty from across the College. However, all liberal arts courses are taught by faculty who reside in the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.

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