Interdisciplinary Studies

Design Your Own Degree Program

The increasing complexity of global issues often requires that problems be approached from multiple perspectives. Emerging career paths may require greater flexibility in course selection than is available within a single discipline. The Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) program is an exciting and dynamic degree program that allows students to combine coursework from various disciplines while designing a curriculum that meets their academic and career goals.

Students also may choose to participate in the Three-Plus-One Program, which allows them to earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree by completing 90 hours at USC Upstate and 30 semester hours (one year) of coursework at an approved, accredited professional school like Sherman College of Chiropractic. The IDS major is available to students at all levels of their academic careers including freshman and transfer students. Currently, more than 250 students are choosing to major in IDS.

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies also offers the Nonprofit Administration Minor.  

  • Three-Plus-One Program
  • Minor in Nonprofit Administration
  • Pre-Chiropractic

Interdisciplinary Studies degree requirements for previous academic years may be found on the academic catalog page.

Three Plus One Program

USC Upstate awards the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) to a student who has satisfactorily completed at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate work and one year (30 semester hours) of work in an approved accredited professional school, provided the applicant has:

  • Made application to the interdisciplinary studies program at USC Upstate;
  • Satisfied all general education and Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies requirements with a minimum grade met;
  • Completed a minimum of 42 semester hours of junior- and senior-level courses;
  • Completed at least 30 semester hours of courses in the IDS program;
  • Submitted a notice of intent, approved by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, prior to leaving USC Upstate to enter the professional, postgraduate school; and
  • Submitted official documents from the approved professional school demonstrating satisfactory completion of the first year of full-time study leading to a post-baccalaureate degree.

A degree other than interdisciplinary studies may be awarded if the combination of course work taken at USC Upstate and the professional school is equivalent to the work required for another bachelor’s degree program at USC Upstate. In such a case, the school in which the degree is offered may recommend awarding that bachelor’s degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will demonstrate the ability to address an issue from an interdisciplinary perspective.

1.1 Students will demonstrate the ability to develop an original thesis that addresses a topic using at least two disciplines. 1.2 Students will be able to apply library research methods to locate academic information from at least two disciplines to adequately address a research thesis.

2. Students will demonstrate the ability to engage in critical thinking.

2.1 Students will be able to integrate information and ideas from at least two disciplines. 2.2 Students will be able to draw inferences from source information.

Example Course Combinations and Focus Areas

As part of the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, students must complete 24 upper-level hours. Although those hours can be in any discipline, students needing online classes or those who take classes primarily on the Greenville campus may elect to complete one of the focus areas listed below. The courses listed are taught regularly on the Spartanburg campus and either online or on the USC Upstate Greenville Campus at the University Center Greenville. These focus areas are examples of class combinations; other combinations are possible, particularly for students taking classes on the Spartanburg campus.

Focus Areas

  • Technology and Communications
  • Technology and Management
  • Communications and Management
  • Informatics and Management
  • Informatics and Communications
  • Informatics and Technology 
  • Child Advocacy and Communications
  • Child Advocacy and Management
  • Nonprofit Administration and Communications
  • Nonprofit Administration and Management
  • Nonprofit Administration and Informatics
  • Nonprofit Administration and Child Advocacy