McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


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The Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) is a unique degree program that offers students the opportunity to create their own major. Interdisciplinary Studies students learn from multiple disciplines and gain knowledge, methods, and theories that enhance their individual educational and career goals.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Optional internship(s)


4 years

Admission Criteria



Main Campus


Interdisciplinary Studies
McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


McMicken Hall -110E
PO Box 210069
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0069
Russel Durst, Ph.D
Phone: 513-556-9911

Student Success Factors

Students can be successful in Interdisciplinary Studies if they are highly motivated, goal-oriented and enjoy working independently. Interdisciplinary Studies students have the organizational skills and vision to translate a career or personal goal into a solid academic plan that is broadly based and delves into several areas of knowledge.  This degree option is appropriate for freshmen who would like to individualize their major as well as for continuing students whose interests transcend a single major.  Transfer students can easily incorporate previously earned credit into a BIS plan of study.

Career Possibilities

Interdisciplinary Studies majors can be prepared to embark on a variety of pathways, including

  • graduate studies that are not reflected by existing majors within the university;
  • to pursue professional degree programs such as law or medicine;
  • and to undertake employment that requires multiple responsibilities and where varied perspectives are appropriate and useful, in careers as such as administrators, analysts, public service workers, arts professionals, community organizers, and human rights and environmental advocates.

Individualized plans of study can be constructed to prepare for many career paths, and students are advised to check with graduate admissions offices and career development advisors regarding specific undergraduate degree requirements.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

Like all students in the College of Arts and Sciences, BIS majors must satisfy the college’s core requirements and need 120 credit hours to graduate.  Within this overall framework, and with the help of an advisor, program director, and/or mentor, each student designs a customized plan of study that reflects his or her interests and goals, and is distinct from other defined majors.  To guarantee breadth and rigor, students must incorporate into their plan  two or three groupings of courses, each clustered in a single discipline or linked thematically, that demonstrate intellectual progression (from the introductory to more advanced, upper division coursework).  In addition, the student’s overall program must encompass at least 24 credit hours at the 3000 level or higher, including the Interdisciplinary Capstone (INTR5001). The 36 credit hour plan of study may include previously taken coursework and coursework outside the College, but at least 18 credit hours must be in Arts & Sciences disciplines.

Minor Details

Minors are not available in interdisciplinary studies.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Predominant Program

    • INTR5001, Interdisciplinary Capstone, 3
    McMicken College Core Requirements
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
    • AFST1001, Introduction To Africana Studies, DC, 3
    • ANTH1019, Language and Globalization, DC, SS, 3
    • COMM2004, Communicating About Health, Environment and Science, SE, SS, 3
    • EUST1001, Introduction to European Studies, DC, HP, 3
    • EVST1011, Introduction to Environmental Studies I, SE, NS, 3
    • FILM1051, Introduction to Film and Media Studies, FA, HU, 3
    • GEOG1030, Great Earth Debates, SE, 3
    • GEOG2061, People and Environment I: Population and World Hunger, SE, NS, 3
    • HIST1016, Themes in World History, DC, HP, 3
    • OLHR2010, How to Change the World I, DC, SE, 3
    • PHIL1010, Critical Thinking, HU, 3
    • PHIL1025, Contemporary Moral Issues, DC, SE, 3
    • PHIL1032, How Science Works, QR, NS, 3
    • RELG1001, Introduction to the Study of Religion, HU, 3
    • WGS2002, Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, DC, SS, 3
    Upper Division Coursework
    • XXXX3xxx, 3000 level course(s) or above, 24
    Plan of study
    • XXXX1xxx, 1000 level course(s) or above, 36

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

The interdisciplinary studies (individualized) option provides a special opportunity for qualified, highly motivated students to design and complete a major that complements their unique interests and strengths while drawing upon the wide-ranging expertise of a notable liberal arts faculty. This program is especially attractive to students whose goals and visions extend beyond traditional academic boundaries and disciplines. The cross-disciplinary nature of interdisciplinary studies helps enable students to learn how to integrate a variety of perspectives and methodologies. By connecting skills and knowledge from multiple sources, students will be better prepared to face real-world situations in their communities, their workplaces and their homes.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors Within UC

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:


  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.