Interdisciplinary Studies

Design your own Major

An interdisciplinary major gives students the freedom to design an academic program that either serves their particular interests or allows them to prepare for a specific career requiring a broad range of knowledge. Many graduate programs, including journalism and law schools, acknowledge the need for a broad base of study and interdisciplinary studies majors often plan on continuing their education at the graduate level. 

Interdisciplinary studies major: At-a-glance (.PDF)

Overview and Requirements

An interdisciplinary major is for students who wish to engage in substantial study in several academic fields. It also gives students the opportunity to design a major that fits their own unique interests and needs. An interdisciplinary major provides preparation for careers or professional programs where a broad educational background is appropriate.

45+ Credit Hours

Courses are selected from three academic departments in which Goshen offers a major or a minor. Must include a minimum of 15 credit hours from each department, of which at least nine credit hours must be core courses defined by the major or minor rather than electives.

At least one three-credit core course in each department must be completed in residence at Goshen College. Not including the senior seminar and internship, a minimum of at least 18 credit hours in the major must be upper-level courses (300-400 level).

Senior Seminar and Internship

The senior seminar and internship are not included in the nine hours of core courses required in each of the three departments and must be completed in the same department. Any exceptions must be approved by the supervising professor for the internship.

Tom Meyers

Tom Meyers serves as the academic adviser for most interdisciplinary majors. Tom is the director of international education, associate dean and professor of sociology. He holds a B.A. from Goshen College (1975) and an M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1983) from Boston University.

Students interested in investigating an interdisciplinary major should contact Tom Meyers to discuss interests and options. The student’s academic adviser will usually be a professor from the department in which the student elects to complete the senior seminar and internship.

A Sampling of Interdisciplinary Major Combinations

For example, a student may plan to incorporate classes in business, informatics and family business for an eventual career in a family computer business or a student planning to teach as part of a service assignment might study language, TESOL and education.

  • Art, Graphic Design, Multimedia Communication
  • Informatics, English, Art
  • Bible and Religion, Intercultural Studies, PJCS (Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies)
  • Economics, Women’s Studies, Psychology
  • Biology, Environmental Science, Economics
  • English, Spanish, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Career Opportunities

Interdisciplinary graduates are working in nonprofit agencies, education, business, church ministries, community development, journalism and many other fields. Below is a sampling of positions that alumni with interdisciplinary majors have held.

  • Administration
  • Education
  • Church ministries
  • Environmental organizations
  • City planning
  • Business owner
  • Community development
  • Lawyer
  • Journalism
  • Professor