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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 20, 2024
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Interdisciplinary Studies, BA

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The Interdisciplinary Studies major is an alternative to the traditional majors in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. It provides a coherent course of study with the breadth and depth appropriate to a Dietrich School major, while offering a pathway to degree completion.

Interdisciplinary Studies Major


  1. Each Interdisciplinary Studies major should consist of at least 42 credits of work earned in courses from at least two Dietrich School departments. The major should aim for integrated and cumulative learning. To this end, each major must have the following characteristics:
    1. At least 21 credits must be earned from courses numbered 1000 or above;
    2. Courses must be arranged in at least two clusters or thematic groupings;
    3. Each cluster must contain a minimum of 15 credits;
    4. A writing (W) course approved by an assistant dean must be completed as part of the major.
  2. Up to six credits of independent study, directed reading, directed research, undergraduate teaching, and internships may be counted toward the major.
  3. A student wishing to pursue an Interdisciplinary Studies major must work with an assistant dean, who will serve as the student’s academic advisor.  The assistant dean’s responsibilities include:
    1. Approving the student’s Interdisciplinary Studies major proposal;
    2. Approving changes to the proposal;
    3. Providing academic advising to the student at least once per term.
  4. The following additional requirements apply:
    1. Students are eligible to declare the Interdisciplinary Studies major after successful completion of 75 credits;
    2. A minimum 2.0 GPA must be maintained for all Interdisciplinary Studies coursework; Only grades of C- or above may be counted toward the major;
    3. Students may achieve honors in Interdisciplinary Studies by earning a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the courses for the major and a 3.5 cumulative GPA;
    4. All regular Dietrich School degree requirements must be satisfied (e.g. minimum 120 credits, General Education Requirements, 2.0 overall GPA, at least half of the credits used to fulfill the major must be completed at the Pittsburgh campus).
    5. Students may not double major when pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies major.
    6. Students wishing to earn a Bachelor of Science degree must complete 21 credits of upper-level science coursework (certified by the assistant dean) and MATH 0220 - ANALYTIC GEOMETRY AND CALCULUS 1  or STAT 1000 - APPLIED STATISTICAL METHODS  .


  1. A student wishing to declare an Interdisciplinary Studies major should meet with an assistant dean from the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, 140 Thackeray Hall.  Please call 412-624-6480 to make an appointment.
  2. The student should draft a proposal to explain the proposed course of study. The proposal should include:
    1. Learning outcomes and a rationale for the course of study
    2. A list of courses used toward the major
    3. A discussion of the career options that may be pursued utilizing this combination of courses
  3. The proposal must be approved by an assistant dean and submitted to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies for final approval.

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