Becoming A member of the IDiS Community

(Advising Video Transcript)

Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program.  The purpose of this brief introduction is to provide general information for those of you considering an IDIS major or minor who seek an individually designed thematic option, i.e., creating a new major designed specifically for you.  The information provided is not meant as a substitute for the individual advising you will seek out from faculty who serve as program directors or advisers.  It is meant to introduce the options available to you.

 Towson University has instituted an Intentional Advising Program to help students get the most out of their college education.  The program addresses the importance of academic advising across all four years in a strategic and progressive manner.  It is designed to meet students’ needs at different stages of their Towson experience.  From the first year through graduation, each year has a different focal point: transition, focus, engagement and commencement.  The IDIS program sees advising as a key to students’ academic success.  When you determine that IDIS programs suit your intellectual interests and career goals, by working closely with your adviser, you can turn your dreams into realities.

IDIS provides students with the opportunity to pursue a course of study unavailable through any single discipline at Towson University.  The program offers students three alternatives:

1)      The individually designed thematic major or minor

2)      Six formally designed major tracks, and

3)      Nine minor tracks.

A major in IDIS requires a minimum of 45 upper-division units (300-400 level) though the IDIS director may approve substitutions of particularly significant lower-division courses.   All 45 units must be completed with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher.  Students pursuing a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies must likewise complete the required units with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher.  IDIS majors may transfer up to 21 units toward completion of the major.  IDIS minors may transfer up to 9 units toward completion of the minor.

The individually designed thematic option allows students to pursue a major or minor that is not available at Towson University but is offered at other colleges or universities.  This option places special responsibilities on the student.

  1)   First of all, the student must find the model for the major she or he wishes to pursue in the catalog of another university.  Then, the student must determine that Towson University offers the specific or equivalent courses necessary to complete the major.

2)   Second, the student must meet with the Director of IDIS to ask for preliminary approval of the proposed major.


3)   Third, with the assistance of the Director of IDIS, the student identifies a professor with the necessary expertise who is willing to serve as his or her major adviser.


4)   Fourth, under the guidance of the major adviser, the student must write a program of study that includes a name/title for the individually designed thematic option, a description of its goals, and a list of required and elective courses.


After formal approval by the faculty adviser, the student and the Director of IDIS, the signed agreement constitutes the requirements of the student’s major. 


Students interested in the individually designed thematic option should declare their major as soon as possible, ideally no later than the first term of the junior year.


The general information presented here is subject to change and does not stand in the place of a face-to-face meeting with an adviser.  Please consult the Towson University Catalog or the IDIS web site for detailed information about specific major and minor tracks as well as the names and contact information for program directors.  The College of Liberal Arts believes strongly in supporting students who look for creative and imaginative ways to integrate their academic interests. 




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