The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

73° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Custom major

    If you’re looking for a degree the University of Arizona doesn’t offer, look no further.

    The Interdisciplinary Studies major is the perfect fit for students who are interested in a broad range of topics or want a degree not offered at UA, said Leticia Soto-Delgadillo, associate director of the University College and adviser to IDS students.

    To graduate with an IDS degree, students must complete 21 units in three different subject areas, Soto-Delgadillo said. A minor is not required.

    “”I call them three maxi-majors,”” she said. “”They’re a little bit more than a minor, but they’re a little bit less than a major. I consider it to be a tad bit more intense because you’re almost completing three majors.””

    Students pick the three subject areas that work for their interests, Soto-Delgadillo said.

    “”They want the flexibility and the ability to create their own degree program to bring their goals to light,”” she said.

    Hilary Scheele, an interdisciplinary studies junior, said she enjoys the freedom and creativity of her major.

    “”I love it,”” Scheele said. “”I really knew what I wanted to do coming into college and this has given me the opportunity to really be specific and be creative and have that general path (toward my career).””

    Scheele said her IDS degree is made up of communications, political science and a thematic major called international public relations, which she said will help her pursue a career in public relations.

    Having a specific career in mind isn’t a requirement, but an IDS degree isn’t for students who are clueless about what they want to do, Soto-Delgadillo said. It takes a great deal of effort to convince advisers to grant students admission in the IDS.

    Students must meet with an adviser from each of their three subject areas and write a proposal, with suggested classes, to submit to a committee, which decides if the student is right for the IDS program, she said.

    Kelsey Henington, a pre-communications junior, said she is currently in the process of applying for an IDS degree.

    “”I’m a very diverse person and IDS is perfect for very diverse people,”” she said.

    Henington said she felt limited by choosing just one major and minor, and when a professor suggested the IDS degree to her, she said it sounded interesting.

    Henington said she is meeting with advisers from media arts, communications and marketing to create her IDS degree. She said the diversity of the IDS major is the right fit for her.

    “”This way I’ll have no regrets,”” she said.

    Students have written IDS proposals with the intent of working in many industries, including event planning, the wine industry, international real estate, interior design and crime scene management, Soto-Delgadillo said.

    Henington said she spoke with a previous employer, who runs a regional development company, and the employer said a diverse degree would increase her job opportunities after college.

    Many students with IDS degrees attend graduate school to further their education, Soto-Delgadillo said. Their IDS degree helps them get experience and internships in their fields.

    There can also be an international component to an IDS degree, which strongly encourages students to study abroad and has a six-semester language proficiency requirement, she said.

    Around 200 students are declared IDS majors but registration has increased over the past few years, Soto-Delgadillo said.

    Soto-Delgadillo said the IDS degree draws students to the UA who were turned off at first because the UA didn’t offer a specific degree.

    Henington said although she doesn’t have a specific career that she wants to pursue after college, event planning and advertising are two possibilities right now.

    “”Maybe I’ll have ten careers. Maybe I’ll have one career but I want to do so many different things and the IDS will really allow me to do that,”” she said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search