The vision of the Interdisciplinary Studies (INTD) major is to allow you to expand your academic focus to include multiple disciplines, so that you’ll be better prepared to meet the growing complexity of the world. However, this doesn’t simply mean sampling different disciplines, or combining various course offerings in a casual or offhand way.
The INTD program is structured to allow you to intentionally integrate knowledge and modes of thinking from two or three academic disciplines in a way that is driven by a complex real-world problem, research question, or focused area of interest. For example, a student interested in Food Justice may bring together Environmental Studies and Peace Studies to gain a deeper, Interdisciplinary understanding of the problem and how to work toward solutions. The INTD program allows you to chart your own course of study, but for this reason requires you to be an organized and self-directed student.
At Naropa, pursuing multiple areas of study can be accomplished in several ways: double majoring, combining major(s) and minor(s), or by majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. Double majoring, for example, can enable students to deeply explore two distinct disciplines on their own terms. One advantage of INTD is that through the program’s required courses, you learn how to directly integrate your areas of study using interdisciplinary methodologies. Another advantage is that INTD students produce a single thesis to reflect their integrated understanding, rather than the two separate theses required of double majors.
The INTD program is an academically-rigorous, research-based major that simultaneously seeks to develop your contemplative and critical thinking abilities. If your academic journey is driven by a complex real-world problem, research question, or focused area of interest that spans several areas of study, and you are interested in engaging in a research-based approach, than Interdisciplinary Studies might be right for you!