AcademicsUndergraduate AcademicsInterdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies

Expand your academic focus to include multiple disciplines, foster a holistic understanding of complex issues, and be better prepared to meet the world as it is with Naropa’s Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Program Overview

The bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies invites students to combine as many fields of inquiry to create a focused program of study that is an expression of their unique interests. Some current combinations include Buddhist doctrine and environmental justice; Early childhood education, queer theory, and feminist practice; Afrofuturism and psychological theories on conditioning; Yoga studies, Art Therapy, and plant medicine; and painting and gender fluidity.

The program asks students to approach their work in a transdisciplinary and integrative way, meaning that they seek to discover what comes from the blending of their multiple fields of inquiry and practice. 

This bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies is much more than a flexible arts degree. Students with an adventurous spirit and craving deep learning and transformative experiences will embark on a journey to discover their life’s work. You will be able to design your own unique course of study.
Naropa’s BA in interdisciplinary studies offers a versatile approach to liberal arts education. Rather than concentrating intensely on a single discipline, students have the freedom to engage with various fields, ensuring a comprehensive yet profound academic experience.
Within Naropa’s nurturing community, undergraduate students will find a supportive atmosphere. Here, committed mentors play an integral role in guiding and motivating students to embark on a fulfilling and enlightening academic path.
Violet brush

Quick Facts

Yellow brush

Program Format

Naropa University’s undergraduate program is a four-year, fully accredited Bachelor of Arts degree program. The bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies invites students to design a unique program of study that integrates different disciplinary perspectives in the work of personal and social transformation.

Naropa students performing in "Liminal Spaces: A Dance Ensemble Concert". One young woman is sitting on the floor, playing the ukelele. She also has a harmonica. Two other performers are sitting next to her on each side and leaning against her shoulders. There are two more people in the picture, lying on the floor and looking relaxed.

Course Spotlight

Conflict Transformation: Theory and Practice

This course delves into theories and practices of conflict transformation across various settings, examining interpersonal dynamics and broader structural elements. Students explore their own beliefs about conflict, emphasizing cultural and religious influences. The curriculum scrutinizes efforts to address violence and trauma at both local and global levels. Additionally, it highlights intervention complexities and potential transformations. Students engage in producing digital narratives and acquire foundational mediation skills.

Degree
Requirements

A Bachelor of Arts degree (120 credits) consists of a Core Curriculum (30 credits) and at least one major, as well as minors and/or elective courses of the student’s choosing. For the interdisciplinary studies program, the major is comprised of 42 credits. 

Interdisciplinary Studies Major Requirements

  • INTD-301 Gateway to Design Thinking (3)

In this project-based course, students join visionary creative thinking and dreaming with the hands-on conceptual and artistic work of designing individualized interdisciplinary programs that will guide their work at Naropa and beyond. We engage in design thinking, connecting our values, passions and commitments to the lives and work of changemakers working in diverse fields. We examine and experiment with integrative mindsets, models and practices in the context of a vibrant learning community-working alone and together to connect prior learning with future selves, integrating, honoring and building capacity through joining head, heart and hands. Student must be a declared INTD major.
SUBTOTAL :3

  • Students take a minimum of 33 credits from any offered Naropa courses to support their self-authored plan of study.

  • Up to 18 credits can be transferred in from other schools.

  • Of the 33 Milestone credits, a minimum of 12 upper-division (300 level +) credits are required. INTD-301, COR-340, and COR-440 do not count towards this total.

  • If a student revises their Learning Agreement, all previous credits taken will still count towards the 33 credit Milestone requirement total.

  • COR-340 Capstone I(3)

    In this collaborative learning environment, students explore personal and intellectual connections to what really matters in their lives and work as activists, artists, contemplatives, healers, scholars and social innovators. They read and write extensively, weaving their own experiences, ideas, social locations, and authentic purpose with broader social, historical, political, artistic, scientific, and cultural contexts. They learn and practice research methods relevant to their disciplines and emerging capstone projects, developing skills and frameworks for understanding ethical issues specific to their scholarly, artistic, and civic pursuits. Students leave the course with a capstone project proposal, preliminary literature review, and oral presentation.

  • INTD-401 Integration Studio

    In this one-credit course, students will identify their interdisciplinary areas of inquiry and practice and explore ways of knowing, research, and engagement. Working closely with a faculty mentor and in collaborative practice with classmates, students will identify and synthesize multiple strands of inquiry for their unique plan of study.

  • COR-440 Capstone II (3)

    Building on work produced in Capstone I, students implement an original project that reflects substantial research and work, which may include contemplative, community-based, creative, and social innovation components. This product could be a 25–30 page academic paper or its equivalent in creative or community-engaged projects (with a minimum 12–15 page text). The semester ends in celebration and ceremony, featuring student presentations of their work, which may include creative writing, dance-movement, film, music, theater, and visual arts as well as socially innovative curricula, programs and models.

SUBTOTAL :6

TOTAL CREDITS :43

Why Choose Naropa?

Opportunity to Choose

Students work with faculty mentors to craft a unique program of study in the Gateway Seminar. Undergraduate interdisciplinary studies majors can draw from all offered courses to build their distinctive program of study, for a minimum of 33 credits related to their areas of inquiry.

Green brush

Commitment to Diversity

We prioritize diversity and use thoughtful learning to understand and embrace qualities that unite people from different backgrounds, aiming for a fair and unified society. Naropa University blends insights from various wisdom traditions while emphasizing inclusivity. This commitment to diversity enhances and shapes our educational approach across the university.

Contemplative Approach

If you are interested in an approach to learning that values contemplative inquiry and artistic expression as well as scholarship, community, and social action, then Interdisciplinary Studies might be the right major for you!

Green brush
A woman is sitting on her knees and leaning forward and to the left with her torso. She's wearing black clothes which are partially stained with clay. There is clay all around her and on her hands and face. She seems to be experimenting with the material.

How this Program Prepares You

Multidisciplinary Insight

Students will have an in-depth focus on multiple disciplines and fields, which will give them the possibility to consider issues from multiple perspectives. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies will have the analytical skills needed to make insightful questions and analyses. 

Career Readiness

While your studies span multiple disciplines, they are anything but generalized. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies acquire specialized knowledge and skills that pave the way for rewarding careers in community leadership, the arts, social entrepreneurship, and beyond. Step confidently into graduate school or the job market with versatile opportunities.

Holistic Education

Students of this program are adventurous spirits who crave deep learning and transformative experiences. Expand your horizons by cultivating an open mindset, enabling you to examine and address issues from a diverse array of perspectives with Naropa’s BA in Interdisciplinary Studies.

What You'll Learn

Integrated Learning

Fuse diverse viewpoints and disciplines into an innovative final thesis.

Broadened Perspective

Cultivate a progressive, multi-dimensional strategy for addressing 21st-century issues.

Analytical Insight

Pose insightful queries and respond with meticulous research and examination.

Graduate School and Career Readiness

Pursue graduate school or a career of your choosing with a flexible degree.

Depth of Knowledge

Students acquire an adequate understanding of their two or three chosen concentrations.

Yellow brush

Career Opportunities with a Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies empowers students to delve across disciplines, fostering a holistic understanding of 21st-century challenges. Equipped with interdisciplinary tools, students are primed to adapt and positively impact the world. This major nurtures flexibility and open-mindedness, paving diverse career paths. Graduates excel in various fields, from film production and writing to activism, education, and entrepreneurship.

Hear from a Graduate

EdWord Galan hopes his business, A Trike Called Funk, “will help people see more nuance in the world and move away from polarities…and inspire others to tap into their own power…. One of the most effective ways to bypass intellectual and ideological differences is through interactions on a dance floor—when we’re out of our head, just having fun, enjoying life, and being in the moment.

EdWord Galan

BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Music, Peace Studies, and Psychology of Health & Healing)

FAQs About the
Interdisciplinary Studies

A BA in interdisciplinary studies offers flexibility, paving diverse career possibilities across different sectors. This qualification lays the groundwork for deeper specialization through advanced learning or professional growth in chosen fields. Alumni have opportunities to advance in roles such as community leaders, advocates, teachers, business innovators, and beyond.
Naropa University’s online degree in interdisciplinary studies is a Bachelor of Arts. The degree emphasizes a broad liberal arts education.
The difference between multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary studies revolves around how they merge insights from multiple disciplines. While multidisciplinary approaches examine separate disciplines individually, each offering unique perspectives on a topic, interdisciplinary studies blend insights from different fields to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
The difference between a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in interdisciplinary studies centers on their core focuses and curricula. A BS emphasizes natural sciences, math, or technical areas, while a BA leans towards liberal arts, emphasizing humanities, social sciences, and languages for a comprehensive understanding.

Learn More About the Program

Rachel Thompson head shot

Connect
with your counselor

Rachel Thompson

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions 

Prospective students with last names A-G

Jenna Priest head shot

Connect
with your counselor

Jenna Priest

Undergraduate Admissions Counselor

Prospective students last names H-Z

Ready to Apply?

Admission Requirements

Academic excellence and the willingness to carry out introspective work are highly valued at Naropa University.

Learn more about admission requirements and the application process for first-time and transfer students. 

Round yellow brush
  • Applicants boasting a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Applicants with a track record of academic excellence receive a warm welcome to Naropa University with minimal admission criteria.

  • Applicants with a GPA below 3.0

If you are enthusiastic about embracing the advantages of a Naropa education and aspire to contribute positively to our expanding community, we encourage you to apply even if your academic record has not been the strongest.

  • Transfer your credit

You can bring over credit hours you’ve acquired at other accredited institutions when applying to Naropa. Submit an official transcript to transfer 60 or more transferable credits.

Read more about transferring and applying as a first-time student at our undergraduate admissions page.

We warmly invite students from around the world to become part of our dynamic community. At Naropa, we embrace inclusivity and diversity, valuing a diverse student population that enriches the university’s vitality.

Learn more about applying to Naropa as an international student.

Costs and Financial Aid

Explore details on undergraduate costs and financial support in our tuition and financial aid section. Naropa strives to make education accessible to numerous students, with several grants and scholarship opportunities to finance your education. Estimate your expenses at Naropa with our Net Price Calculator. 

Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are a great way to help with the costs of going to school. Naropa University offers an array of scholarship opportunities to undergraduate students. Students may be eligible to receive scholarships through their admissions application, by applying for scholarships, or by being nominated for a scholarship. For more detailed information about the different scholarships available and how to receive them, please review our undergraduate scholarship page.
A woman holding a microphone and speaking. The picure shows her from the shoulders up. Other women are seen in the background, some looking at her and seemingly listening to what she's saying.
Violet decor brush

Interested in Interdisciplinary Studies?

Read our blog or listen to our podcast!

post

Heartfire Festival Returns to Naropa University

By Monera Mason, Community Manager & Master of Divinity student at Naropa University Heartfire Festival made its post-pandemic return to Naropa last month after a three-year hiatus. Naropa students, staff,...

post

Interdisciplinary Studies 2021 Capstone Presentations: How It Ties Together

By: Tara Celentano (2022 Clinical Mental Health Counseling)   Interdisciplinary Studies seniors presented their BA capstone projects to a revolving 52-member audience – a Zoom room full of family members and...

podcast

Episode 26. The Bricolage of a Naropa Education

We are excited to announce this week’s episode features Naropa faculty from our Interdisciplinary Studies program, Candace Walworth and Cynthia Drake....
podcast

Episode 11. Ramon Parish: Embodied Education

Ramon Parish is an adjunct instructor in Naropa’s environmental studies department currently teaching a course on Environmental Justice....

YOU ARE READY.

This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields

Search Naropa University

Search

YOU ARE READY.

This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields