Multidisciplinary Studies Degree (B.A.)
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The program does not limit students to courses of study in a particular area, but rather stresses the importance of breadth of knowledge and cross-disciplinary communication. Students choose three minors instead of one major to design their own degree. MDS emphasizes flexibility and combines specialized knowledge from individual disciplines with a unique ability to approach problems from divergent perspectives. Students learn to apply their minors to real-world problems through a community-based internship and to apply multidisciplinary techniques in communicating the strengths of their self-chosen course of study. The student must apply and be admitted to West Virginia University as an undergraduate.
Depending on their chosen degree track, students in the MDS program may have their schedules vary widely. However, every minor requires the completion of at least nine credit hours at the upper-division level. As more minors are offered through Extended Learning, the number of possible degree tracts will change.
Different combinations will be considered upon petition.
No grade in a course required for one of the student's minors lower than a C counts toward the completion of the MDS degree. In addition to the courses required by the student's minors, the student must complete the Multidisciplinary Studies capstone course (MDS 489). The capstone is taken in the student's final semester at WVU and stresses the integration of the student's three minors into a cohesive whole through the completion of an internship in the local community. The MDS capstone is projected to be offered twice a year in a web-based format.
While working toward the completion of the MDS requirements, MDS students must also complete either the Liberal Studies Program or, more likely, the General Education curriculum as stipulated by the University. In addition to other requirements, the MDS program mandates the completion of at least 60 credit hours at the 200 level or above and 30 credit hours at the 300 or 400 level. The student must maintain a 2.0 GPA and complete at least 128 total credit hours in order to graduate.
Multidisciplinary studies help to bridge what have become increasingly specialized, disparate, and segmented fields of study within American universities. The ability to approach problems from an interdisciplinary perspective is an increasingly valuable skill in today's highly specialized society. Holders of degrees Multidisciplinary Studies degrees often enter into the same fields as graduates of more traditional majors such as Communication Studies or Business Administration. These include positions in management or sales or in industries such as hotel/hospitality, pharmaceutical, insurance, or retail. Employment opportunities for individuals who have learned divergent methods of solving problems are also available in education, social services, and government.
Graduate School Opportunities
Graduates may use their degrees as a foundation for further studies in law, business administration, journalism, education, or other disciplines.
Students will not be eligible for an I-20 from West Virginia University for this program.