Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.)

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree focuses on the development of broad intellectual abilities and skills rather than a large concentration within a traditional academic discipline. This degree option may be of special interest to:

  1. students seeking a degree tailored to specific interests not accommodated in an established MWSU major;
  2. students who plan, upon graduation, to enter graduate or professional school; and
  3. students transferring into MWSU with an AS or AAS degree.

Students who choose this degree option will work with three faculty members to determine the courses that will constitute their BIS-degree programs. This three-person faculty committee will be selected by the chairperson of the department with the 24-credit concentration in consultation with the student. The committee must include:

  1. one representative from the department with the 24-credit concentration;
  2. one representative from the department with the 12-credit concentration; and
  3. one other faculty member.

The faculty member from the department of the 24-credit concentration will serve as the chairperson of the committee, will be responsible for scheduling necessary meetings, and will submit the BIS-degree proposal to the college dean. BIS-degree program proposals must be submitted to the college dean responsible for the department offering the 24-credit concentration. Submission deadlines are: the first Friday in October, the last class day of the Fall Semester, the Friday before Spring break, and the last class day of the Spring Semester. Prior to receiving final approval by the college dean, a committee composed of the Dean of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Dean of Professional Studies, and a total of four faculty, with at least two representatives from each college, will review and approve all proposed degree programs. Notice of program acceptance will be returned within three weeks of the submission deadline, prior to the next scheduled pre- registration or regular registration session.

General Studies
Students must complete General Studies courses42-47
Major Requirements
Select at least one course from each of the following areas:21
Area One - Writing:
Nonverbal Communication
Advanced Composition
Creative Writing: Prose
Creative Writing: Poetry
Course officially designated as Writing Intensive
Area Two - Analytical and Critical Thinking:
Argumentation and Debate
Language Awareness
Reasoning and Argumentation
Ancient Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
History and Philosophy of the Natural Sciences
Area Three - Computer Literacy and Technological Innovation:
Document Design
Technology and Society
Introduction to Computer Music Application
and Topics in Computer Music Applications
Course officially designated as Computer Intensive
Area Four - Appreciation and Tolerance for Diversity:
Literature of Gender and Ethnicity
Literature in English: 1860-1945
Literature in English : 1945-Present
History of Latin America
International Politics
Cross-Cultural Psychology
Racial and Ethnic Relations
Area Five - Ethical and Moral Issues:
Human Ecology
Media and Society
Literature and Religion
Selected Studies in Literary Genre
Selected Studies in Literary Theme
Selected Studies in Literary Period or Movement
Selected Studies in Literary Authority
Media Law and Ethics
Political Theory
Topics in Ethical Theory
Area Six - Aesthetic Appreciation:
Aesthetics and the Arts
History of Theatre
Applied Music or Music Ensemble 1
Area Seven - Personal Growth and Welfare:
Applied Nutrition
Interpersonal Communications
Small Group Communication
Psychology of Personal Adjustment
Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine
First Concentration 224
Second Concentration 312

All three credit hours must be with one instrument or the same ensemble.


This concentration requires 12 upper-division credit hours in one discipline (one course must be an in-depth study of methods of investigation in that discipline). No more than 2 courses used to satisfy the 7 Areas may be used in either concentration. Students may substitute an A.S. or A.A.S. degree for this concentration.


 This concentration requires 9 upper-division credit hours from a second discipline or 12 credit hours of one foreign language. No more than 2 courses used to satisfy the 7 Areas may be used in either concentration.

Graduation Requirements 

  1. Earn a minimum of 124 credit hours (100 level and higher, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn a minimum of 45 credit hours in upper-division courses.  Lower-division transfer courses accepted as meeting upper-division departmental course requirements cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
  3. Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at MWSU in institutional coursework (exclusive of credit by examination).
  4. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  5. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.00 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.
  6. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.