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Interdisciplinary Studies

The Interdisciplinary Studies (IDST) B.A. Program offers the independent, capable student a multidisciplinary alternative to the traditional, department-based Major.

Students admitted to the program design their own cross-disciplinary course of study, and then consult with the Chair to obtain approval. The Program may be appropriate as preparation for professional programs in Arts and in other faculties, including Elementary Education, Journalism, Law, Library/Information Studies, Medicine, Social Work, and Architecture. The Program is distinct from departmental majors, minors, and honours programs, and students should note that further preparation may be required of candidates for Secondary Education and Graduate Studies. Students intending to apply to the Faculties of Dentistry or Medicine may also find it appropriate, but they are advised to note that these faculties require specific science courses for admission. The program may provide an appropriate route to further study in the creative and performing arts. It is administered by its chair and coordinator.


To be admitted to the Interdisciplinary Studies B.A. Program, students must have completed at least 54 and usually no more than 75 credits toward the Bachelor of Arts (students granted special permission to enter the program with more than 75 credits may be required to complete more than 120 credits to obtain their degree); obtained an overall average of at least 60% in all previous courses attempted towards the B.A.; satisfied the 3-credit Writing Component of the Writing and Research Requirement and have completed or have in progress the other Arts Faculty requirements; and obtained approval of their proposed course of study.

Applications are accepted throughout the entire year and should be submitted either to the chair of the IDST Program or the program coordinator. Application forms and program information are available on the IDST Program website.


Acceptable disciplines and courses are classified by the Board into four categories: humanities, social sciences, creative and performing arts, and sciences. Disciplines are as defined on the IDST web site and do not necessarily coincide with existing departmental divisions in the Faculty (e.g., courses in English and other "language departments" are allocated to either "language," or "literature", which constitute separate disciplines in the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies).

Students must complete:

  1. at least 30 credits of 300-/400-level course work in the Primary Category, including an 18-credit 'primary concentration' in one discipline; and
  2. at least 12 credits of 300-/400-level course work in the Secondary Category.

Students may normally complete no more than 18 credits of 300-/400-level course work in their primary discipline. However, students with at least a 75% average may, with approval, complete up to 24 credits in the primary discipline. IDST students may count towards their BA more than the maximum of 48 credits outside of the Faculty of Arts if more are required for their approved program. For graduation, students must complete all Faculty of Arts requirements, including the Writing and Research, Literature, Language, and Science requirements.

Visit the Interdisciplinary Studies B.A. Program for more information.

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