University Studies or Interdisciplinary Studies?

Have you heard about  University Studies? It’s one of the newest degree options offered at UT Arlington, and there has been a lot of confusion about what a University Studies is exactly. University Studies is housed in the University College in Ransom Hall and offers a Bachelor of Science degree option. The degree plan is not a traditional degree plan, but it does has some similarities to the Interdisciplinary Studies degrees offered at UTA.

The main similarities include:

  • Both allow students to develop individualized degree plans.
  • Both allow flexibility in course selection to meet degree requirements.
  • Both provide a degree option for students not well-served by a traditional major for whatever reason.
  • Both allow students to make use of transfer hours and hours already earned at UT Arlington.
  • Both require students to complete an application.

Sounds simply enough, right? Well, there are some key distinctions between the two departments and the experience that the programs offer to students. Distinctions include program entrance requirements, GPA requirements, degree focus and use of credit among others. Please refer to the Distinctions between INTS and University Studies guide for specifics.

Do you think you might be a good candidate for University Studies or Interdisciplinary Studies?

  • A typical University Studies candidate would have over 60 credit hours, a variety of credit (both UTA and transfer),  at least a 2.0 GPA, and is ready to graduate. They would choose three areas of content from the approved list: Arts, Business, Community Studies, Engineering, Health and Wellness, Humanities, Media, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.
  • The ideal Interdisciplinary Studies student is usually a sophomore/junior with an ideal job or career in mind that is not offered as a traditional major at UTA. These students can opt of a BA or BS in Interdisciplinary Studies degree and combine 2-4 areas of study to gain certain knowledge and skills. Students would work with their advisor to develop content areas that are relevant to their goals, take 3 Interdisciplinary core classes and have an opportunity for internship or service learning experience.

Both degrees offer flexibility and independence, but for some students the big question is “What kind of job can I get with this degree?”  Since both degrees require students to choose their own academic adventure, the answer can only be found in the content areas that are selected and the research performed by the student while pursuing the degree. University Studies offers a broad-based education that can prepare you for a variety of career paths, and a Interdisciplinary Studies degree can be as specific as you want to make it. The key element is you, the student.

With that said, do either of these degree options seem interesting to you? If your answer is yes, follow the links below for more information.

To find out more about University Studies, click here.

To find out more about Interdisciplinary Studies, click here.


The Big 45: How to Make Your Move

In case you haven’t heard, the Texas Legislature has passed a House Bill requiring students to declare a major by 45 credit hours. House Bill 3025 is currently in effect. If you are one of the hundreds of students on the 45 hour list, then there may be a letter of notification sitting in your UTA email inbox right now. Don’t Panic. Being Undeclared is not as scary as it may seem. In fact, as an Undeclared Student, you have an abundance of campus offices just waiting to get their hands on you…to help you. You can opt for one of several Major Exploration methods, visit the Career Center, talk to a Counselor or  sign up with Student Support Services amongst many other options.

Here are some things to think about when choosing a major:

  • The Princeton Review suggests that you “Forget High School” because subjects and teaching methods are different in College.
  • Would you prefer to pursue a major that has a specific career path like Nursing or Engineering or would you prefer to spend your college years learning about a subject that you’re passionate about like Sociology, Criminal Justice or Theatre?
  • Think of all the “core classes” that you have completed so far and what classes you enjoyed or are looking forward to taking.
  • Meeting with an Advisor can help the decision- making process, too. Especially, if you are the type of person that needs to “talk things out.”

Remember that making decisions about your life can be difficult, but not impossible. Whether you think so or not, you have plenty of people at UT Arlington supporting your efforts and ready to give you a helping hand, if you need it. Never forget that the sweetest victories are hard fought, so make your move!

Major Exploration Seminars are offered throughout the semester. Sign up online.

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