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Bachelor of Arts in
Multidisciplinary Studies

Courses

Multidisciplinary Studies is a theme-oriented and student-designed major leading to a bachelor of arts degree. Learners have the flexibility to design a theme-based program of study that reflects their career goals with the guidance of their academic adviser.

A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of "C" or better in the 36 required course credits for the major. Four different course themes are available to fulfill program requirements:

  • communication skills
  • critical analysis
  • research methods/projects
  • theory/application

Multidisciplinary Studies Core Courses (12 credits)

Communication Skills Core Courses (select 3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Theories and strategies important for conceptualizing, developing, and managing conflict negotiation, mediation, and third-party intervention.

    • Prerequisite

      CAS 100

  • 3
    credits

    History and criticism of public discourse; intensive analysis of selected public addresses and social movements.

    • Prerequisite

      CAS 100

  • 3
    credits

    Written exercises in, and a study of, the principles of article writing; practice in the writing of specific articles.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 015 or ENGL 030

  • 3
    credits

    Students will learn how to assemble a portfolio that reflects their progress, knowledge, and insight into college-level study.

Critical Analysis Core Courses (select 3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Discussion of the validity, soundness, and fallacies of everyday language use and reasoning; informal logic; and manipulative arguments and propaganda.

    • GH

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Humanities (GH) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    In this course, students will first learn basic vocabulary for argument analysis, standards for evaluating arguments that are expressed in English, and basic methods for testing these arguments along with the shortcomings of said methods.

    • GQ

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Quantification (GQ) requirement.

Research Methods/Projects Core Courses (select 3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Experiential-based course covering the four main social research methods: available data, survey research, experiments, and field research.

    • Prerequisite

      3 credits in Sociology

  • 3
    credits

    An understanding of both qualitative research methods and the theoretical frameworks that inform qualitative inquiry. Additionally, this course focuses on tools for data collection such as individual and focus-group interviewing and observing and recording interaction. This course provides practical experience for students in collecting and analyzing qualitative data with and without the use of technology and examines particular difficulties in the interpretation and reporting of qualitative findings. Qualitative Research Methods is course that bridges disciplinary boundaries and is useful to any student who will be investigating human interaction.

  • 3
    credits

    The objective of this course is to enhance students' abilities to use a range of methodologies to evaluate and conduct research in the field of employment relations and human resource management.

Theory/Application Core Courses (select 3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Characteristics of modern nation-states and forces governing their international relations; nationalism; imperialism; diplomacy; current problems of war and peace.

  • 3
    credits

    Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

    • GS

      This course can be used to satisfy the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

    • GS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to general psychology; principles of human behavior and their applications.

    • GS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Approved experience, related to student career objectives, in agencies external to the University.

  • 3
    credits

    Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

  • 3
    credits

    Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

    • Prerequisite

      Completed 60 credits & permission for the program

  • 3
    credits

    Approved experience, related to student career objectives, in agencies external to University.

    • Prerequisite

      Completed 60 credits and permission for the program

  • 3
    credits

    Introductory analysis of the employment relationship and the interrelated interests of management, workers, unions, and the public.

    • GS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    The nature and characteristics of human societies and social life.

Multidisciplinary Studies Option Courses (24 Credits)

Courses in this area will be determined in conjunction with your academic adviser and will come from your individualized degree program of study.

Multiple course options for the subject areas listed below are available through independent learning.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Some Bachelor of Arts requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major, General Education courses, or electives. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foreign Language: 0–12 credits
    Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language.
  • B.A. Fields: 9 credits
    Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (cannot be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
  • Other Cultures: 0–3 credits
    Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.

Elective Courses (select 15 credits)

Among the degree requirements, students should incorporate at least:

  • 3 credits in U.S. cultures
  • 3 credits in international (IL) cultures
  • 3 credits in writing-across-the-curriculum courses

The course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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