Interdisciplinary Concentration

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree concentration provides educational opportunities not available through existing, traditional degree programs. The purpose of the BIS concentration is to offer students an avenue by which they may be prepared academically in instructional areas that reflect cross-collegiate and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The university-level Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program provides concentrations that require curriculum typically offered across multiple colleges while college-level Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies concentrations offer curriculum typically offered across multiple departments/institutes within their college.

Proposal Format

Proposals for university-level BIS concentrations should include the following information:

Cover Page Information:

  • Interdisciplinary studies program concentration title
  • Sponsoring colleges(s)/department(s)/institute(s)/center(s)/unit(s)
  • Collaborating department(s)/institute(s)/center(s)/unit(s)
  • Contact name, email and telephone number of primary faculty member responsible for all communication about the BIS concentration
  • Contact name, email and telephone number of liaison faculty responsible for BIS concentration proposal in each sponsoring department.
  • Date of proposal submission
  • Proposed implementation term

Concentration Overview:

  • Interdisciplinary Program Concentration Description and Objectives
    • Mission statement
    • Goals and learning outcomes

Evidence of Need and Interest in Interdisciplinary Concentration:

  • Statement of need and interest in interdisciplinary concentration. Please provide information regarding the number of projected students and basis for projection. Please explain why the interdisciplinary nature of the program is essential to the degree and why the academic preparation for this degree cannot be accomplished within an established academic unit/program

Concentration Administration:

  • Program admission requirements
  • Complete program curriculum (i.e., catalog copy)
  • Please be sure to document all pre-requisites and course sequences required for any course in the curriculum. Also, please provide course availability information for each course in the program curriculum (i.e, for established course – how often has the course been offered and how many sections (and seats) during the past academic year; for new courses not currently offered – which department will be responsible for its development, please project availability during next academic year, how many sections (and seats). Please provide draft syllabus for any new courses required for the concentration.
  • Specify how CTW program requirements will be fulfilled
  • Please indicate potential student progression issues related to the availability of courses in this program. Please provide a sample 4 year schedule of courses that would allow students to graduate in 4 years from this BIS program, including all core and pre-requisite courses.
  • Strategies for ensuring adequate communication among collaborating units
  • Proposed administration of the program. Please identify primary academic leader(s) for concentration (faculty member(s) primarily responsible for academic support)
  • Proposed advisement process for students in this program
  • Additional resource requirements, if any, and budget implications (personnel costs, library acquisitions, computing/equipment costs) and information regarding where resources will be obtained.
  • Offices, departments, committees, and individuals consulted during the development of the proposal
  • Anticipated impact on other programs, departments or colleges
  • Signoff of proposal by sponsoring dean’s/department chairs/directors committing necessary resources, faculty, and course availability to ensure success of interdisciplinary concentration.

Approval Process:

The approval process for university-level BIS concentration proposals consists of the steps below:

  1. Proposals should be considered and approved by the sponsoring academic colleges/department(s)/units. Approval by departments at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
  2. Proposals require the approval of the sponsoring dean(s) of the college(s) involved in the inter-disciplinary program offering. Individual colleges may elect to require that proposals first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
  3. The dean should send approved proposals to the Vice Provost and to the chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs (CAP). The vice provost will review for compliance with Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) policies and will ask the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness to do the same for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requirements. Depending on the nature of the proposed program, the vice provost may ask others to review the proposal as well.
  4. If the proposal is found to be in good order, the vice provost will notify the chair of CAP that it is ready for consideration by the University Interdisciplinary Programs Committee. If problems are found with the proposal, the vice provost will notify the sponsoring college dean(s), sponsoring department(s) and/or unit(s) to resolve the issues before committee consideration.
  5. The ad hoc University Interdisciplinary Program Committee will be chaired by the Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and will include the chair of CAP and at least one representative each of the CAP Undergraduate and Graduate Councils. The ad hoc committee will deliberate and make a recommendation on the proposal to CAP.
  6. CAP will review the interdisciplinary concentration proposal and vote on its approval.
  7. The chair of CAP will notify the Vice Provost and the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness in writing of their recommendation.
  8. The Provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on implementation of the new interdisciplinary concentration offering.
  9. If the Provost’s recommendation is positive, he or she will notify the University System of Georgia (USG) offices of the university’s decision and will forward the program proposal to the USG as appropriate.

Approved by the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs 12/11/12.