Interdisciplinary Concentration (BIS)

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
    • Program Goals

Methods that will be used to assess the effectiveness of the program:

  • Student learning outcomes and other program outcomes (e.g., job placements, examination pass rates, etc.).
  • Plans for assessing these 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
  • Sign off 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 chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs. Within CAP, the proposal initially will be deliberated on by the Undergraduate Council. The subcommittee chairs will include the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness (APIE) in the dissemination of proposals to committee members. The Associate Provost for International Affairs should be included if the proposal involves collaboration with an international partner institution. These university administrators may request that notable issues be addressed before subcommittee review commences, or they may provide feedback on the proposal as part of the subcommittee review process to be addressed before the final proposal goes to the full committee for further review.
  4. The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.
  5. The chair of CAP will notify the APIE in writing of the recommendation of CAP.
  6. If any aspect of the proposed program constitutes a substantive change by BOR or SACSCOC standards, the university may be required to submit additional notifications or seek approval from either or both of these bodies. In such cases, the proposing units may be required to provide additional program information.
  7. The provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on implementation of the proposal (USG approval is not required for this type of proposal except as noted in step 6 above).
  8. Normally, the program can be officially added to the university curriculum (i.e., added to the record of official programs in the Banner system) after final university approval. (The APIE will notify the originating college(s) and the chair of CAP of final university approval.)