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Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

Why Pursue Interdisciplinary Studies?

The interdisciplinary studies major at Wheaton emphasizes the interrelationships inherent within the Christian liberal arts curriculum, providing students with the unique academic experience of creating a “program of study” that broadly integrates two or three academic disciplines. The ultimate goal is to facilitate students’ exploration beyond the boundaries of specific disciplines into areas of imaginative thinking and to prepare students to relate their fields of study to the global church, personal experience, social concerns and vocational direction from a distinctly Christian life view.

IDS Office Hours

  • Tuesday          8:30 – 12:30
  • Wednesday     8:30 - 12:30
  • Thursday        8:30 – 12:30
  • Friday             8:30 – 10:30

IDS Application Deadlines 2018-2019

  • Friday, October 12, 2018
  • Friday, December 7, 2018
  • Friday, March 1, 2019
  • Friday, April 26, 2019

Dr. Jeffry Davis, Director of IDS, is available, by appointment, on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30.

Contact the IDS office at Interdisciplinary.Studies@wheaton.edu.


full-time program director
final project presented to peers
pre-set programs of study



Why Pursue Interdisciplinary Studies at Wheaton?

Best Integrative Studies logoWheaton College’s interdisciplinary studies major has been recognized as being one of the best programs in the nation, ranked second behind Emory University.




You’ll be able to competently engage and interact with knowledge in ways beyond the boundaries of traditional college disciplines and into areas of imaginative thinking.

God is incredibly creative, as demonstrated by the diversity of His universe. Similarly, Interdisciplinary Studies majors are encouraged to push themselves toward creative ways of thinking and expressing themselves.

Interdisciplinary Studies students have a genuine desire to ask questions no one else will ask and to find answers, difficult as they may be, that others may overlook. Cultivating an attitude of inquiry is crucial to the major.

From designing a program of study, to choosing thematically congruous courses, to completing a major research project, you must have a sense of the why behind the what. Cross-disciplinary integration of ideas and methodologies is the ultimate goal of our program, always from a biblical perspective.

Our events are designed to enrich and engage you relationally, academically, spiritually, and socially. 

  • We sponsor a fall and spring lecture each year. The topics and speakers vary and guest lecturers include on-campus and off-campus speakers.
  • As a part of the College-wide department chapel schedule, the Interdisciplinary Studies Chapel is time is carved out to gather with prospective and fellow majors for more cohesive worship.
  • Worship Together with Other Majors
    • Fall Semester: Asa part of the college-wide department chapel schedule, this time is carved out to gather with prospective and fellow majors for more cohesive worship.
    • Spring Semester: We encourage our IDS majors to attend one of the department chapels in an area of their approved Program of Study (POS)
  • Our social events help you enjoy life with friends. In the fall semester we host “Coffee & Conversation" monthly on-campus meetings. This is a time for interested students, majors, and staff to informally gather together. In spring semester we host a senior BBQ for our seminar students.
  • Teaching Assistants – work with an enlightened purpose. We’re interested in working with responsible and motivated students who are looking to work more closely with the IDS Program.
  • Our mentoring program allows you to build a relationship with a faculty liaison in one of your disciplines, one who might become the final reader for your final project.
  • Global & Experiential Learning – semester study abroad programs, summer study abroad programs, spring break co-curricular trips are available.

What Will I Learn?

Interdisciplinary Studies provides you with the freedom to design a major that reflects your academic passions and concerns.

IDS majors will express a “guiding directive,” choosing to explore a question (i.e., How do faith and ethics relate to bioengineering?), or a problem (i.e., Analyzing the common causes of poverty in urban America), or a theme (i.e., Philosophical and literary perspectives on the human condition). See the Sample Directives page for examples of what this could look like.

Whatever the guiding directive for the program of study, IDS students pursue areas of academic interest that sustain focused course work and independent study.

The culmination is a final research project, completed and presented to peers in the IDS Senior Seminar.

The Asian Studies POS provides an academic focus on a strategic region that is home to one-third of the world's population. Asia consists of diverse and rich cultural, religious, and intellectual traditions. Asia's dynamic economic and political institutions make it a major force today.

Wheaton College provides an opportunity for students to study biotechnology within the interdisciplinary major, offering a unique program of study.

Consult the course catalog for full listing of current courses available in this field.

Interdisciplinary Studies News and Stories


I learned formative critical thinking and problem-solving skills that have become habits in my daily life after graduation. IDS was my favorite part of Wheaton, and I am incredibly grateful for Dr. Davis’s wisdom and collaboration. — Kate Emerson '16, Financial Analyst, Avison Young