Will getting an interdisciplinary degree mean that I will have no job skills?
Not necessarily. Obviously, an interdisciplinary BA programme will not give you the direct career training that you could get from professional faculties like Law, Medicine, Applied Science, Land and Food Systems or Education, for example. But human societies are increasingly complex and constantly evolving, and today’s young adults, whether they eventually become private-sector employees, independent entrepreneurs or public servants, are not going to graduate from UBC, even from its most career-focused programmes, with the skills that they will need to flourish and to prosper in the world of the 2030’s or 2040’s.
The really useful legacy of your undergraduate education will be the intellectual strength and the flexible, adaptable habits of mind that will enable you, probably more than once or twice in your working life, to experience challenges, to analyse and understand them, and to respond to them creatively and effectively. And for that purpose there is a lot to be said for learning now to look at whatever interests you, or challenges, or puzzles you, from different points of view, using the diverse methods of analysis proper to a variety of academic disciplines.
You may even be better off for having created your own undergraduate programme of education by synthesizing what the university can offer you and what you, with your current intellectual strengths and skills, can offer in return. It’s not all that different a process from what you will probably have to do ten, twenty or more years from now when you have to blend the knowledge and skills that you will have by then with what the new world of that new age will be offering and will be demanding.
Will having an Interdisciplinary Studies BA on my transcript affect my chances of being accepted into graduate school?
Without question, yes.
- Most graduate programmes are specific to a single academic discipline and require a very extensive background in that field, often even more than the usual 30 credits’ worth of coursework that you would do in a standard major, and certainly far more than could be covered within the 18 credits of an IDST primary discipline.
- Some other programmes are more open to students with an interdisciplinary background; but they are usually quite specialized and have primarily a professional, rather than an academic focus (e.g., in areas such as Architecture, Education, Law, Library and Information Studies, Journalism or Medicine), rather than in Arts fields like Economics, English or History, for example).
- If you are interested in a particular field of post-graduate study, you should start your planning by researching the kinds of M.A. programmes available and their requirements for admission. This will permit you not only to decide if creating your own interdisciplinary programme is a good idea at all, but also, if you decide that it is, to plan your IDST coursework in light of your plans for beyond the B.A.
What will it say on my transcript after I have graduated?
Bachelor of Arts
Class: 1 or 2 or P
Granted: Month Day Year