Interdisciplinary Studies

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies

B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies


Larry Gould
Associate Vice President and Campus Executive Officer
Northern Arizona University - Yuma
(Preferred Contact Modality)
Phone:  928-317-6475
FAX:  928-317-6419


For specific information, click on the Emphasis you are interested in to connect with the academic department offering the Emphasis.


For general information, contact Gateway Student Success Center, NAU, PO Box 4097, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4097  928-523-4772.

Undergraduate Introduction  

You may pursue the following academic plan in interdisciplinary studies:  

NAUís flexible, B.A. and B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies offers you an opportunity to design a plan of studies, in consultation with an advisor, to meet your individual educational needs. You may choose this degree if you plan to enter an occupation that requires a broad general education, if you are seeking career advancement or personal intellectual enrichment or if you are considering a preprofessional plan.


We also offer this degree as part of NAU's distance education program; however not all emphasis areas are available through distance education.


We designed this degree to broaden your background, but not to substitute for a degree that meets specific professional or occupational needs. If you are preparing for an occupation where entry is governed by licensure and/or professional certification, you should seek admission to the appropriate degree plan.   

Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies (extended major)  

To earn the Bachelor's Interdisciplinary Studies degree, you must complete at least 120 units of coursework, which we describe in the sections that follow:  

Be aware that some courses required for your degree may have prerequisites that you must also take. Check the courses in the appropriate subject.  (You may be able to count these prerequisites toward your liberal studies or general elective credit.)  


Please note that you must complete NAUís diversity requirements by taking two 3-unit courses, one in U.S. ethnic diversity and one in global Diversity.  These courses may be used to meet other requirements within your academic plan if you choose them carefully. Click here for a list of the available diversity courses.


This degree requires that you must take at least 30 units of upper-division courses (those numbered 300 and above).


Additionally, please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement; however, you must still meet the total of at least 120 units to graduate. Contact your advisor for details.  


Finally, please note that the requirements for any particular Interdisciplinary Studies plan will be more specific than the general academic description given here. See the specific academic area in this catalog, which are listed at the end of this section, for the Interdisciplinary Studies plan you are interested in.

Liberal Studies (General Education) Requirements  

Click here to go to the section titled NAUís Undergraduate Academic Plans for information about the 35 units of liberal studies credit that we require. Contact the department of your emphasis for information about liberal studies courses that are specific to your major.  


Be aware that you may use courses with prefixes in your emphasis area to fulfill liberal studies, but you may not use the same course(s) to satisfy your emphasis requirements and your liberal studies requirements; in addition, you may not use the specific courses in your focus to satisfy liberal studies requirements. (For the interdisciplinary emphases in arts and letters, public agency service, and women and gender studies, you may use the emphasis course prefixes to satisfy requirements in both emphasis and liberal studies; however, you may not use the same course(s) to satisfy both an emphasis and liberal studies requirement.)

Major Requirements  

You must complete 57-68 units for the B.A. major or 60-67 for the B.S. ó in an emphasis, a focus area, and communication skills requirements.  


Please note that you must have a grade of C or better in all courses used in the Extended Major, which includes the Emphasis, Focus/Minor/Certificate, and Communication Skills Area.  


You must take 21-28 units in an emphasis approved by the Interdisciplinary Studies advisory council. See the end of this section for a list of Interdisciplinary Studies emphases, each of which has been designed with a clear and specific learning objective.  


As part of NAUís general university requirements, these units include a junior writing course and senior capstone experience, which we specify within each individual emphasis.  

Focus, Minor, or Certificate Requirements

Meet this 15-unit requirement by choosing one of the three options described in this section.

Focus in Interdisciplinary Studies

Take at least 15 units that include a minimum of 3 units of credit in each of the following blocks: Ethical Reasoning; Creative Inquiry; Scientific Reasoning; Changing Worlds; and Cultural Perspectives.  Courses used to satisfy this requirement may not have been used to satisfy any other requirement for this degree. At least 9 units must be taken at NAU and at least 6 units of the 9 units must be upper-division (300 or 400 level).   Click on the above links for listings of approved courses by block.


You may also fulfill this requirement by completing a minor outside your emphasis field, instead of either a focus or certificate. The minor, which will require at least 15 units, must be completed according to the requirements listed in your catalog of graduation. Refer to specific academic areas within this catalog for information about the coursework requirements for particular minors you may be interested in. (Please note that not all minors are available statewide or on line.).


You may also fulfill this requirement by completing a certificate outside your emphasis field, instead of either a focus or a minor. The certificate, which will require at least 15 units, must be completed according to the requirements listed in your catalog of graduation. Refer to specific academic areas within this catalog for information about the coursework requirements for particular certificates you may be interested in. (Please note that not all certificates are available statewide or on line.).

Communication Skills Requirements

You must take the following 21-25 units for the B.A.; 24 units for the B.S.:

You choose 3 units of performance-based and 3 units of theory-based courses listed below.  At least 3 units must be upper-division.

performance-based courses:

SC 111, 311, 312, 314, 315, and 318; and TH 242

theory-based courses:

SC 271, 321, 323, 351, 361, 365, 424, 472, 475 and 477

(Please note that you canít use CLEP or locally prepared exams to satisfy this requirement. Transfer credit used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Studies/BAS Advisory Council.)

Additionally, courses taken in the Science Requirement may not be used to satisfy any other requirements in the degree plan.

General Electives  

Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.  


You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they werenít used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)


The following Interdisciplinary Studies emphases are offered through specific academic departments at NAU. See the appropriate section of this catalog or contact the appropriate department for specific information about each emphasis.  




Section in Catalog

administration of justice

Public Agency Service





arts and letters

Arts and Letters



criminal justice

Criminal Justice

early childhood education

Teaching and Learning

emergency services

Public Agency Services

enterprise in society

The W. A. Franke College of Business

environmental communication


environmental sciences

(NAUĖYuma only)

Environmental Sciences

ethnic studies

Ethnic Studies

humanities or public management

Interdisciplinary Studies

learning and pedagogy

Teaching and Learning

library science

Teaching and Learning

mathematics and statistics

Mathematics and Statistics


Modern Languages

news editorial


organizational communication

Speech Communication

parks and recreation management

Geography, Planning, and Recreation





public agency service

Public Agency Service



speech communication

Speech Communication

speech-language sciences & technology

Health Sciences

womenís and gender studies

Women's and Gender Studies