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Interdisciplinary Inquiry

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If your academic interests extend beyond traditional academic disciplines, the Interdisciplinary Inquiry (IINQ) major (B.A. or B.S.) can help you achieve your academic and professional goals. Interdisciplinarity is an approach to studying and addressing problems that are too complex or broad for individual disciplines or professions. Interdisciplinary studies draw on and integrate multiple perspectives, theories, methodologies, and insights to construct more comprehensive and nuanced understandings.

This program is designed to give the highly-motivated student, whose academic interests connect separate traditional disciplines, the opportunity to create an integrated, rigorous course of study based on a focus or inquiry area.

By design unconventional, the major enables deep inquiry and focus through advanced coursework from two or more academic departments. The major requires an independent-minded disposition, yet ensures close student supervision by the IINQ Program Coordinator as well as consultation with a committee of faculty members.

Students are required to take:

  • INTR 30103 (Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies),
  • INTR 30403 (Epistemology and Methods), and
  • INTR 40103 (Interdisciplinary Inquiry Major Capstone).

Beyond those three requirements, coursework will depend on students’ particular interests. For example, a student focused on the science of climate change might undertake a B.S. with an approach housed primarily in the different scientific disciplines coupled with courses in disciplines like History (e.g., American Environmental History) and Sociology (Sustainability: Environmental, Social & Economic Issues). Or, a student similarly interested in climate change but more so about it as a political issue might choose a B.A. with courses in Political Science, as well as in Environmental Science (Contemporary Environmental Issues, Concepts in Environmental Science and Environmental Stewardship Seminar), Economics (Environmental Economics), and Communications courses. Focus area courses taken each year towards the major are determined by the student and the IINQ Program coordinator.

Key to a student’s success in the IINQ Major is determining a problem, issue, or focus area that meets their interests and career goals.

  • The proposed program of study must consist of a minimum of 36 semester hours chosen from at least two different academic disciplines, 24 of which must be upper-division (30000 or above).
  • No more than 24 hours may be taken from a single academic discipline.
  • For both the B.A. and B.S. degrees, a minor is required.
  • For a B.A. degree, 4th semester proficiency in a foreign language is required.
  • For the B.S. degree, sufficient coursework of a quantitative nature must be included in the proposed course of study to justify the B.S. degree. The choice between the B.A. and B.S. degrees is to be determined by the nature of the proposed course of study, rather than any aversion to either foreign language or quantitative coursework, and is subject to the approval of the Associate Dean.
  • No course applied to the student’s major may also be applied to the minor.

To be eligible for the program, students must have earned a TCU GPA at or above 3.0 and have earned at least 12, but not more than 66, semester hours credit. The eligibility of incoming transfer students (who lack a TCU GPA) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Interested students need to email with:

  1. their proposed topic of inquiry,
  2. how that focus contributes to their long-term educational and/or career goals, and
  3. the divergent disciplines that could contribute to that focus.