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Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies2018-12-03T16:02:54+00:00

The BIS degree is focused on the development of broad intellectual abilities and skills, rather than a large concentration within a traditional academic discipline.

This degree option may be of special interest to:

  • students seeking a degree tailored to specific interests not accommodated in an established Missouri Western major,
  • students who plan, upon graduation, to enter graduate or professional school, or
  • students transferring to Missouri Western with an AS or AAS degree.


Specific degree requirements include:

  • A minimum of 45 credit hours in upper division courses (300- and 400-level)
  • A minimum of 24 credit hours (12 upper division) in a single discipline, including at least one course which gives an in-depth study of the methods of investigation for that discipline*
  • A minimum of 12 credit hours (nine upper division) from a second discipline, or 12 credit hours in one foreign language
  • At least one course from each of the seven areas listed below. No more than two courses designated to satisfy the seven area course requirements may be used in the 24- or 12-credit concentrations. A minimum of 124 credit hours is required for receipt of a baccalaureate degree from Missouri Western.

*Students may substitute an AS, or AAS degree, for the 24 credit concentration. Students using this option must consult with their dean to work out the procedure for developing the BIS-degree program.

Faculty Committee

Students who choose this degree option will work with three faculty members to determine the courses that will constitute their BIS degree programs. This three-person faculty committee will be selected by the chairperson of the department with the 24-credit concentration in consultation with the student.

The committee must include:

  • One representative from the department with the 24-credit concentration
  • One representative from the department with the 12-credit concentration
  • One other faculty member

The faculty member from the department of the 24-credit concentration will serve as the chairperson of the committee, will be responsible for scheduling necessary meetings, and will submit the BIS-degree proposal to the college dean. BIS-degree program proposals must be submitted to the college dean responsible for the department offering the 24-credit concentration.

Submission deadlines are: the first Friday in October, the last class day of the fall semester, the Friday before spring break, and the last class day of the spring semester.

Prior to receiving final approval by the college dean, a committee composed of the dean of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, the dean of Professional Studies, and a total of four faculty, with at least two representatives from each college, will review and approve all proposed degree programs. Notice of program acceptance will be returned within three weeks of the submission deadline, prior to the next scheduled pre-registration or regular registration session.

Academic Areas
Area One – Writing
  • COM 345 Nonverbal Communication (3)
  • ENG 301 Advanced Composition (3)
  • ENG 385 Creative Writing: Prose (3)
  • ENG 386 Creative Writing: Poetry (3)
  • ETC 324 Electronic and Online Communication (3)
  • Or a course officially designated as Writing Intensive.
Area Two – Analytical and Critical Thinking
  • COM 334 Argumentation and Debate (3)
  • ENG 232 Language Awareness (3)
  • PHL 219 Logic (3)
  • PHL 303 Ancient Philosophy (3)
  • PHL 304 Modern Philosophy (3)
  • BIO/CHE/PHL 308 History and Philosophy of the Natural Sciences (3)
Area Three – Computer Literacy and Technological Innovation
  • EPR 326 Desktop Publishing (3)
  • BIO/ENG/HUM/PSC/PSY 314 Technology and Society (3)
  • MUS 210 Introduction to Computer Music Applications (1) and MUS 410 Topics in Computer Music Applications (2)
  • Or a course officially designated as Computer Intensive.
Area Four – Appreciation and Tolerance for Diversity
  • ENG 320 Literature of Gender and Ethnicity (3)
  • ENG 355 Literature in English: 1860-1914 (3)
  • ENG 356 Literature in English: 1914-1945 (3)
  • ENG 357 Literature in English: 1945-Present (3)
  • HIS 370 History of Latin America (3)
  • PSC 200 International Politics (3)
  • PSY 260 Cross-Cultural Psychology (3)
  • SOC 400 Racial and Ethnic Relations (3)
Area Five – Ethical and Moral Issues
  • BIO 305 Human Ecology (3)
  • COM 304 Media and Society (3)
  • COM 314 Persuasion (3)
  • ENG 321 Literature and Religion (3)
  • ENG 410 Selected Studies in Literary Genre (3)
  • ENG 430 Selected Studies in Literary Theme (3)
  • ENG 460 Selected Studies in Literary Period or Movement (3)
  • ENG 480 Selected Studies in Literary Authority (3)
  • JOU 303 Media Law and Ethics (3)
  • PSC 310 Political Theory (3)
  • PHL 330 Topics in Ethical Theory (3)
Area Six – Aesthetic Appreciation
  • ENG/THR 341 Shakespeare (3)
  • PHL 335 Aesthetics and the Arts (3)
  • THR 367 History of the Theatre (3)
  • 3 credits of Applied Music or Music Ensemble (all three credits must be with one instrument or the same ensemble)
Area Seven – Personal Growth and Welfare
  • ALH 352 Applied Nutrition (2)
  • COM 305 Interpersonal Communication (3)
  • COM 324 Small Group Communication (3)
  • FIN 310 Investments (3)
  • PSY 210 Mental Hygiene (3)
  • SOC 360 Sociology of Health and Illness (3)

Please fill out the form below to contact the BIS Advisor.

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What about online courses?

Missouri Western offers more than 300 courses online. Several minors and some majors can be completed entirely online.

In addition, members of the air force may complete their GEM requirements through online courses at Missouri Western.

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