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Self-Designed Majors - Online Degree

Earn your Self-Designed Degree Online at UW-Superior

Woman at Laptop taking Interdisciplinary Studies online course from home with children studying in backgroundDesign your own major at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and take charge of your future.

UW-Superior offers two self-designed majors:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS)
  • Individually Designed (IDM)

When you design your own major, you, along with faculty members and an advisor, build a degree that reflects your unique talents and experiences.

With both, you get:

  • Increased earning power.

  • Personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

  • The recognition and respect you deserve.

  • The chance to get college credit for prior learning or training.


Self-Designed Degree Online Program Details

UW-Superior has two self-designed majors, which can both be completed entirely online:

  • The Interdisciplinary Studies Major (IDS) is a comprehensive major which means that a minor is not required. It's interdisciplinary and includes courses from three or four areas of study. This type of self-design major is ideal for students with upper level credits in several subject areas -- for example, students who switched majors -- who want to use their completed coursework to help earn their degree.

  • The Individually Designed Major (IDM) is perfect for students who have a detailed idea of their degree goals and need more flexibility in course selection than other majors provide. The IDM requires a minor. (IDM information, catalog)

Popular self-design degree options include:

Other features of UW-Superior's self-designed majors:

  • Flexible schedule: Study on your schedule without travel to campus.

  • Flexible class choices: Combine courses from multiple areas to create your major.

  • Quality: The University of Wisconsin-Superior is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and has been accredited since 1914.

Self-Designed Degree Online Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is an Interdisciplinary Studies major from UW-Superior right for me?

A: The IDS major could be perfect for you if:

  • You started college years ago but had to stop when your life circumstances changed.

  • You want a degree from a known, respected institution.

  • Your curiosity and talents can't be limited to one or two (or even three) subject areas.

  • You need the flexibility that online or mostly online class delivery provides.

Q: Can I really just design my own college major?

A: Yes, as long as you follow the guidelines (our advisors are great at explaining these) and get your proposed major approved. Faculty members from your subject areas will review your proposal and may suggest changes to make sure it meets the academic standards of the university.

Q: Can you tell me more about how this works?

A: As an Interdisciplinary Studies major, you work with faculty and your advisor to design a degree around three or four areas of study that support your educational and professional goals. Faculty from those areas of study review and approve the major, with final approval awarded by the University Credits Committee.

Q: Can I complete all of the Interdisciplinary Studies major online?

A: Yes. Many of our distance learning students are able to finish their degrees completely online. Depending on the specific courses involved, some students must attend a few classes on campus.

Q: Can I get college credit for life experience?

A: Some online degree programs say they give "credit for life experience," but reputable programs don't grant college credit for life experiences alone.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior gives credit for college-level learning that has happened as a result of your work or personal experiences. Consult an advisor to learn the different ways you can demonstrate your prior learning.

Need more details? See the Credit for Prior Learning page.

Q: Can you tell me what kinds of programs some of your past students have designed?

A: Sure. Here are some examples:

  • One student's IDS major combined courses from social work, communications and psychology.

  • Another, who wanted to become a child life specialist at a hospital, studied human growth and development, education, psychology, and communication.

  • A third, whose goal was an upper level casino management position, combined First Nations Studies along with communicating arts and management courses.


Self Designed Degree Online Degree Information

Program Structure

The Interdisciplinary Studies major is a 120-credit degree completion program resulting in a Bachelor of Science degree. It can be structured in one of two ways:

1. A comprehensive major of 54 credits, with general education requirements and elective courses totaling 120 credits.

2. A major of 33 credits with a minor of 21 to 24 credits in a subject area, along with general education requirements and elective courses totaling 120 credits. This option meets needs of students who wish to include a minor in their program. You may also combine this option with a second major in a discipline such as Communicating Arts.

  • Credit for prior learning may be available through CLEP/DANTES testing or the Documented Portfolio.
  • May include past and new learning. For details, see the Credit for Prior Learning page.

Degree Requirements

  • 120 or more total undergraduate semester credits (in courses numbered 100-499)
  • 36 or more undergraduate semester credits in upper-division courses (courses numbered 300-499)
  • A resident grade point average of 2.0 or above for all undergraduate credits
  • 30 or more undergraduate semester credits earned at UW-Superior
  • Last 12 undergraduate semester credits earned at UW-Superior
  • Completion of General Education requirements
  • Completion of all requirements for the Interdisciplinary Studies major

Note: The Interdisciplinary Studies Major is not designed to meet specific professional entry requirements. Be sure to discuss your specific career goals with an advisor as you decide your educational program.

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