Get Started on Your Degree Online Today!

Have you ever wanted to finish your undergraduate degree but never had the opportunity?

Some students have jobs, families, or other reasons that prevent them from completing a four-year degree on a university campus. With the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS) degree program, you can earn the final years of your degree at Mississippi State University (MSU) completely online!

Complete your freshman and/or sophomore year requirements through MSU online, at an accredited community college, or at any other accredited four-year institution. Students may transfer up to 61 hours of community college course work to MSU.

What's next?

Take 36 hours of MSU upper-level emphasis classes through online education from two or three of the following fields:

“I was hired at PACCAR in March 2011 and discovered different opportunities to grow within the company. The only thing that was lacking was a degree. When I looked into it and saw the interdisciplinary studies program Mississippi State was offering online, it was intriguing. I could do all my coursework and continue to work. Once I started, I never felt like I was out there by myself – I could always reach out to all my instructors. It made me feel like I was a part of the family. On graduation day, my son told me he’s going to graduate from Mississippi State just like his dad, and it made me proud! Before I had the degree, I was limited in the choices I had and promotions I could apply for. Once I got the degree, it meant that I had options.”

Cedric Brownlee, Mantee, MS (Craft Technician, PACCAR)

Degree Requirements

To graduate with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies:

  • Students must complete a minimum of 122 hours.
    • Up to 61 hours transferred from an accredited community college may count toward the degree.
    • 61 hours must be from an accredited four-year university.
    • 36 hours must be upper-level (3000 and above) emphasis area course work.
    • The final 32 hours of course work must come from MSU. Request to deviate from this rule must be submitted in writing to and approved by your advisor prior to enrolling in the desired course: Request to Enroll Off Campus.
  • Students will be required to submit a letter, requesting official acceptance to the program, to be taken to the BSIS Committee for review. This will allow students to change their major from Pre-Interdisciplinary Studies (PRIS) to Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS).
  • Students must have: (all three)
    • a 2.00 GPA per emphasis area
    • a 2.00 MSU GPA
    • a 2.00 overall GPA in order to graduate.
  • Students are required to take IDS 4111 Professional Seminar during the semester in which they plan to graduate. This course is intended to help prepare students for the job market and/or further study beyond this undergraduate degree. This is a one-hour course that requires use of the Career Center's handbook (no charge). This course will provide Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS) students with information, tools, and skills to make career decisions that coincide with their career goals. The objectives of the course are to develop career planning skills for use throughout a lifetime; to explore occupations, graduate schools, or professional programs consistent with one’s skills, abilities, values, and interests; learn to identify occupations that may be of interest. This course will also provide you with skills to be competent in executing the mechanics of the job search process, to gain understanding about the world of work, and to develop clear verbal and written communications. Students must have a web camera and microphone on their computers.

Transfer Credit

  • Students may transfer up to 61 hours from an accredited community college.
  • Students may transfer up to 86 hours from an accredited four-year university.
  • For students who have a combination of the two: Students can transfer up to 86 hours from accredited institutions, but MSU will only accept 61 community college hours.
  • Half of the program (61 hours) must come from an accredited four-year university.
  • Upon admission to the university, the Registrar’s Office will evaluate transfer credit to determine how it transfers to MSU.

Program Structure

To graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree, Students must complete a minimum of 122 hours.

86 Hours from Core Curriculum
+36 Hours of Online Emphasis Areas
122 Hours to Graduation

Core Curriculum

All students who enter MSU must meet the common core curriculum requirements as set by the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi to qualify for any bachelor's degree.

This is a general overview of what you need to take in order to satisfy the core curriculum requirement. Please consult a BSIS Advisor for more specific information.

 
Communication: 9 hours
  • English Composition I and II
  • Speech
Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 hours
  • Foreign Language
  • History
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • History or Appreciation of the Arts
Social and Behavioral Sciences: 6 hours
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
Natural Science with Labs: 6 hours
  • Biology*
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Microbiology*
  • Physical Science
  • Physics*
  • Plant and Soil Sciences*

Mathematics: 6 hours

  • Calculus
  • College Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Trigonometry

Math or Science (without lab) Elective: 3 hours

  • Any of the listed natural science or math courses.

Computer Literacy: 2 hours

  • Most introductory computer courses, computer language course, or business computer language course will meet this requirement.

Junior/Senior Writing Requirement: 3 hours

  • Options available are dependent on the student's emphasis areas

Extra University Core: 12 hours

  • Any of the types of courses listed above that are not being used already.

Free Electives: 29 hours

  • Any course offered by MSU.

Professional Seminar: 1 Hour

*Courses in these subject areas are not currently available online.

Do you have CLEP credit? See what CLEP credit MSU accepts.

Emphasis Area Courses

Click on the corresponding emphasis area for a list and course description of the types of courses that are currently available. The listings are for information purposes only. Do not take any courses without talking to your advisor.

Students must maintain a 2.00 Grade Point Average per emphasis area and have no more than one grade of "D" per emphasis area.


Emphasis Areas Guidelines

  1. You must choose emphasis areas from at least two different colleges, meaning you cannot have all emphasis areas from one college, such as the College of Arts and Sciences.
  2. You must complete a total of 36 hours of upper-level emphasis area course work.
  3. You must complete either two of the 18-hour emphasis area options and take 18 upper-level hours in each area or complete three of the 12-hour emphasis area options and take 12 upper-level hours in each area.
  4. Other restrictions may apply. Please ask one of the BSIS Advisors for more information.

12-hour Emphasis Areas (Choose THREE)

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:
    • Animal and Dairy Sciences
    • Health Promotion
  • College of Arts and Sciences:
    • Communication
    • Criminology
    • Geosciences
      • Meteorology
      • Geographic Information Systems
      • General Geosciences
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
  • College of Business:
    • General Business
  • College of Education:
    • Counselor Education
    • Educational Psychology
    • General Technology
    • Kinesiology
    • Manufacturing Fundamentals
    • Veterans' Certificate

18-hour Emphasis Areas (Choose TWO)

  • College of Arts and Sciences:
    • Communication
    • Geosciences
      • General Geosciences
    • History
    • Psychology
  • College of Business:
    • General Business
  • College of Education:
    • Counselor Education
    • Educational Psychology
    • General Technology

Admissions Process

New Admissions

If you have never attended Mississippi State University, please complete the online Undergraduate Admissions Application.

  • You will choose Pre-Interdisciplinary Studies (BS) as your major and Online Education as your campus.
  • Request that official ACT or SAT scores be sent to MSU.
  • Request that your high school send your official transcript. Faxed transcripts will not be accepted.
  • Submit a separate official final transcript from each college or university attended; faxed transcripts will not be accepted. An applicant may not ignore previous college attendance and must list all colleges attended on the application for admission. You must be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  • If you are able to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them to admit@msstate.edu.
  • If you are unable to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them via U.S. Postal Service to:
    Office of Admissions & Scholarships
    P.O. Box 6334
    Mississippi State, MS 39762
  • All new admits will pay non-refundable application fee online.

Returning Students

Have you previously attended MSU but left before you completed your degree? It’s not too late to become a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the Bulldog family. We can help!

If you have taken upper-level (3000 or higher) course work in a specific subject and have 12 to 18 hours, we can make a request to the corresponding department for approval of an emphasis in that specific area.

To begin, you would simply need to get readmitted to the University. There is no fee for readmission applications.

Once you are readmitted, we would need your permission to change your previous major to Pre-Interdisciplinary Studies (PRIS) and your campus to Online Education.

Then, we can review your academic records, including any transfer work you may have, and advise you on what action to take to earn your degree online.

Let us help you realize your academic goals today with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Mississippi State University!

BSIS Committee Information

To get accepted to the Interdisciplinary Studies program, a student must submit a letter to the BSIS Committee. Once the committee accepts a student to the program, his or her major will be changed from Pre-Interdisciplinary Studies (PRIS) to Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS).

  • What is the process? Three times a year, during the fall, spring, and summer semesters, your advisors meet with the BSIS Committee to review distance and main campus students who are applying for the program.
  • What do we review at the meeting? We create a packet to take to the Committee. It includes your letter, formally requesting your admittance to the program; your program of study, which we have signed and approved by each of the departments in your emphasis areas prior to the meeting; and your CAPP report to show your academic history.
  • Why is this necessary? Not only because your program of study must be signed and approved before you can graduate but also because it allows you to change your major officially to BSIS is why! We cannot take any packets to the BSIS Committee without the request for acceptance letter. This should be done prior to your senior year.
  • How do I write the letter? Use these Sample Letters to guide you on formatting and content. Copy the formatting (margins, your address, the correct date etc.) exactly; however, do NOT copy content from these letters. The BSIS Committee selected these letters to show our students what they are looking for. Copying the content is a form of plagiarism and violates MSU's Honor Code:

"As a Mississippi State University student, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do."

  • When is the letter due? The Committee will meet during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students must submit their letter no later than September 1, February 1, or May 1.

Please be sure to SIGN your letter. We will return it to you if it is not signed. You may fax (662.325.2657) or email them to Kali Dunlap or Evan Hawkins. You can also mail your letter to Mississippi State University, Center for Distance Education, P.O. Box 5247, Mississippi State, MS 39762.

Academic Advising

After gaining admission to the university, you must contact one of your advisors to determine the courses that are most appropriate for you to take. Approximately two months prior to the upcoming semester, your advisor will send an email to your MSU email account, making course recommendations based on your program of study.

Mississippi State University uses email as its official means of communication with all MSU students. Please check your MSU email account (NetID@msstate.edu) daily. Information on setting up your MSU email can be found at the link for student services.

Photo of Kali Dunlap

Kali Dunlap

Online Education

  • BSIS Coordinator/Advisor
Photo of Evan Hawkins

Evan Hawkins

Online Education

  • BSIS Coordinator/Advisor

Program Reminders

  • If you are BSIS Committee approved and want to deviate from your signed and approved program of study at all, check with one of your advisors first because you will need permission to do so from your faculty sponsor. Doing so without permission invalidates the non-approved course.
  • If you take courses not on the list of our suggestions (non-approved), there is a risk that these courses will NOT count toward your BSIS program of study.
  • Only one (1) "D" per emphasis area is allowed, and you must maintain a 2.0 within each area.

**Students may not receive minors in the BSIS program. After a BSIS degree is awarded, a student may not return to school and receive a second bachelor's degree in an area of emphasis used in BSIS. A student may not receive a BSIS degree if he/she already has a bachelor's degree.

All programs of study are subject to review by the Registrar's Office for graduation, even from a signed program of study. Courses that do not equal MSU courses exactly may or may not apply to your program as core courses. You can see these course translations through the CAPP report found at my.msstate.edu. To access the report, log into your myState account and click on the "hamburger" icon in the top left corner in order to access the Banner tab; click or hover over the myBanner for Students tab in order to view the Academic Records column where you can click on the CAPP Compliances link.

Undergraduate Catalog

College of Arts and Sciences