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School of Urban and Public Affairs

School of Urban and Public Affairs

Building a Degree Plan

Once admitted into the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, each student is assigned an Academic Advisor. The student will work with this Advisor until graduation.

students at the table

Before Meeting With Your Advisor

Choosing a career/academic goal is one of the most important, and most expensive, decisions a person makes. Therefore, we urge each student to carefully research the desired career/academic goal carefully, including job prospects, salary, qualifications, and the kind of degree generally required. It is always good to interview persons in the profession that you are wanting to enter.

1. State Your Program Title

Your Program Title should concisely describe your career/academic goal and be readily understood by a prospective employer.

2. Develop Your Area of Concentration

Each INTS degree plan has an Area of Concentration that reflects the student’s academic, professional, or career goal.

The Area of Concentration must include a minimum of two Components and may include up to four.

Each Component is headed by a competency or skill that relates to the Program Title. You need to know what skills/competencies are essential to enter your profession.

The Area of Concentration must contain a minimum of 36 hours of which 18 hours must be upper level. No more than 18 hours can be taken in any one discipline.  No less than 9 hours will be allowed in any one component.

3. Complete the Course Options Lists

It is essential that the Course Options Lists be completed prior to meeting your Academic Advisor.

Each Component requires a separate Course Options List. These lists contain courses that support the competency/skill heading each Component and the Program Title. The courses should be selected by the student after carefully reviewing the courses described in the current catalog. Relevant courses are often found in surprising places, so look everywhere in the catalog.

Study the current undergraduate catalog (available from the bookstore on CD Rom) and identify each course that you consider relevant to your goal. Place each course in one of the Course Options Lists, making certain that the course relates to the skill/competency that titles each of the Components.

For example, a student wanting to attend law school may consider that the following skills/competencies are important to a Legal Studies concentration:

  • Understanding the business context of American law (perhaps 7 courses)
  • The American judicial system (perhaps 5 courses)
  • Critical thinking, writing, and research (perhaps 5 courses)

Components are prioritized on the basis of their importance and the number of courses in each.

Another example  is a student wanting to enter the music industry in a management capacity. Possible skills/competencies may include the following:

  • Music Theory and Concepts
  • Management Concepts
  • Communicating in the Business World

NOTE: Each Course Options List should contain a few more courses than the number actually needed. There are two reasons for this: schedule conflicts often occur, and some courses may not be offered when needed. These “extra courses” are the student’s “PLAN B” selections.

When you have completed the Course Options Lists, you are ready to meet with your Advisor to build your degree plan.

Meeting with Your Academic Advisor

The purpose of this meeting to build your degree plan. The process takes an hour. The student must bring the following information to this meeting:

  • The completed INTS application
  • The Statement of Purpose/Essay
  • The Course Options Lists (which include only new courses that the student wants to take at UTA).
  • A target date for graduation

Unless these are complete, the Advisor will not be able to build the degree plan and another meeting will have to be scheduled.

NOTE: The Statement of Purpose essay must meet minimum university standards.

Once Your Degree Plan Is Finalized

Once your degree is finalized, you must approve any courses changes or substitutions going forward, and failure to do so constitutes a violation of the contract and may jeopardize the student’s graduation.

Proposed changes to a finalized degree plan are limited to the following reasons:

  1. The content of the course is not the same as the course description as it appears in the current catalog.
  2. The time that the course is offered conflicts with the time that another course that you must take that semester and that is on your degree plan is being offered.
  3. Your work schedule prevents you from taking the course
  4. You have changed the focus of your degree plan and must therefore rebuild your degree plan to support this new career/academic goal.

Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Requirements

A minimum of 36 hours of upper level course work  (3000/4000) must be represented in your entire degree plan.

Minimum of 18 hours of 36 hours of upper level course work must be in the Area of Concentration.

Cultural courses can be substituted for the Foreign Language requirement in the Bachelor of Arts degree plan

Degree plans with Disciplinary Components from the College of Business: Maximum of 30 hours from the College of Business Administration outside the general core requirements can be taken.