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    Columbia Campus
  Jun 06, 2023
2009-2010 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin 
2009-2010 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Interdisciplinary Studies, B.S.I.S. (College of Arts and Sciences)

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Learning Outcomes College of Arts and Sciences 

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a B.S.I.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies should be able to …

  • demonstrate effective skills in academic research.
  • demonstrate skills in effective written communication.
  • demonstrate preparedness for graduate study, service, or a career in their chosen profession.



1. General Education Requirements (12-21 Hours) - Curricula II

Group I–Competency

Students are encouraged to demonstrate the level of accomplishment represented by Group I courses by means of advanced placement examinations. See the section on advanced placement under “Admissions .”

Writing (6 Hours)

Must be passed with grade of C or better.

Foreign Languages (0-9 Hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required for all baccalaureate degrees.

It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.

History (6 Hours)

  • Two courses in History (HIST), at the 100 level, at least one non-U.S. history.


Group II–Quantitative (A Minimum of 12 Hours)

(Quantitative requirements for biological sciences majors and cardiovascular technology majors are listed below.)

Biological Sciences Majors

Group III–Humanities (6 Hours)

Fine Arts (3 Hours)

A course or courses dealing with the study and/or practice of the visual and performing arts. Students may take courses in art studio, art design, art history and appreciation, film, media arts, music history and appreciation, music theory and performance, theatre history and appreciation, acting, stagecraft, theatre design, and dance to fulfill this requirement. Courses in speech (SPCH) apply to the humanities requirement, but do NOT satisfy the fine arts requirement. Theatre production laboratories (THEA 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 219, 220, 221), one-hour credits for participation in music organizations (band, chorus, orchestra), and MART 302 do NOT apply to the fine arts requirement or to the humanities requirement.

Humanities (3 Hours)

Complete 3 hours from the following:

African American Studies (AFRO)
Classical Studies (CLAS) 230 
English (ENGL) 280 or higher, excluding 450, 460, 461, 462, and 463
Foreign Language 201 or higher
History (HIST) 201 or higher
Philosophy (PHIL) excluding 110, 111, and 511
Religious Studies (RELG)
Women and Gender Studies (WGST) 111 


Group IV–Social Sciences (6 Hours)

Complete 6 hours from the following:

Anthropology (ANTH)
Criminology and Criminal Justice (CRJU)
Economics (ECON)
Geography (GEOG)
Political Science (POLI)
Psychology (PSYC)
excluding 227, 594, and 599
Sociology (SOCY) excluding 220
Women and Gender Studies (WGST) 112  only

Group V–Laboratory Science (8 Hours)

Complete two 4-credit hour laboratory science courses from the following:

Astronomy (ASTR) 111 , 111A , 211 , 211A 
Biology (BIOL) 101 1, 102 1, 110 2, 200 2, 200L 2, 270 2, 270L 2, 243 2, 243L 2, 244 2, 244L 2
Chemistry (CHEM) 102 3, 105 3, 105L3, 106 3, and 106L 3, 111 , 112 
Environmental Studies (ENVR) 200 
Geological sciences (GEOL) 101 , 102 , 103 , 105
Marine science (MSCI) 210 , 210L , 215 , 215L 
Physics (PHYS) 151 4, 151L 4, 153 4, 153L 4, 155 4, 155L 4, 201 , 201L , 202 , 202L ; or 211 , 211L , 212 , 212L 

1 Biology and Pre-Med majors only
2 Non- Biology majors only
3 Mathematics and Statistics majors only
4 Non-Physics majors only

2. Major

Interdisciplinary Studies Program Requirements (74-85 hours)

Each student must complete a program of studies designed by an interdisciplinary program committee appointed by the assistant dean and approved by the college Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. The program shall include a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit in major eligible courses in two or more fields. No course submitted in fulfillment of the general education requirements may be included in the program requirements.

3. Cognate or Minor Requirements (12-18 Hours) for B.S. Degrees - Curricula II


The cognate is intended to support the course work in the major. Cognate courses may all be in one outside department or in several departments, depending on the individual interests and requirements of the student as judged by the student’s academic advisor. A cognate differs from a minor in that the courses must be above sophomore level and may be distributed over more than one subject area. For degrees in Curricula Section II, grades of D are acceptable for completion of the cognate requirement. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the cognate.

Courses offered by departments in the College of Arts and Sciences that are acceptable for cognate credit for the Bachelor of Science (Curricula Section II) are outlined below; for cognate course offerings in other departments or colleges, consult the appropriate sections of this bulletin. In general, 399 courses are not used for fulfilling the cognate requirement. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements.

Courses Offered by Departments in the College of Arts and Sciences Acceptable for Cognate Credit 

It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. The cognate must be approved by the advisor as being related to the major field of study.


In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so. The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must be concentrated in one area and must follow a structured sequence. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the dean. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs of Study A-Z.

4. Electives for B.S. Degrees - Curricula II

No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, vocational nature or physical education courses involving substantial content in pedagogy may apply towards the elective requirement. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification of inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.



The following procedures shall be followed in designing a program of interdisciplinary studies:

  1. The candidate shall apply to the assistant dean for declaration of an interdisciplinary studies program.
  2. The candidate must submit to the assistant dean a written statement of goals concerning a potential interdisciplinary studies program.
  3. The assistant dean will help the candidate formulate an interdisciplinary program committee, which shall consist of faculty members from the student’s areas of interdisciplinary interest. The members of the interdisciplinary program committee shall be appointed by the assistant dean, who will designate one member as chair and as the student’s academic advisor.
  4. The interdisciplinary program committee shall meet with the student and prepare a program of studies leading to the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. The program shall include a written justification for the specific program of studies designed with the student. The program of study must be approved by the committee prior to the completion of 90 hours. The committee and assistant dean must approve any subsequent changes in the student’s program.
  5. The candidate’s academic advisor shall advise the student each semester and shall sign the necessary registration and other advisor’s forms. Advising shall adhere to the student’s approved program of studies. The academic advisor shall consult with the interdisciplinary program committee for approval should deviation from the original program become necessary or advisable. All changes shall be registered with the assistant dean.
  6. The college Interdisciplinary Studies Committee shall review and give final approval to individual programs of interdisciplinary studies.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies Degree After Completion of One Year of Medical or Dental School. Upon application to the College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Studies, Jones Physical Center 109, a student who has completed 95 hours or more of degree-applicable undergraduate work at the University of South Carolina (with the last 30 hours in residence at the University) with a grade point average of 2.00 or higher, will be granted the BSIS degree provided that:

  1. The applicant has satisfied all graduation requirements for the BSIS degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, except for the final 33 hours.
  2. The applicant has not applied these University of South Carolina credits to obtaining a baccalaureate degree from any institution.
  3. The applicant submits documents from an accredited medical or dental school demonstrating satisfactory completion of the first year of study leading to a post-baccalaureate degree.
  4. The applicant has the program of study approved by the college Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.
  5. The assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences certifies that the requirements prescribed for the degree have been met.

Interested students enrolled at the University should consult the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for details concerning this option.

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