Multidisciplinary Studies

Blaze your own trail

Design a major that will help you achieve the specialized training for a career of your choosing.

Most university degrees are narrowly focused within one field of study and entail a prescribed course listing that offers you little flexibility, but Multidisciplinary Studies will allow you will develop a program that combines three or more academic areas of interest.

Earning a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies opens the door to take courses in business, creative fields of study, law, and health care fields that can be combined to craft your ideal program.

You’ll love the Multidisciplinary Studies major if…

  • You have specific career goals and want to create a major to match
  • You are interested in more than one area of study
  • You are mid-career and need a bachelor’s degree to earn a promotion
  • You have transfer credits from another college or university

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Multidisciplinary Studies career opportunities

You will be in a unique position to be prepared for jobs of your choosing upon completion of your Multidisciplinary Studies degree. As the list of possible careers is nearly endless, you might explore leadership possibilities in the fields of:

  • Business
  • Communications
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Media and public relations
  • Nonprofit
  • Retail or service
  • Sales
  • Government organizations
  • International affairs

Continuing your education

Earning your Multidisciplinary Studies degree at Penn State can lead to a master's or doctoral degree that span academic areas of study.

Three liberal arts students talking in a campus courtyard

What to expect in the Multidisciplinary Studies major

Penn State’s Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies supplies you with a broad liberal arts education that helps you develop skills like critical thinking, communications, and creative problem solving.

You will work closely with your adviser to design a program that creates intellectual depth in an area of study that is unique to your interests.

For example, your primary interest may be business, but you want your college experience to include a broad liberal arts education to prepare for a graduate degree in library sciences or law.

Or you might wish to focus on human development but would like to include criminal justice courses in your overall plan.

Alternatively, you may wish to be a science reporter or business journalist and therefore need to take upper-level classes not only in media writing, but also in science and business.

Your opportunities are nearly endless while studying Multidisciplinary Studies.

Creating a theme

In consultation with your adviser, you design a "theme" that addresses your individual goals, whether they include a particular career, graduate study, or something else. The theme is what makes the Multidisciplinary Studies degree your very own.

Your theme must encompass at least three different disciplines of study. With your adviser, you will draft a theme proposal that explains your goals, theme, and course of study.

Theme examples

  • Pre-Graduate Studies in Social Work
  • Pre-Law Studies
  • Graphic Arts and Information Technology
  • Storytelling Through Digital Media
  • Art Therapy
  • Higher Education Student Engagement, LGBT Emphasis
  • Music Studies in History, Journalism, and Management
  • Youth Counseling, Corrections and Law Enforcement
  • Diversity and Intercultural Studies
  • Global Sustainability
  • Civic and Community Engagement
  • Pre-Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy
  • Pre-Pharmaceutical Sales

A culture of collaboration

There’s something special at Penn State that converts the “I” to the “we” and ignites our passions to collaborate on meaningful impact. Shenango is rooted in supporting each other in the classroom, in the community, and beyond. In the Multidisciplinary Studies major, you can expect to collaborate on unique projects outside of your direct area of study to learn new ways to problem solve and expand your skill set.

Get ready to meet your success team

Designed as your one-stop-shop, our Academic and Career Planning Services suite houses the offices of Academic Advising, Career Services, and Registration in one convenient location. Your personal adviser will guide you during academic planning and career counseling during orientation, all the way to your final semester when it’s time to land an internship and file your graduation forms.

Credentials for your interests

Beyond Penn State Shenango’s expanding list 4-year and 2-year degree options, the campus also offers dynamic minor and certificate programs to compliment your major and career goals. Explore our academic programming options.

Teachings with roots in innovation

Penn State’s University-wide Invent Penn State initiative brings innovative and entrepreneurial resources to every campus, giving you the resources to think creatively in classes and the inspiration to pursue your passions. With expert faculty and the VenturePointe Innovation Hub, we’re excited to help you achieve your daydream.

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We're excited you're ready to become a Penn Stater! Now's the perfect time to get started on your application. If you need help getting started, check out our guides to apply for first-year, transfer, or adult students. 

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Multidisciplinary Studies program structure

Review the full Letters, Arts, and Sciences course listing for additional requirements and a sample of the program’s structure.

You will work with an adviser to schedule classes that compliment your theme and help you build both core skills and a deep foundational knowledge of your area of study.

The major consists of 12 classes divided into two sections

  • The core consists of one class each in the following: research methods/projects, communication skills, theory/application, and critical analysis
  • The additional courses will be directed toward your theme, five of which must be at the 400 level
Liberal arts student speaking at graduation

Gain experience before you graduate

Our Multidisciplinary Studies program is designed for you to complete academic research, an internship, or a capstone project in your senior year that facilitates the application of your classroom learning in a real-world setting.

You will work with an adviser to select the best opportunity for your interests and career goals.

This opportunity is designed to provide students with firsthand experience with both challenges and rewards of your area of study, a design that sets the major apart from other programs in the region.


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