Zachary M. Hilpert, Ph.D.
Director of Interdisciplinary Studies
(804) 827-8167

Mariah Crilley, Ph.D.
Assistant professor

Martha Harper
Senior adviser, students O-Z
(804) 828-1110

Timothy Marker
Adviser, students F-N
(804) 828-1110

Richard Quarshie
Adviser, students A-E
(804) 828-1110

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies is an individualized and interdisciplinary degree for students who wish to create an individualized curriculum not available in traditional curricular pathways within existing VCU degree programs. Students in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program are able to design an individualized degree compatible with academic, career or personal goals.

The IDS declaration process

To apply to the IDS Program, students should:

  • Have learning goals that are suited to an interdisciplinary program of study
  • Meet with an IDS adviser  
  • Complete the IDS application documents, including the detailed proposed curricular plan and rationale for interdisciplinary study, in consultation with their IDS adviser, and submit the application for review  

Students interested in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies design their own curricula in consultation with an IDS adviser. The IDS advisers and faculty work closely with students to develop an appropriate curricular program and provide guidance on the application process. Each student’s plan must define a specific focus area that combines two or more areas of study and must define their educational goals by designing their interdisciplinary curricula from a variety of course offerings. 

The proposed interdisciplinary curriculum plan will be evaluated by an IDS adviser and program administrators before final approval by the director. Each application will be evaluated based on compliance with university degree requirements as well as IDS curriculum and individualized program requirements. After admission to the IDS Program, students will follow an approved individualized curriculum plan. The finalized curriculum plan is the official record of the student’s degree requirements. This document records all transfer credits applicable to the B.I.S. degree and lists the courses required to complete the degree.