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Interdisciplinary Science

The Interdisciplinary Science curriculum provides an education in the sciences for undergraduate students whose interests range outside the traditional disciplines and career paths.

It is suitable for students wishing to combine sciences in innovative ways or to combine science with more humanistic studies such as management, law, education, communication, public service, economics, policy-making, or community affairs.

Students who are undecided among the sciences, have particular special interests, or seek nontraditional career paths may follow the Interdisciplinary Science curriculum while becoming familiar with their options.

The introductory courses recommended are the same as those for departmental science majors. However, the deep undergraduate concentration in a single science area that is characteristic of departmental majors is replaced by a broader coverage of science areas and a greater choice of courses, including nonscience courses. Students vary their programs to emphasize preparation for their own particular professional objectives.

This curriculum is suited especially for students who wish to:

  • prepare for work in interdisciplinary areas of science such as material science or climatology;
  • combine a strong foundation in science with studies in arts, philosophy, psychology, management, economics, or public affairs;
  • develop a broader and more interdisciplinary education in the health-related science areas
  • prepare to teach science at the secondary school or junior college level;
  • do graduate work in the history or philosophy of science or are interested in science as part of American culture.

A bachelor’s program in interdisciplinary science is excellent preparation for an MBA or a degree in a field such as law or communications. Combinations such as these prepare students for many effective roles in today’s community.

The program can be coupled with other programs, on or off the Rensselaer campus, to form a combined five-year program leading to a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Science together with a master’s degree in a professional area, such as business administration or psychology. Elective courses can be chosen from any of Rensselaer’s five schools or departments and from nearby institutions in the Hudson-Mohawk consortium of colleges.

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