The majority of MALS/IDS students now gravitate toward a more individualized Interdisciplinary Studies model; our students seek specific combinations of subject areas that enhance their current expertise or lead them to create new intellectual and work-related possibilities. Most importantly, we see growing valuation of Interdisciplinary Studies in the professions and in further post-graduate studies programs. Our students can often demonstrate to employers that customized studies add value to the workplace (ie. worthy of tuition reimbursement). Others use their MALS/IDS degree to earn admission to P.h.D. programs, more of which recognize Interdisciplinary Studies as a viable academic step towards advanced degrees. Our students often share their exciting discoveries in local, national, and international professional and academic conferences and publications.
As many programs throughout DePaul reach across the disciplines, more interdisciplinary activities have become available. Our students and faculty participate actively in the “Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference.” They might attend a Humanities Center interdisciplinary improv comedy event, or a seminar in Liberal Arts and Sciences that includes discussion of environmentalism, public policy, and the economics of green architecture, and so on.
By the time MALS/IDS students reach their culminating projects, whether they choose to complete a thesis/dissertation, a practicum, an exit course or extended portfolio, we expect them to feel the strength of new expertise, confidence in presenting their findings, and the true intellectual thrill of having constructed and completed advanced studies. And because their academic network extends throughout the university, they take ownership of exciting new possibilities.