Website ranks Auburn’s interdisciplinary studies program among nation’s best

Published: August 05, 2015
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A college ranking website has included Auburn University's interdisciplinary studies degree program on its 2015 list of the best integrative studies programs in the country.

Unlike traditional fields of study, interdisciplinary or integrative studies programs allow students to tailor their education toward a degree based on their interests and goals. In comparing such programs, the website, www.BestColleges.com, considered diversity of learning options, graduation rate, option to continue to a post-baccalaureate degree and average admissions rate.

"While a more traditional academic model works for most students, some are looking for a more inclusive educational experience," said Madeline Cruz, the website's associate director of communications. "We're pleased to recognize Auburn University for embracing students who are looking to address complex issues through interdisciplinary collaboration."

Auburn's Office of Undergraduate Studies has been offering an interdisciplinary studies degree since 2010, graduating 181 students, as of this spring. Program Director Kathryn Flynn said she was thrilled for the program to earn this recognition. She noted that is has boasted a number of notable statistics in its short existence.

So far, 10 students in the program have been nominated for Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's most selective honor society. Two students – Evan Lutomski in 2013 and Lauren Chastain in 2015 – have been named recipients of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Auburn issues the award annually, recognizing one male and one female student, as well as a faculty member, who represent the university through their unsurpassed humanitarian leadership and contributions to the community. For the last two years, 10 percent of students on Auburn's "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities" list have been interdisciplinary studies students.

Additionally, Flynn said a student graduating this summer is the first from the program to be admitted to medical school. Another graduate was selected as an intern in the Summer Cancer Research Training Program through the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In a recent survey of program graduates, 94 percent of respondents reported they were either employed or in graduate school.

Nearly 60 students will be enrolled in the program this fall.
"We are very excited about the opportunities this degree offers to students at Auburn and encourage anyone who hasn't found a major that fits them to come and talk to us," said Flynn.

For information on Auburn's interdisciplinary program, go to www.auburn.edu/idsc.

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