Albertus Magnus College Offers New Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Bachelor’s Degree is Mission-Driven; Success Oriented
New Haven, Conn., October 14, 2021 – Imagine your college major preparing you for exactly what you want to be when you grow up. A bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies is the newest opportunity available this fall at Albertus Magnus College. Undergraduate students are now able to create a personalized major incorporating courses within Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business in order to pursue an independent and deep dive into a topic, theory, or concept that will eventually lead to that dream job.
An Interdisciplinary degree is part of the all-inclusive approach outlined in the College’s strategic plan, Albertus 2025: Lighting the Way to a Second Century, which was endorsed in March 2020. That plan calls for the development of new academic programming that prepares students for a rapidly changing, globally interconnected world. Students would learn how to relate traditional academic learning to broader issues and ideas through experiential studies. Upon completing this degree, graduates would have stand-out skills that employers are seeking, such as adaptability, flexibility, creativity, and self-motivation and self-management.
“Providing interdisciplinary opportunities is core to Albertus’ mission. This new major will enable the College to expand those opportunities by empowering students to engage in primary research and hands-on learning tailored to students’ academic interests and professional goals,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Sean P. O’Connell. “Instead of a major with a set of courses that are already laid out, students will design their courses of study and field experiences working one-on-one with faculty advisors.”
Associate Dean of Academic Affair, Dr. Ross Edwards, is overseeing this new, exciting major which he believes perfectly complements Albertus’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which unlocks, encourages, nurtures, and provides resources for idea creation and innovation within the student community. He also believes Interdisciplinary Studies works hand-in-hand with Albertus being a part of Division III Athletics.
“Coaching is an example of the kind of major you can create through Interdisciplinary Studies. The beauty here is the student – perhaps a student athlete -- can choose the pathway to build towards a coaching position by taking courses, for example, in Sports Management, Business, Psychology, and Theology. While working with their advisors, the student will engage in the academic research to create a rigorous and challenging course selection so that they can develop the skills they need to succeed in their chosen profession and in life,” Ross said.
Assistant Professor of Business Corey Brushett is a faculty advisor to the program. She adds the example of understanding voter laws in the United States by building a major with political science, history, law, and business classes.
“An Interdisciplinary Studies major is not for someone who is looking to just float through their academic experience,” said Brushett. “It’s really specific, and some of the courses are really high level and are really going to challenge you.”
A challenge is exactly what Kiyomi Bowen ’23, of Stratford, Conn., had in mind. She will be the first student to graduate from the Interdisciplinary program, having created a Sociology in Business Management major with a focus on Urban Studies.
“Interdisciplinary Studies has offered me control over my education. It helps me to engage more in classes and get excited about learning,” said Bowen, who wants to be a Community Organizer. Bowen is the President of the Black Student Union at Albertus. If you recall, President Barack Obama was a community organizer early in his career.
In March, Albertus Magnus announced it was on the cutting edge of education with its new Bachelor of Science degree in Supply Chain Management, providing a unique way to meet the demand of today’s employment needs. This major is the only traditional undergraduate program offering a focus on both the retail service and manufacturing sectors of the field. Last year, Albertus announced a degree in Game and Computer Arts to foster independent creative abilities, computer programming and design, and imaginative thinking.
For the five consecutive years, Albertus graduates have outperformed the national average when it comes to finding employment or continuing their education within six months after graduation. The graduating Class of 2020 bachelor’s degree recipients (last available statistics) achieved a 95-percent success rate versus the 86-percent national comparison rate, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). For the Classes of 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016, Albertus scored 96, 96, 97, and 96-percent, respectively.
About Albertus Magnus College
About Albertus Magnus College: Albertus Magnus College, founded in 1925, is a Catholic College in the Dominican tradition. It is recognized by external rankings such as US News & World Report Best Colleges, Money Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The College has an enrollment of 1,500 students in its traditional undergraduate program, accelerated adult degree programs, and 12 graduate programs, including a new Master of Public Administration and the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program in Connecticut. In the last year, the College received two significant Federal grants in support of student success and well-being: a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice and a $1.9 million Title III grant from the Department of Education.