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Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC)

BDIC | Courses

Degrees: Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science

Contact: Daniel Gordon, Interim Director;
Linda Roney, Coordinator
Office: 608 Goodell
Phone: (413) 545-2504

Faculty Supervisors: Alexandrina Deschamps (Arts and Cultural Studies), Henry Geddes (Communication), MJ Alhabeeb (Business and Law), Daniel Gerber (Health), David Kastor (Sustainability and Natural Science), José Ornelas (Education and Human Services), and Gino Sorcinelli (Business, on leave).

The Major

BDIC offers motivated and self-directed students the opportunity to design their own majors under faculty guidance. The program allows students to pursue their educational goals in areas not available within an existing departmental curriculum or traditional major at the university. Each student’s program of study or concentration is developed with the guidance of a faculty sponsor, as well as a BDIC faculty supervisor. Students confer with these faculty members on a regular basis as they progress through and continue to develop their programs.

BDIC concentrations are interdisciplinary, drawing courses from at least three departments. In planning their concentrations, students are encouraged to consider the resources of the Five College consortium. Domestic and international exchange experiences can greatly enhance many BDIC concentrations. In addition, internships offer BDIC students valuable hands-on experience in their fields. A maximum of six internship credits may be used toward the BDIC major.

BDIC students earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. For the B.S., 60 credits are required from the sciences and mathematics. Because of the individualized nature of each student’s program of study, BDIC has as many concentrations as it has students in the major. To guide and assist this diverse group, BDIC has a staff of five faculty supervisors and several experienced advisers. Each student is assigned to one of the six academic clusters within BDIC: Arts and Cultural Studies; Business and Law; Communication; Education and Human Development; and Health, Natural Sciences, Computer Science, and Engineering.

Admission to the Program
The first step in the application process is to meet with a BDIC adviser who will familiarize the student with BDIC requirements and discuss academic interests and career goals. In order to be accepted into the BDIC major, students must apply for acceptance to BDIC 396P, the one-credit proposal writing class. Applications to BDIC 396P are available in the BDIC office, as well as on its website, www.umass.edu/bdic. The application deadlines are November 15 for the spring semester and April 10 for the fall semester. Students who have at least 30 credits are eligible to apply. Acceptance into the class is determined by a BDIC faculty committee and is based on a number of criteria, such as GPA and the viability of the concentration plan. During BDIC 396P, students complete a proposal outlining their prospective concentration. Final acceptance into the BDIC major comes with the approval of the student’s proposal.

Major Requirements

1. Completion of BDIC 396P and acceptance of the proposal compiled in that class.

2. Completion of at least 12 interrelated, upper-division, graded courses (numbered 300 or above) in the area of the student’s concentration, not including BDIC 396P or 496C. Each course must be passed with a minimum of C. Courses must be drawn from at least three departments and must be at least three credits each.

3. Completion of at least four semesters in the major (the semester in which the student is enrolled in the proposal writing class is considered the first semester).

4. Completion of BDIC 496C, Junior Year Writing in Interdisciplinary Studies, or a comparable Junior Year Writing course in another major.

5. Submission of a senior summary and abstract by November 15 for February graduation and April 1 for May graduation.

6. Completion of the intermediate level (240 level) of a foreign language if six or more courses in the student’s concentration are from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and/or the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program have been very successful in the employment sector and in graduate or professional school. Past surveys of alumni have shown that 80 percent of those responding were either in careers or graduate school (or both) related to their individual concentrations. This success stems from the high level of motivation and capacity for self-direction characteristic of students who design their own major, as well as the specificity of their academic preparation for a given career and/or graduate program of study.

Recent BDIC Concentrations

The following list is drawn from the titles of programs designed by recent BDIC students. This provides only a sample of representative concentrations and is not meant to limit the possibilities for any potential majors:

Arts and Cultural Studies
Asian Studies
International Relations
Japan and the European Community
Modern European Cultural History
Third World Development
American Studies
History and Racism
Sociolinguistics
Philosophy and Literature
Cultural Studies through Literature and Politics
Arts Administration
Architecture and Culture
Comparative Religion and Holocaust Studies
Buddhist Philosophy through Art
Biblical Archaeology
Writing about American Society
Creative Writing
Theatre and Social Change
Human Ecology

Business and Law
Organizational Behavior
Entrepreneurial Studies
Computer Applications in Finance and Economics
Global Economics and Finance
Economics and Investments
Investment Psychology
Sales Strategies and Social Behavior
Human Resource Management
Labor-Management Relations
Land and Environmental Resource Management
Construction Management
Economics and Legal Studies
Law in Society
Southeast Asian Cultures and Commerce
International Trade and Foreign Policy
International Development and Finance

Communication
Screenwriting
Critical Film Studies
Film and Twentieth Century American Culture
Documentary Filmmaking/Native American Studies
Filmmaking: Directing for Cinema
Political Communication
Instructional Media
Consumer Psychology in Communication
Communication Arts and Film Technology
Photojournalism
Social Perspectives through Journalism
Public Relations in Sports Industries
Creative Writing and Advertising
Psychology and Advertising
Multimedia Technology in Advertising
Intercultural Communication
Archaeological Tourism

Education and Human Development
Adolescent Development and Education
Educational Media
Language and Speech Development
Educational Reform for a Multicultural Society
Public Policy and Human Services
The Therapeutic Application of Dance Education
Criminal Psychology
Health Education Counseling
Women’s Health Issues and Eating Disorders
Gerontology and Social Welfare
Pre-Art Therapy
Culture, Society and Personality
Health and Fitness Management
Arts for the Handicapped
Writing Children’s Literature

Health, Natural, and Computer Sciences/Engineering
Human Physiology and Psychology
Neuroscience
Bio-Ethics and Medical Sociology
Exercise Physiology and Nutrition
Nutrition and the Developing World
Public Health Policy
Holistic Health
Environmental Health and Science
Political Economy of Natural Resources
Primate Conservation
Environmental Chemistry and Anthropology
Ecological Economics
Human Factors Engineering
Computer Science/Linguistics
Computer Graphics
Educational Computer Animation
Systems Software Engineering
Building Construction Technique and Design Theory
Scientific Journalism
Land Use Planning and Policy



BDIC | Courses