BDIC is an undergraduate interdisciplinary academic program at UMass Amherst. The program's core mission is running the BDIC major, which allows UMass undergraduates the opportunity to design their own individualized courses of studies.
Thousands of UMass Amherst students have taken advantage of the BDIC major since the Program was founded in 1970, with roughly 100-130 BDIC majors graduating each year. The academic paths these students take are many and varied.
Some design unique concentrations, such as "Aviation and Foreign Policy" or "Journalism in the Health Field," to develop the skills necessary for their own individual career goals. Other BDIC majors explore themes like sustainability, food studies or animal studies, which represent newly emerging academic disciplines. Still others focus on educational and career goals like "Equine Assisted Therapy," "Film Studies" and "Arts Management" that have become well travelled paths in the BDIC program.
BDIC acts as a kind of expansion valve for the University, allowing students to employ their own ingenuity to best utilize the vast educational resources available through UMass and the Five College Consortium to achieve their goals.
The process of designing and completing one's own major also has key "meta-educational" benefits, such as building focus and confidence and gaining experience in advocating for oneself. In the essays they submit before graduation, BDIC majors frequently comment on the high value they place on this aspect of their learning, as well as on the pride and satisfaction they take from having taken full charge of their own education.