The Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) is a degree completion program designed to meet the undergraduate needs of experienced adults in a manner compatible with career and family responsibilities.  Students complete graduation requirements through an alternative, self-paced approach to higher education.

Application Procedures

Before applying, prospective students attend an information meeting to learn about the many options of the program and how to apply. A schedule of meetings is available in B-147, by calling (773) 442-6030 and on our website

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, or special permission granted by the University Provost. An applicant holding a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university will not be admitted to the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Program Options

The unique structure, flexibility and availability of the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Program offers students a variety of options to complete graduation requirements. In addition to taking courses at NEIU and other universities/colleges, students may use a combination of transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions and credits earned through standardized college level proficiency examinations. Students also have the option of applying for academic credit through the assessment of a prior learning portfolio, which describes and documents college equivalent learning acquired outside the traditional college classroom. BAIS students who submit a portfolio are charged a fee equivalent to the cost of tuition for two credit hours.

Interdisciplinary Studies students also have options to prepare for future academic and professional pursuits as they design a unique curriculum based on personal interests, career, or academic goals. These options include a second major and/or a minor. In addition, Interdisciplinary Studies majors may elect to complete a concentration. The Program offers eight concentrations that maintain the flexibility of the Interdisciplinary Studies degree and allow students to frame their course of study. The eight areas are:

  • Fine Arts
  • Humanities
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Leadership
  • Community Development and Multicultural Studies
  • Professional Studies
  • Health Disparities.

To fulfill a concentration in any of the first four areas, students complete 18 upper division hours (300-level) from the relevant departments and complete a form in consultation with an Interdisciplinary Studies advisor.  To fulfill a concentration in any of the other four areas, students complete 18 credit hours of approved upper division (300 level) courses and fill out a form in consultation with a BAIS Advisor.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, students must successfully complete the following requirements:

  • 120 total semester hours
  • Flexible 36-hour general education requirement (12 semester hours each in the humanities and fine arts, the social sciences and the natural sciences/mathematics)
  • Minimum of 40 semester hours at the upper division (junior/senior) level
  • Minimum of 24 semesters hours of course work at NEIU
  • English 101, Grade of “C” or better
  • Writing Intensive Program course, Grade of “C” or better
  • Math/Quantitative Reasoning requirement
  • Improving Human Relations course
  • Students must have a cumulative “C” (2.0) grade point average for all work applied toward meeting degree requirements

For more information, please contact Nontraditional Degree Programs in B 147, (773) 442-6030 or NDP@neiu.edu or visit our website

NDP-305. Introduction To Library Research And Information Fluency. 1 Hour.

Introduction to Library Research and Information Fluency, lcr. This class will introduce students to library research and issues in information studies. Students will acquire the skills to find and evaluate information and will learn how to create a bibliography and write citations. The course is geared towards students Interested in learning how to research for class assignments, prepare research in their major or for graduate studies.

NDP-310. Writing Intensive Program: Diversity In The Workplace. 3 Hours.

Workplace diversity is a hallmark of contemporary life. This course explores multiple dimensions of diversity, including race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disabilities with the goal of preparing students to function in varied settings. The course is a writing intensive experience, offering the opportunity to develop and hone written communication skills applicable to the workplace.
Prerequisite: ENGL-101 minimum grade of C.

NDP-330. Creating A Prior Learning Portfolio. 1 Hour.

This one-credit hour course guides students through the process of creating a portfolio that showcases prior learning experiences. The course examines issues relating to learning and life experience. It explores questions of academic specialization and professional development. Final portfolios can be used to request credit by assessment and as a testament to a student’s personal and professional accomplishments.
Prerequisites: ENGL-101 minimum grade of C and ENGL-102 minimum grade of C.

NDP-341. Human Rights: An Introduction. 1 Hour.

Human rights principles have been explicitly enshrined in international documents since the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which American leaders helped formulate in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Human rights language is increasingly used in struggles for social justice worldwide. This course introduces students to the conceptions and debates about human rights in the US and globally, examining examples of the ways these values have and have not been implemented or secured.

NDP-342. Environmental Justice. 1 Hour.

This class will give students an overview of issues and concerns related to environmental justice. Understanding environmental issues is crucial today in the context of global warming. This course introduces new ideas through which to consider the environment and our ethical responsibilities living in it.

NDP-351. Time And Project Management Skills. 1 Hour.

This course explores the range and types of time and project management skills used in everyday life, academic and life-long learning, and in work settings. Students will analyze their own styles and theories of time management, learn how to set effective goals and objectives, and learn change management techniques that can be applied to new approaches, strategies, and techniques of time/project management.