What makes INDS different from traditional degree programs? 

It combines 2 or 3 unique areas of study to "customize" a major that consists of multiple disciplines. Each Interdisciplinary Studies major looks different from one student to the next.  There are no specific course requirements.  It is an individualized degree that provides flexibility and gives students the options to select courses that will help them meet their academic goals.  

Is INDS right for me?

If you answer "yes" to one or more of the following statements, then INDS may meet your academic goals and needs:

  • I put my degree on hold in order to start a career or a family, and now I want to finish my degree.
  • I have an associate's degree and would like to apply some of those credits to my major and continue another area of study that complements what I have already learned.
  • I have a lot of "life experience" and have accumulated a lot of non-traditional credit from workforce training or military training.
  • I used to attend campus at Liberty University but I'm now living out of the area and need to finish my degree online, but the online program does not offer the same major that I was pursuing on campus.
  • I am transferring a significant number of credits from an area that Liberty University Online does not offer, and I want to be able to apply those credits to a major.
  • I'm on the verge of retirement and I'm pursuing this degree for my own personal fulfillment or to focus on a ministry. 
  • I live in the Lynchburg area and would like to pursue my degree online and also pursue a cognate on campus that is not offered online.
  • I am an entrepreneur.
  • Based on my career goals, I would like to combine 2 or more areas of study rather than pursing one area of study.
  • I plan on taking some courses at a local college because you do not offer those courses online and I would like to apply those to my major.

How can I determine if INDS is not right for me?

If you have not yet established a career, you should consider a degree that will make you the most competitive in the area that you hope to be employed.  For example, if you need to find a job in a human services field following graduation, then a B.S. Psychology degree will help you be more competitive in the job market, than an INDS degree.

If you are pursuing a graduate degree that requires certain course prerequisites, then you should consider a traditional degree program that prepares you to meet those prerequisites. 

What is a Cognate and what makes it different from a Major or Minor?

A cognate is a discipline of study that resembles a major or minor at Liberty University. What makes a Cognate different from a Major or Minor is that there are no specific course requirements. You can choose to take any course that is required in the corresponding major or minor, but you can have more flexibility as to which courses you take, as long as you meet the prerequisite requirements.

How many Cognates can I have in my major?

You must have at least two cognates that total 45 credits or, you can choose three cognates and they will be 15 credits each. 

What is the difference between an LUO Cognate and a Transfer Cognate?

An LUO Cognate resembles a major or minor offered 100% online.  It means that there are at least 15 credits that can be taken online and you are required to have at least 9 hours of upper-level credits in an LUO cognate. 

A Transfer Cognate resembles a major or minor that is not offered 100% online.  In order to qualify for a Transfer Cognate, you must transfer a minimum of 15 credits in approved disciplines for that cognate.

What Cognates are offered 100% online and what courses can I take in the cognate?

The following LUO Cognates are available: Accounting, Business, Christian Counseling, Crisis Counseling, Life Coaching, Energy STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics), Education, Criminal Justice, Management Information Systems, Religion, Special Education and Psychology. These cognates can be completed 100% online through Liberty and require a minimum of 9 credits of upper-level courses. For information on specific courses that will fit into these cognates, please see the LUO Cognate Advising Guide.

What Transfer Cognates are recognized?

The following transfer cognates are available: Aviation, Communications, Computational Sciences, English & Literature, Family & Consumer Sciences, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Language Studies, Paralegal Studies, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Military Science, Natural Sciences. These cognates can be 100% transferred and do not have a specific number of upper-level courses required. Please keep in mind that one of the graduation requirements for the BS-Interdisciplinary Studies degree is a minimum of 30 hours of upper-level courses on your transcript. In light of this, even though the transfer cognates do have an upper-level course requirement, you may need additional upper-level courses to graduate. The Aviation, Family & Consumer Sciences, Language Studies and Military Sciences cognates must have a minimum of 15 credits transferred in. There are limited courses available online through Liberty to complete the Communications, Computational Sciences, English & Literature, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Mathematics and Natural Sciences cognates. For information on the specific courses that fit into the transfer cognates, please see the Transfer Cognate Advising Guide.  

How do I select my cognates and get my degree completion plan approved?

If you applied to the B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies degree through the application process, you must first wait for acceptance and full admission. The day after your acceptance, you will receive an email asking you to complete an online survey.  You will select the cognates through the online survey, which can be found here: Cognate Selection Survey. Once you have completed the online survey, you will receive a degree completion plan within 2 weeks.

I want to start taking courses at a local college and apply those to a Transfer Cognate.  How do I get a transfer cognate pre-approved? 

You must submit the Request to take courses at another institution along with course descriptions.  Be sure to select at least 15 semester credits in order to meet the minimum requirement.   Be careful to review the minimum requirements for graduation on your degree completion plan, because you are required to complete a certain number of credits in your major through Liberty University.