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B.S Vs. Interdisciplinary B.S.

  1. Jan 6, 2014 #1
    I am currently an undergraduate college student that is in a dilemma. I have been in college for a long time, I am currently in my sixth year. My advisor has given me two options: graduate at the end of my sixth year with an "inter-disclipinary" B.S. in geosciences, or spend have one additional fall semester in college to get a B.S. in Geo-sciences.

    I am familiar with what an inter-disciplinary degree is, but I have major concerns. It was explained to me that an inter-disciplinary degree is less valuable than the other option. Would settling for an inter-disciplinary degree be a bad mistake that will give me more limited job opportunities? The only reasons I am considering it is to keep from taking another semester of college.

    Would graduating in six and a half years for undergrad to get the geo-sciences B.S. be a bad mistake? Will it look bad to employers? or grad schools? Would settling for the interdisciplinary degree be the smarter option?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2014 #2


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    It really depends on the definition of "interdisciplinary" I think.

    At my undergrad institution they awarded something called a "complimentary studies" degree, which I suspect is along the same lines - a degree with less core requirements, more electives that allows the student to be more broadly educated.

    It's harder to get into graduate school with such degrees. Some schools won't look at you with a degree like that because you haven't done enough core coursework. So if graduate school is a serious option for you, I would avoid that route.

    On the other hand, employers aren't likely to care as much, unless you're trying to get into a particular profession. In some cases having a broader scope of studies can be seen as a plus. Sometimes the requirement of a degree for a position is simply there a threshold for proof that you can think critically or independently or simply that you're good enough at jumping though hoops that you're more likely than not to do whatever the company needs you to do.
  4. Jan 6, 2014 #3
    My undergrad had a similar option with less requirements and it never mattered as much for grad admissions to the chagrin of "standard" physics majors.
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