• Apply By
    Fall Priority: March 1; Final: Aug 1 | Spring Priority: Oct 1; Final: Dec 1
  • Admission GPA
  • Total Credits
    120 (including 30 for admission)

Complete Your Degree with the MDS Program

What exactly is a Multidisciplinary Studies degree? Our Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) degree is a program that allows you to combine your educational goals with your previous coursework to create a customized plan of study. You can choose to earn a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS).

Our dedicated advisors will look at the credits you've taken and where you want to go, and determine the best way to get you there. The multidisciplinary degree is an ideal fit for adults who want to return to school to complete their degree. You may even be able to complete your bachelor's degree online.

The degree completion program requires courses in three of five areas:

  • applied, technical, and professional
  • arts and humanities
  • communication
  • history and social sciences
  • science and health science

How long will it take to complete my degree?

Depending on how much transfer coursework you bring with you, how closely it fulfills requirements, and how many courses you decide to take per term, we estimate that with 60 semester credits at admission, you can finish the multidisciplinary studies program in two (full-time course load) to five years (two courses per term).

Read the video transcript.

Requirements and Courses

Your degree completion program will consist of 120 credits, which will include:

  • MDS 3001W Introduction to Multidisciplinary Studies (3 credits). New students typically take MDS 3001W during their first semester. In this course you will develop a written plan to articulate your goals and course of study.
  • 30+ at the U of M, Twin Cities campus
  • 15+ after program admission
  • 50+ upper division in three of the five curricular areas below* (15+ credits per area)
  • One oral communications course (Options: ABUS 4023W; COMM 1101, 1313W, 3411, or 3605W; MGMT 3033W; PSTL 1461 or 1464; WRIT 3257)
  • University of Minnesota liberal education requirements

You may select to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) by tailoring your areas selected (see below)*.

A BA degree must include 12 credits of languages or cultures other than the student’s native language or culture.

A BS degree must include at least one upper-division course in quantitative or critical thinking.

Talk with an MDS advisor and see Transferology for more information.

Study Abroad

You may have the opportunity to study abroad as part of your degree. Talk to your Multidisciplinary Studies advisor for more information.

* Areas of Study

Choose three of the five and take 15 or more credits in each.

In this area of study you can take classes in the following areas, including classes from the Carlson School of Management.

  • Applied Business
  • Business and Industry Education
  • Construction Management
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology Infrastructure
  • Manufacturing Operations Management
  • Educational Psychology

The Arts and Humanities focus area covers a broad range of topics, including:

  • African Studies
  • Afro-American Studies
  • American-Indian Studies
  • American Studies
  • Architecture Studies
  • Art History
  • Studio Arts
  • Classical Studies
  • Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Studies
  • English
  • Asian Languages and Literature
  • Music
  • Theatre Arts and Dance
  • Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Communication topics include:

  • Communication Studies
  • English
  • Journalism
  • Writing Studies
  • Upper division second language courses

In the History and Social Science area, you can study:

  • African Studies
  • Afro-American Studies
  • American Indian Studies
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Economics
  • Chicano Studies
  • Child Psychology
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • History of Science and Technology
  • History of Medicine
  • Mass Communication/Journalism
  • Jewish Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Urban Studies
  • Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Science and Health Science courses can be taken from a variety of units, including:

  • College of Biological Sciences
  • College of Science and Engineering (formerly the Institute of Technology)
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • Department of Food Science and Nutrition
  • Center for Spirituality and Healing
  • School of Public Health
  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Natural Resources

Career Outlook

Students pursuing their bachelor in Multidisciplinary Studies demonstrate initiative and tenacity. They find jobs anywhere from financial institutions to manufacturing companies, where their unique skill set can thrive.

  • 89% Students gain paid employment
  • 5% Students pursue additional education
  • $76K Median salary

MDS alumni in the first year after graduation (averages of the years 2019−2020)

Visit the Career and Internship Services website for more alumni data, job search and internship resources, and employment listings. 

Alumni Job Titles

Some positions of our graduates include:

  • Accessibility Consultant
  • Client Strategy/Engagement Lead
  • Clinical Applications Trainer
  • Compliance Officer
  • Director of Technical Services
  • HR Business Partner
  • Information Technology Project Manager
  • Lab Supervisor
  • Office Assistant
  • Plant Manager
  • Principal Engineer
  • Program Support Specialist
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Training Coordinator

Admissions Advising

Jeff Olsen Krengel enrollment advisor

Meet Jeff Olsen Krengel

I work with prospective students interested in our undergraduate applied science majors and those who want to design their own degree program. I’m available to answer your questions and help you find a program that meets your needs.

In my free time, I can be found reading, running with my son, or visiting a brewery. I am an avid sports fan cheering for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota United FC, and Liverpool FC. 

Give me a call at 612-625-4340, email me, or schedule an appointment on my calendar below.

Transfer admission events


U of M New Student Orientation - July 23, 2024

Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108

8:15 am


U of M New Student Orientation - July 24, 2024

Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108

8:15 am


Fall Semester Application Deadline | March 1 (priority); August 1 (final)
Spring Semester Application Deadline | October 1 (priority); December 1 (final)

We will consider all applications received by the priority deadline for each term. Applications received between the priority deadline and the final deadline will be considered if space is available.

Application Steps

  1. Make an appointment with Enrollment Advisor Jeff Olsen Krengel to discuss your goals and interests. As part of that discussion, we invite you to submit your unofficial transcripts ahead of time to see how your previous college credits will transfer.
  2. Work with Jeff to apply for admission.

Admission Factors

  • Completion of 30 credits with a preferred GPA of 2.5+
  • Grade trends
  • Performance in relevant coursework
  • Two-year break in pursuit of your degree (need not be a continuous two-year span)
  • Demonstrated ability to meet expectations of individualized education

Questions about submitting your application on time? Contact Jeff Olsen Krengel.

Apply (as a former U of M student) Apply (from outside the U of M)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A multidisciplinary studies degree allows you to customize an academic program that best fits your interests, aspirations, and educational goals. This type of degree is ideal for individuals who have diverse academic interests.

A multidisciplinary studies degree allows you to combine various concentration areas such as business, science, arts and humanities, and social science together into one unified program of study, providing more flexibility and interdisciplinary learning opportunities. Through this approach, you can hone your knowledge and proficiency in multiple disciplines, making you more competitive in the job market. With careful planning, a multidisciplinary studies degree will prepare you for success in today's ever-changing job landscape.

A multidisciplinary studies degree can open a lot of doors in terms of career paths. With this type of degree, you can pursue exciting opportunities in just about any field, like business, finance, healthcare, or technology. If you're looking to work in the government or nonprofit sectors, a multidisciplinary studies degree can help develop your ability to problem-solve and lead an initiative. This type of degree can also set you up for success as an entrepreneur, providing you with the professional skills to turn your ideas into a tangible business.

A multidisciplinary studies approach is the process of combining several different areas of study into one major, integrating core concepts and theories from various disciplines. It encourages you to explore multiple perspectives and to find innovative solutions.

As society continues to change, learning more than one subject has become increasingly valuable. Multidisciplinary studies creates individuals who can think outside the box and make connections between different fields. It can help broaden your knowledge base, provide valuable insight and understanding into other subjects, as well as prepare you for success in the workplace.

A degree in multidisciplinary studies can be incredibly beneficial for professionals looking to improve the skills necessary for success in the workplace, like problem solving, critical thinking, innovation, initiative, and communication. Not only will you learn how to view issues from multiple perspectives, you will also be exposed to a variety of subjects and be able to take a holistic approach to any challenge. This type of approach becomes especially useful when working in teams and in creative problem-solving.

A multidisciplinary studies degree that you have crafted yourself shows employers that you have tenacity, drive, and an ability to see the big picture. These skills will benefit you no matter what kind of job you’re looking for. A multidisciplinary studies degree could be just the thing to set you apart from other candidates.

For working adults considering a degree, a multidisciplinary studies program can be an ideal option. It provides a mix of general education classes and electives to create a unique, comprehensive degree.

The CCAPS Multidisciplinary Studies major allows working adults to fit classes into their busy work and life schedules. It is a perfect opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree that you started but never finished. It can build on the college credits you’ve already earned and be tailored to meet your interests and goals. In this way, a multidisciplinary studies degree can open doors for working adults who are looking to improve their career prospects, pursue new interests, or finish their degree.

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