AFFORDABLE INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES DEGREE ONLINE (BACHELOR’S) 2020

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AFFORDABLE INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES DEGREE ONLINE (BACHELOR’S) 2020

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By BVS Staff

Online interdisciplinary studies degree programs may be a perfect option for students who are unsure of what their career interests are. Plenty of universities offer degrees in topics such as “Interdisciplinary Studies,” which can help you explore your interests while still making yourself marketable in the job pool. Interdisciplinary Studies majors learn about everything from writing and communication to business and information technology, and are sometimes given the flexibility to create a curriculum consisting of two or three specific topics they love.

Many online colleges offer Interdisciplinary Studies degrees because it is fairly easy to find an entire curriculum of classes in this major that can be delivered via distance education. You’ll use platforms like Blackboard to complete assignments and communicate with professors and classmates via discussion boards, email, virtual office hours, web chats, and more. This format is the perfect solution for busy adult learners who wouldn’t otherwise have the time to attend college.

Our cheap online college ranking is another resource you may want to check out.

Note: This article may contain sponsored links. These are designed to help you connect with programs easily.

The 30 Best Online General Studies Degrees Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer interdisciplinary degrees online. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $20,000/year or less.

*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Ranking Factors

After compiling a list of all the colleges that offer online interdisciplinary studies degrees and meet the above criteria, we then collected data in four categories:

  • Program Popularity: How many undergraduates choose to earn their degree in interdisciplinary studies over a more traditional major? To find out, we looked at both the number of students who earned their bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary/general studies in the most recent school year as well as the percentage of all bachelor’s degree graduates that that number represents.
  • Overall Online Program Strength: How many online bachelor’s degrees does the school offer? Having more programs available online means more course options (as well as resources and experienced faculty) for interdisciplinary studies majors who want to earn their degree at a distance.
  • Academic Variety: How many different academic disciplines or concentrations does the school offer as part of its interdisciplinary studies program?
  • Affordability: What is the average annual cost of attendance?

After collecting and sorting all the information, we ranked the candidates according to their performance in each area. Finally, we summed up the results and gave each school a final score using a curve so that the top-scoring program earned an even 100 points.
Read more about the best cheap online interdisciplinary studies degree programs below!

Cheap Online Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Programs Ranked

Rank School Location
1 Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, ID
2 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
3 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
4 Northeastern State University Tahlequah, OK
5 West Texas A & M University Canyon, TX
6 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OR
7 Indiana University Southeast New Albany, IN
8 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
9 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
10 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
Advertisement BestValueSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. Brigham Young University-Idaho
    Location

    Rexburg, ID

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    If you're looking for a degree program that provides lots of opportunities to mix and match various interests, Brigham Young University will be right up your alley. The school's accredited online interdisciplinary studies degree gives candidates three ways to earn their degree: by selecting two concentrations, one concentration and a minor, or a concentration and two certificates or "clusters." And considering the program offers seven concentrations, 10 minors, and 26 clusters, the options you'll have to combine different areas of study are practically unlimited. The selection even includes some surprisingly unique offerings, like Family History Research, Software Engineering, and Literary Analysis.

  2. Pennsylvania State University
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Arts in Letters, Arts, and Sciences is perhaps one of the most general degree programs you'll find. While it does include 24 credits in "option" courses (like your concentration), these classes don't all have to come from the same academic discipline. Rather, you'll work with an advisor to develop an individualized course list that meets your goals. While enrolled in this accredited interdisciplinary degree online, you'll also take classes from across the academic spectrum in order to obtain a true liberal arts education. Plus, you'll take required courses in communication, research, theory, and critical analysis - all skills that will serve you well in the real world.

  3. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Fort Hays State University has been offering its BGS degree at a distance since 1980 - that's nearly 40 years! Few - if any - other schools on this online general studies degree ranking can claim that much experience. And FHSU's program has plenty to show for its years in the game. For nontraditional learners, the program lets you transfer up to 94 credits (as many as 64 from a two-year school). Plus, military members can earn up to 60 credits for ACE training. As for the curriculum, you'll get to choose one area of concentration (21 credits) along with 58 credits of open electives.

  4. Northeastern State University
    Location

    Tahlequah, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Northeastern State University offers a straightforward BGS degree that allows you to customize your studies within a set framework. This approach is great for students who want a personalized education without the uncertainty or lack of structure that characterize many affordable online general studies degrees. To meet the course requirements, you'll pick three core areas of specialization from a list of nearly 50 options. These span the full academic spectrum, from accounting and chemistry to social welfare and technology. For one of the three specializations, NSU will even let you custom design your own study area based on your career interests.

  5. West Texas A & M University
    Location

    Canyon, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At West Texas A&M University you can pick from two different top online interdisciplinary studies degrees. One is a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences and is designed for applicants who have earned an A.A.S. from a community college. Typically, this degree is in a technical/vocational field, which you'll supplement at WTAMU with "professional development" classes that match your career goals. The other option is a Bachelor of General Studies. This program is better suited to traditional students who want a broad education. The curriculum requires you to take 78 credit hours of electives, no more than 36 of which can come from a single academic discipline.

  6. Eastern Oregon University
    Location

    La Grande, OR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Most interdisciplinary studies programs are designed to achieve one of three goals: to provide a customizable degree plan, to impart skills like critical thinking, or to help transfer students make the most of their prior learning. Some schools on this online interdisciplinary studies degrees ranking even aim to do two out of the three. But Eastern Oregon University manages to accomplish all three! An easy transfer policy, 100% online classes, and optional part-time study makes the program ideal for adult learners. At the same time, the curriculum offers plenty of customizability in its coursework, letting you choose to combine multiple minors, transfer credits, and/or experiential learning credits to earn your degree.

  7. Indiana University Southeast
    Location

    New Albany, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    As a general studies major at Indiana University - Southeast, you'll have a chance to acquire a broad education while also specializing in a particular subject. The first step is to select a "disciplinary area of learning." This could be in the Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, or Science and Math. You'll take 12 to 15 credits in any classes that fall under one of these three categories. The next step in earning this accredited Bachelor of General Studies online is to pick an "area of concentration." This is where you take your learning in-depth by selecting 18 credits of coursework in a specific subject within your disciplinary area.

  8. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The goal of East Carolina University's BS in University Studies program is to give students a degree option that is both "personally interesting" and "professionally relevant" and doesn't exist as a current major. It's also "accepting of accumulated credit hours," making it ideal for undergrads who have already taken a large number of courses. And to help you get started on earning this interdisciplinary degree online, the program offers a special University Studies 2000 course. In this course, you'll work with faculty to identify your career interests, determine a "thematic core" that encompasses those interests, and write a curriculum plan around that theme.

  9. Western Illinois University
    Location

    Macomb, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    For a low-stress, flexible bachelor's degree, consider attending Western Illinois University. Here, you'll find an online interdisciplinary studies degree that makes it easy to earn your diploma without jumping through lots of hoops. First, WIU will accept not only transfer college credits, but also ACE (from non-collegiate and military training) and proficiency exam credit. Plus, you'll pay in-state tuition for all online courses - regardless of residence - and get a "tuition freeze" once you enroll. That means that for four years, you'll pay the same tuition rate as in your first semester - even if the university hikes rates as a whole.

  10. Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Indiana Wesleyan University's general studies program caters specifically to working adults. Knowing that many nontraditional learners struggle to find online classes at the times and in the subjects they need, IWU's goal is to offer as much flexibility as possible to make it easy for students to earn their degree. As part of this mission, the online general studies degree program provides concentrations in popular, broadly-applicable fields like business, communications, human services, and life sciences. Along with a generous transfer credit policy and flexible courses (including the option to take evening classes that meet once a week), IWU's program emerges as a leader in convenience and accessibility.

Thanks for reading our ranking of the 30 top cheap interdisciplinary degrees online!

Sources:
IPEDS Data Center
College Navigator

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