What Can I Do With a Major In Individually Designed Degrees?

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Major Information

The bachelor of individualized study (BIS) and the individually designed interdepartmental major (IDIM) are for College of Liberal Arts students who want to tailor their educational programs to their own interests and goals.

  • The bachelor of individualized studies (BIS) is a degree program in which you combine three areas of concentration rather than have a major. One concentration may be from another University of Minnesota college (non-College of Liberal Arts), and the concentrations may be unrelated to each other.
  • An individually designed interdepartmental major (IDIM) (for a bachelor of arts degree) enables you to focus on a unifying theme by combining courses from three or more CLA departments.

Common employer sectors that are well represented with individually designed degree graduates include nonprofit, communications, journalism, advertising, business, social work & youth programs, entrepreneurship, event planning, and entertainment, video and film production, video game design, and environmental advocacy.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and individually designed majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • All the skills unique to each student's program areas (see specific majors)
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Independent and critical-thinking
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Ability to take initiative and be persistent
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to navigate complex systems

Interest code: EAS

Internship & Job Search Websites

Professional Organizations

Internships & Careers

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although keep in mind that there are individually designed alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for individually designed majors, utilize these additional resources:

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Click to expand each gray box below for opportunities pursued by alumni in this major! 

Arts

Internships

  • Production intern, Pangea World Theater (BIS Anthropology, Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, Mass Communication) (BIS)
  • Events Intern, Do Good Events (BIS)

Entry-Level

  • Producer & Filmmaker (IDIM, Social Documentary)

Experienced

  • Freelance Consultant, various arts organizations to increase access for people with disabilities (BIS English, Theatre, and Deaf Studies)
  • Director of Video and Technical Services, Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre (IDIM Video and Film Production, History, and Aesthetics)
  • Deputy Director, Provincetown Film Society (BIS, Theatre Arts, Film Studies, Management)
Communications & Media

Entry-Level

  • Freelance Writer & Editor (BIS, Newspaper Management)
  • Portuguese Language Translator & Content Coordinator, The Global Grid (BIS)
  • Communications Intern, Intermedia Arts (BIS)

Experienced

  • Creative Director, Sand & Pine Magazine (BIS, Communication, Italian, American Studies)
  • National Account Manager, IKON Office Solutions (IDIM, International Relations, Journalism, Speech Communications)
Nonprofit & Advocacy

Internships

  • Intern, SPPS Racial Equity (BIS Urban Studies, Youth Studies, Communication)
  • Advocacy and Community Outreach Intern, World Without Genocide (BIS Global Studies, Psychology, and Management)
  • Marketing and Engagement Intern, Dalai Lama Fellows (BIS)
  • Case Management Intern, Merrick Community Services (BIS)
  • HECUA Intern, All Parks Alliance for Change (BIS, Anthropology and Psychology)
  • Tenant Advocate, HOMELine MN (BIS)
  • Communications Coordinator, OutFront Minnesota (BIS)

Experienced

  • Director of Global Impact, These Numbers Have Faces, Inc. (IDIM, African Studies)
Healthcare & Science

Internships

  • Health Initiative Intern, Minnesota Internship Center (BIS Public Health, Global Studies, Human Health & Wellness)

Entry-Level

  • Energy Advisor, GreenCorps (BIS Mass Communication, Political Science, and Sustainability Studies)
  • Public Health Associate, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (BIS Mass Communication, Communication Studies, and Public Health)
Business

Entry-Level

  • Category Management Analyst, Moscoe Group (BIS Economics, Communication Studies, and Management)
  • Professional Organizer, Smiling Spaces (IDIM, Music Theatre)
  • Marketing/Operations Intern, Invenshure Co. (BIS)

Experienced

  • Senior Manager, Target (BIS, Global Studies, Management, Spanish)
  • Town Planning Commissioner, Wood River (IDIM, Ancient and Early Medieval Studies of Northern Europe)
  • Vice President of Managed Markets, Myriad Genetics (IDIM, Medical Ethics)
Education

Internships

  • English Teaching Intern, Konkuk University (BIS)

Entry-Level

  • Development Manager, Voyageur Outward Bound School (BIS, Theater, Mass Communication, Rhetoric)

Experienced

  • Behavior Interventionist, Lapwai Elementary (BIS, Spanish, Art, Disability)
Government & Law

Internships

  • Protocol Intern, US Mission to the United Nations (BIS)
  • Public Engagement and Constituent Outreach Intern, Office of Governor Mark Dayton (BIS)
  • Freshman Intern, Minnesota Population Center (BIS)

Entry-Level

  • Judicial Law Clerk, Hennepin County District Court (IDIM, Political Science, Mass Communication, Film Studies)
  • Publicity & Marketing Specialist, City of Fort Collins (BIS, Global Studies, Business Management, Spanish Studies)

Experienced

  • Ensign, US Navy (IDIM, Russian Political History)

 

The College of Liberal Arts Career Services and the University of Minnesota has no control or responsibility for the: (a) quality or safety of any experiential learning opportunity/position descriptions or (b) the application, hiring practices, or EEO/AA status of any of the organizations listed here. We encourage students to use precaution when applying to, interviewing at, or participating in volunteer, internship, job, or research programs outside of the University. These opportunities are not affiliated with the University of Minnesota and have not been fully vetted.