Looking to get the most out of your college degree? Then look no further than The University of Texas’ Bridging Disciplines Programs.
If you have a diverse set of interests, aren’t quite sure what you want to do with your degree and are looking for some guidance, or simply want a more well-rounded, versatile education experience, then the BDPs might be for you.
Need career guidance? The BDP advisors are ready to help you! (Photo by quinn.anya via Flickr Creative Commons)
Started in 2002 by the Provost’s Office, the Bridging Disciplines Programs are now a part of the School of Undergraduate Studies, which provides a diverse set of programs and resources that traverse boundaries between colleges and disciplines and enhance the quality of undergraduate education.
“The BDPs are a great way to get to learn in depth about a subject that interests you from more than one disciplinary perspective,” said Alex Briceno, a member of the Environmental BDP. “My BDP has really enhanced my experience at the university by helping me meet new people and be exposed to new ideas that I could not have found by just taking the courses required for my degree.”
The BDPs consist of eleven different interdisciplinary concentrations, ranging from Children and Society to Digital Arts and Media. Each of the concentrations represent areas of innovative faculty research, teaching and collaboration at UT, and each program is led by a cross-college panel of faculty members whose research relates to the program topic.
In these programs, students study an issue from a variety of perspectives, teaching them to become more flexible, versatile thinkers, and preparing them for a professional world that values collaboration and innovation.
BDPs combine courses that fulfill core requirements, electives, and courses for your major with real world experience to connect your BDP topic with your major and career goals. With planning, the BDP should NOT add time to your UT career. Rather, the BDP helps you choose the courses you already have to take in an integrated way, giving you the opportunity to develop a secondary area of specialization.
As a BDP student, you gain access to valuable career advising. BDP advisors are here to help you find courses, research opportunities, and internship experiences that complement your major, while also supporting you in developing knowledge and experience you would not otherwise find within your degree plan.
After completing the required 19 credit hours of coursework, research, and internship experiences, students earn a certificate demonstrating a secondary area of specialization that complements their major.
“It truly allows you to customize your time at UT so you can make the most of your resources and leave UT feeling like you have experienced everything you wanted to academically,” said Morgan Rucker, who was part of the International Studies BDP. “I can’t say, ‘I wish my major had let me learn more about ________area,’ because the BDPs gave me an opportunity to do it.”