Integrated studies provides an alternative academic route

Austin Farber

Providing students with freedoms unlike any other program on campus, the Integrative Studies program at Kent State offers an abundance of class options.

This unique ‘non-major’ degree grants students the opportunity to create their own schedule with the help of an advisor. However, in order to be accepted into the program, students must have 60 credit hours already completed and fill out an application.

For this program there exist two choices: a general concentration or a two minor-option. To obtain a general concentration, students select two majors that appeal to their career goals. One major must be within the College of Arts and Sciences. For the two minors route, students must complete credit hours from two minors, one of which must be in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“I think it’s a great way for students to go if they have changed majors,” said Anna Hofer, a senior hospitality management major. “Students can have a bunch of different classes that wouldn’t apply toward a more traditional major, still count toward a degree.”

Kenderick Proof, a sophomore accounting major, feels that the chances of getting a job out of college might be easier with an integrated studies major. 

“It’d be nice to get a background on everything and be focused on just one major,” Proof said. “Especially for people who are undecided.”

Such an individualized approach to an educational program allows students to take a multidisciplinary schedule and gain understanding in several areas of study.

“I think that having students take two majors is also an advantage to the program,” Hofer said. “It shows employers that you’re a well rounded individual with a background in a variety of subjects.”

Upon graduation, a student would be considered a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences. However, they would not have one specific major associated with their degree. 

“I think it’s an interesting idea,” said Jose Calderon, a sophomore accounting major. “I’d like to know more about it because it sounds like something I’d like to do.”

Calderon knows several students who have had to spend extra time in college because they were unsure of what they wanted to do.

“If students knew about integrated studies, I think more people uncertain about their future would pursue it,” Calderon said.

While integrative studies majors can design their schedule, the university still decides the graduation requirements. Integrated studies students must complete all Kent core requirements, as well as a minimum of 120 credit hours, 42 of which must be at the junior-senior level (30000-40000). Students must also have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000.

“I’d definitely consider going into the program,” Proof said. “I think it could provide a diverse learning experience. I could design a schedule to prepare me for what I think I will need once I graduate. I’m sure it’d be easier to schedule classes, too, since there’s such a wide range of options.”

Students considering entering the program in the fall are required to schedule an advising session in Bowman Hall.

Austin Farber is a social services reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].