2022-2023 Catalog With Addendum 
    May 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog With Addendum [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Degrees and Majors


In addition to programs offered by the undergraduate colleges at ACU, the university offers programs that require courses from more than one college. These programs offer students an opportunity for significant enhancement to their education.

An individually designed composite interdisciplinary degree is a special opportunity for the student whose career goals are not met by a departmental major.

Health Professions Cooperative Degree

Diana Flanagan, Assistant Director, Center for Pre-Health Professions (Biology Track Advisor)
ACU Box 27868
Abilene, Texas 79699-7868
Halbert-Walling Research Center, Room 103
Phone: 325-674-2749
Email: dlf09b@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/biology

Cynthia Powell, Executive Director, Center for Pre-Health Professions (Biochemistry Track Advisor)
ACU Box 28132
Abilene, Texas 79699-7868
Halbert-Walling Research Center, Room 105/107

Phone: 325-674-2864
Email: powellc@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/chemistry


The Department of Biology and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offer the BS degree in cooperation with some professional schools. In this program a bachelor’s degree is awarded to certain qualified students who have satisfactorily completed three years of prescribed work at ACU plus one year at a recognized professional school. Students in the cooperative degree program are advised by the advisors for health professions as well as a departmental advisor in either the Department of Biology or the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Two tracks are available for students pursuing this program: biology and biochemistry.

Composite Interdisciplinary Major

Jessica Smith, Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment
ACU Box 29103
Abilene, Texas 79699-9103
Hardin Administration Building, Room 200

Phone: 325-674-2024
Email: jes98k@acu.edu

A composite interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science may be designed to meet the student’s needs.

A Master of Liberal Arts  in interdisciplinary studies is also available.


An individualized composite interdisciplinary major may be approved for a student whose life and career goals will be served by such a major. The student must work with the appropriate academic advisor(s) to design the degree plan, which will include the University Requirements.

Major Design

The “Composite Interdisciplinary Major” (CIND) is a special academic program that is designed to allow a student to integrate studies from multiple disciplines in the baccalaureate curriculum. This major builds upon a core of classes from different majors and combines them to create a degree plan satisfying some or all of the learning outcomes for multiple disciplines. Students may choose either the BA or BS degree for the CIND major. The student transcript after being awarded a degree includes the CIND major, as well as listed concentrations for each of the disciplines that composed the major.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the following criteria before being admitted to a composite interdisciplinary program:

  • Students must have fewer than 66 earned hours to declare a CIND major and should have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Students must submit a written statement explaining the value of the combined fields to their interest and career goals. The statement should address why the composite degree is a better fit for the student than any existing degree. Students should have a clear rationale for pursuing the degree. With rare exception, practical considerations, such as reducing time required to graduate, are not valid justifications for pursuing a CIND degree.
  • Department chairs from each area of study represented within the CIND degree plan must approve the course selection from that discipline, including finalizing required courses from that major that must be included in the degree plan. The Provost’s Office must approve the degree plan as a whole.
  • The Registrar’s Office must ensure that the plan meets the general graduation requirements for the University, and that areas selected for the CIND major are areas in which the university is approved to grant degrees (including minors), based on the catalog.
  • A student must satisfy all requirements listed in the ACT/SAT Placement Information  section of this catalog.

University Requirements

The composite interdisciplinary major will include the University Requirements appropriate to the BA or BS major.

Major Requirements

The composite interdisciplinary major will include all graduation requirements for the appropriate degree (BA or BS) as well as any special graduation requirements necessary to fulfill the student’s goals. The degree plan, which will exceed the minimums for a major (see General Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree) in the chosen BA or BS degree, can combine significant elements from two or more majors. Combined areas such as social sciences, humanities, behavioral sciences, fine arts or natural sciences may be used as one academic area. Minimum GPA requirements, both within major and cumulative, will be determined by the departments and programs involved. The major may include a minor, supplement and support areas. Generally, the degree will not exceed 128 hours; however, an interdisciplinary degree may exceed 128 hours with the student’s understanding that the hours are necessary to satisfy the departmental elements that the student wishes to include in the major.

General Electives

Electives may be used to build the interdisciplinary degree if necessary.

Applying for a CIND Degree Plan

Students who wish to inquire about a CIND major should begin with their academic advisor.

Liberal Studies Major

Jonathan Camp, Associate Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
ACU Box 29210
Abilene, Texas 79699-9210
Sherrod Building, Room 127

Phone: 325-674-2209
Email: cas@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/cas.html


The faculty of the university serve as the faculty for the liberal studies major.

Mission of the Program

The liberal studies major allows students to combine degree programs from different disciplines into one major. It may attract students who have varied interests or career goals that draw on diverse fields.


The liberal arts tradition exposes students to a broad spectrum of disciplines. Students whose interests range or who have career goals that would be well served with academic background in multiple areas may find the liberal studies major a good fit. Students educated in the liberal arts tradition are known for their ability to adapt to changing demands at work and to connect information and insights from different fields.

The liberal studies major uses existing degree plans to give students the option to select three fields of study that are right for them. The faculty of many departments have designated minors intended to introduce students to their discipline or provide a concentration in some aspect of it. The university offers more than 40 minors, and all include at least 18 credit hours and a minimum of 6 advanced hours.

Liberal studies majors select three existing minors to provide the three fields that form their major field of study. Students majoring in liberal studies are not the students of any one department but are students of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission Requirement

Students must meet with the liberal studies academic advisor to declare the major and select their fields of study.

Guidelines for Selecting Fields of Study

  1. All fields must be selected from the minors offered by the university. The minors together count as the major field of study and will not be recorded as minors on students’ transcripts.
  2. At least two of the minors selected must be located in the College of Arts and Sciences; one minor may be located in another college.
  3. The intent is for three disciples to be represented, so a course may not count toward more than one field in the degree plan. Students may not select more than one minor in the same discipline.
  4. Students must meet the university requirements to complete 33 upper-division hours and take both a writing-intensive course and a capstone course. The writing-intensive and capstone course requirements may be completed in separate fields.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Aging Studies

Suzanne Macaluso, Director
Pruett Gerontology Center
ACU Box 27793
Abilene, Texas 79699-7793
Sherrod Building, Room 129

Phone: 325-674-2350
Email: suzie.macaluso@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/gerontology

The world’s population is aging - quickly! A minor in Aging Studies will add value to many undergraduate majors. The growing number of older adults in the nation and the world is creating opportunities for most majors to focus on leading and serving an aging population.

The minor may be obtained through the Pruett Gerontology Center and the College of Arts and Sciences as a specialization in conjunction with any other degree.


Job potential in the rapidly expanding field of aging studies includes social work, family services, health care, retirement home industry, a broad area of non-profit organizations, communities of faith, public agencies, research opportunities, and a host of other positions in the network of professionals serving the older adult.

The undergraduate student, in consultation with the advisor, will design a program of study that will meet the individual student’s need in the area of gerontology.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Health Humanities

M. Cynthia Powell, Executive Director for the Center for Pre-Health Professions
ACU Box 28132
Abilene, Texas 79699-7793
Halbert-Walling Research Center, Room 105/107

Phone: 325-674-2864
Email: powellc@acu.edu

The Health Humanities Minor is an interdisciplinary minor that explores human variability, societal differences, ethical issues, and philosophical thought. This minor complements many majors at ACU and is designed to enhance a student’s perspective and aptitude for critical-thinking. It offers a defined curriculum that will help build social and professional skills particularly important to health-related career paths.

In addition to performance in prerequisite coursework, many health profession programs evaluate applicants on non-cognitive skills such as communication efficacy, empathy, cultural competency, and ethical responsibility. For this reason, the minor may enhance a student’s academic preparation for application to graduate health profession programs through courses that cultivate these competencies. 

The minor may be obtained through the College of Arts and Sciences as a specialization in conjunction with any other degree.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Philosophy

Frederick Aquino, Director
ACU Box 29406
Abilene, Texas 79699-9406
Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building, Room 315

Phone: 325-674-3789
Fax: 325-674-6180
Email: aquinof@acu.edu


Philosophy examines questions in every aspect of human life, and its methods apply to problems in every discipline. The study of philosophy allows one to develop the capacity to see the world from the perspective of other individuals and cultures; it enhances one’s ability to perceive the relationships among various academic disciplines; it deepens one’s sense of the meaning and variety of human experience; and it teaches critical techniques that are invaluable in all aspects of life.

A true liberal arts education must include a study and analysis of the ideas of the great thinkers of the world. Our world views and ideas are formed in the context of history, and we as citizens of the world and Christians have the responsibility to be aware of where our thoughts come from and what previous ideas influenced our own. There are many philosophies in the world today, and we cannot adequately respond to them or criticize them without some knowledge of their philosophical genesis.

The philosophy minor at ACU is designed to prepare a student who wishes to pursue graduate study in philosophy, to supply knowledge for a philosophical basis for the other disciplines, or simply to satisfy the curious mind.



Suzanne Macaluso, Director
Pruett Gerontology Center
ACU Box 27793
Abilene, Texas 79699-7793
Sherrod Building, Room 129

Phone: 325-674-2350
Email: suzie.macaluso@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/grad

Interdisciplinary Faculty

Denise Barnett, Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Suzanne Macaluso, Associate Professor of Communication and Sociology
Greg Brooks, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Studies
Tom Winter, Professor of Social Work


The interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in the Study of Aging is offered through the Pruett Gerontology Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The certificate is an 18-hour non-thesis program. A certificate in gerontology is also available on the undergraduate level.

Course work in this interdisciplinary program is carefully integrated in an effort to add richness, depth, and balance to a student’s background. The certificate may be earned independently or as a specialization to another graduate degree program. It is a nationally recognized credential in the field of gerontology education.

Since 1986, the Pruett Gerontology Center has worked to develop a curriculum in the study of aging to respond to church and community service needs of individuals and organizations. The center sponsors numerous workshops and conferences that address needs and issues in aging being faced by churches, families, and communities.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for the Graduate Certificate in the Study of Aging are as follows:

  1. A completed application for admission with a nonrefundable application fee;
  2. An official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent;
  3. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  4. A personal interview with the Director of the Pruett Gerontology Center.


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceMinorCertificate