Integrative Studies Department

Integrative Studies at NKU offers three degree programs.

  • Associate of Arts Degree in Integrative Studies (AAIS)
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Integrative Studies (BAIS)
  • Master of Arts Degree in Integrative Studies (MAIS)

Each program is designed to be flexible and emphasizes the kind of integrative study required for interdisciplinary problems or topics. Both the Associate's and Bachelor's degrees can be obtained online.

Integrative study is required when one moves beyond disciplinary boundaries and attempts to use knowledge from different specialties to answer a big question or tackle a complex problem. In interdisciplinary work specialists address problems or topics that sit between or overlap the disciplinary perspectives.

Interdisciplinary studies may be defined as a process of answering a question, solving a problem, or addressing a topic that is too broad or complex to be dealt with adequately by a single discipline or profession . . . IDS draws on disciplinary perspectives and integrates their insights through construction of a more comprehensive perspective.

-- Klein & Newell, “Advancing Interdisciplinary Studies,” in Gaff & Ratcliff, Handbook of the Undergraduate Curriculum (Jossey-Bass, 1996)


Our graduates will have the ability to

  • work collaboratively and productively with others who have different perspectives or worldviews;

  • think critically, creatively and boldly; and

  • recognize the relevance of disciplinary knowledge to complex issues.

Our graduates leave with a variety of skills that make them attractive employees for a large number of career possibilities. Integrative Studies students develop impressive resumes that show both bread and depth in their knowledge. They are excellent collaborators who are well-positioned to pursue their dream careers.

By the Numbers
  • The Integrative Studies program has over 250 current undergraduate majors and nearly 30 graduate students.
  • The B.A. degree is among the top four largest majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, and it is the tenth largest at NKU.
  • Since 2009 the B.A. program has graduated over 400 students and M.A. program has graduated over 76 students.
  • In the spring of 2019 one out of every nine students graduating in Arts and Sciences was an Integrative Studies student.
  • Sixty percent of our students are post-traditional and 25% are online.

Who Are Our Students?

Integrative Studies programs attract students who

  • have a variety of interests, that won’t be satisfied focusing a single major,
  • like to think about big problems or issues from different perspectives,
  • exercise curiosity and creativity that outruns the strict focus of traditional majors,
  • have career goals are still open or not fixed by a single disciplinary or professional program of study.

Who are these students?

  • Adult learners who have interrupted their studies for a prolonged period and return with a different academic focus and career goal.
  • Undergraduate transfer students whose prior work does not mesh well with existing programs of study at NKU.
  • Part-time students whose work schedules and other responsibilities preclude them from completing more structured majors.
  • Undergraduate students abandoning highly structured disciplinary or professional majors during their undergraduate career.

Our Mission
It is the mission of the Integrative Studies program at NKU to offer students educational experiences through which they can find coherence, meaning and value in rigorous individualized programs of study--programs that address complex, real-world problems that often go beyond the scope of traditional disciplinary or professional programs of study.