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The Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies (BAIS) is a flexible degree that offers students a major in which they can find coherence, meaning and value in a novel program of study. Working with an advisor you design a plan of study that addresses a complex, real-world problem that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplinary programs of study.  If you are interested in something for which a disciplinary or professional program is too specific or narrow, then an interdisciplinary program like BAIS might be for you. 



Integrative Studies graduates become what today’s business leaders call “T-Shaped Individuals.” By taking advanced courses in three different areas of study, graduates display both breadth and depth of learning and the ability to collaborate, communicate, and think critically. The interdisciplinary course plan means students can integrate information, insights, and skills to help them navigate the kinds of problems that they will confront in the next generation of career opportunities.

The diploma says “Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies” but the resume demonstrates an ability to address complex problems, integrate knowledge from different areas, and take the initiative to design their own rigorous path through college--a path that has pulled together what they care about and what they are good at.

Because of its flexibility, the Integrative Studies degree is ideal for students who want to move beyond narrow traditional programs. It presents a wonderful opportunity for students who want to change majors while using some of the credit they have already earned. And it is perfect for students who have earned credits from another institution that can be transferred to NKU. 

According to those in the talent-seeking field, the most sought-after candidates for management, consulting, research, and other leadership positions are T-shaped. The vertical stem of the T is the foundation: an in-depth specialized knowledge in one or two fields. The horizontal crossbar refers to the complementary skills of communication (including negotiation), creativity, the ability to apply knowledge across disciplines, empathy (including the ability to see from other perspectives), and an understanding of fields outside your area of expertise.

-- Brooks, K. (2012). Career Success Starts With a “T.” Psychology Today.

What Do Students Say?


Integrative Studies graduate are attractive job candidates with skills sets and knowledge that prepare them to find careers or graduate programs that fit their interests. Our graduates work at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati State, Crossroad Health Center, the Dept. for Community Based Services, Fidelity Investments, First Group Pacific, Great Parks of Hamilton County, KCTCS, NKU, Siemens PLM Software, the Center for Practical Living, the Hotel Covington, UniFirst Corporation, and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

What kinds of careers do they find?

Associate Director for Community Connections, Budget Officer, Business Analyst, Insurance Professional, Clinical Research Coordinator, Community Manager, Equal Opportunities Program Coordinator and ADA Officer, Family Support Specialist, Field Marketing Representative, GIS Specialist, HR Manager, Managed Account Operations Senior Specialist, Pre-Post Test Administrator, Program Facilitator of Ready to Work, Registrar, and Senior Accounts Payable Specialist


In addition to meeting the university requirements for graduation, the major in the Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrative Studies must complete minors or focus areas in three disciplinary or interdisciplinary programs. The requirements for a minor in any program are listed in the relevant department’s pages in the catalog. A focus area is defined as 12 credit hours at the 300 level or above in any disciplinary or interdisciplinary program (major or minor). The three areas of study must include at least one area from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Three Integrative Studies courses are required

  • IST 185 Introduction to Integrative Studies
  • IST 397 Interdisciplinary Inquiry
  • IST 497 Capstone in Integrative Studies

The program requires a portfolio of work that begins in the Introduction course and culminates with a final project in the Capstone course.

Students develop a graduation plan with an advisor.

Don’t just choose a major.
Find your mission. Pursue your passion.