Apply to IDS

Apply to IDS

The IDS major at Wheaton College is selective; interested students must apply to the program. Because becoming an Interdisciplinary Studies major requires thorough deliberation, independence, drive, and self-awareness, the application process has been carefully designed to facilitate discernment for all applicants.

Students should first become familiar with the program by corresponding with current IDS majors and by meeting with the IDS office coordinator and IDS director. Once a student decides to apply, they should reach out to the office coordinator at to be sent a copy of the application.

The application includes drafting responses to a series of essay prompts and receiving feedback from Writing Center consultants; developing an exciting program of study (POS) by reflecting on one's interests and aptitudes, exploring multiple academic disciplines, and identifying an interdisciplinary focus; an academic self-assessment; and short-answer questions. Students will also need to submit a copy of their transcript.

After submitting all parts of their application by email to the IDS coordinator at, students undergo a formal interview with the IDS program director.

The IDS faculty committee evaluates completed applications and makes program admission decisions. By completing the application process, accepted IDS majors enter the program with an articulated purpose for inquiry based on three guiding directives (a wicked problem, vital questions, and sticky ideas) and a semester-by-semester plan for interdisciplinary coursework. 

Take a look at the elements of an IDS application.

Explore past students' bios and project ideas. 

IDS Program Eligibility Requirements

Because of the selective nature of the IDS program, students are expected to get a taste of the liberal arts college experience before applying. Therefore, students generally apply to the IDS program between B-quad the spring of their freshman year or any time during their sophomore year.

Students may apply to the IDS major after accumulating 30 credit hours. These hours may include credits earned or currently underway at Wheaton College, credits earned at another college, and college credits transferred from high school (e.g., Advanced Placement exams, International Baccalaureate exams, dual enrollment courses, etc.).

After being accepted into the IDS program, students must complete four semesters at Wheaton College prior to graduating, or three semesters and a summer program. This requires the IDS major to have the integrity of forward selection when designing their Program of Study and making course selections.

If you have any further questions about your eligibility for the program, please contact the program coordinator at

Application Timeline

Applications are reviewed once per quad. To be eligible for review in a given quad, submit your application by the second-to-last Friday of classes each quad. For clarification of the specific calendar date deadline in a particular quad, contact the IDS program coordinator.

The IDS faculty committee will review applications during the final few weeks of the quad, and applicants can expect to hear back from the IDS faculty committee at the end of the quad.

Visit our FAQ page to learn more.