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 careful thought, independence, drive, and self-awareness, the application process has been carefully designed to facilitate discernment for all applicants.

First, students become familiar with the program by meeting with the IDS Director and corresponding with current IDS majors. Then, applicants prepare to apply by drafting responses to a series of essay prompts and by receiving feedback from Writing Center consultants. Next, students develop an exciting program of study through reflecting on their interests and aptitudes, exploring multiple academic disciplines, and identifying an interdisciplinary focus. After submitting an online application (complete with the reflective essays and proposed program of study), students undergo a formal interview with the IDS program director.

The IDS faculty committee evaluates completed applications and makes program admission decisions. By completing this 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.

Learn more about the four phases of completing an IDS degree.

Explore past students' bio's 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 spring B-quad of their freshman year and fall A-quad of their junior 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 it comes to designing a Program of Study and making course selections.

For further clarification about eligibility, 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. Applicants will hear back from the IDS faculty committee at the end of the quad.

Visit our FAQ page to learn more.