Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary opportunities at Penn allow students to explore their academic interests and discover new ways of integrating knowledge.

Dual Degree

Undergraduates can receive two Bachelor's Degrees by completing the requirements for any two of the four undergraduate schools at the same time. A dual degree program has no prescribed course of study, and the student does not have to choose to participate prior to matriculation. 

The application process for a dual degree varies among the undergraduate schools. Contact the advising office for the school to which you are applying for details on how to submit an application. 

Coordinated Dual Degree Programs

Penn’s specialized dual degree programs offer students the opportunity to pursue an integrated curriculum jointly offered by two schools within the University. Program participants graduate from Penn with two degrees.

University Minors

In addition to minors completed within one school, several interdisciplinary minors combine coursework from the four undergraduate schools.

Coordinated Submatriculation Programs

Penn offers students many opportunities to begin a graduate program while completing an undergraduate degree. Students may apply for admission as submatriculants to a variety of the University’s graduate and professional areas of study. Submatriculation programs exist in the four undergraduate schools and in several of Penn’s graduate schools.


Featured Interdisciplinary Programs

Penn offers a number of opportunities for students to pursue an integrated curriculum jointly offered by two or more schools within the University, and graduate with a single degree. Examples of such programs include:

Digital Media Design

The Digital Media Design (DMD) program is an interdisciplinary major in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn. As a full-fledged Bachelors in Engineering and Science (BSE) degree, it combines major coursework in computer graphics within the Computer & Information Science Department with Fine Arts courses from Penn's School of Design. The program is designed for students who have an interest in the computer programming, mathematics, and design behind computer graphics, animation, games, virtual reality environments, and interactive technologies.

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Integrated Studies Program

The Integrated Studies Program (ISP) is the first-year curriculum for Benjamin Franklin Scholars pursuing degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Deeply rooted in the liberal arts tradition of acquiring and applying expansive knowledge, this residential academic program invites highly-motivated students to examine complex themes through the integration of multiple academic disciplines and methodologies.

Students are guided through the semester by some of Penn’s leading faculty. By investigating the same ideas under three distinct lenses, drawing simultaneously from the humanities, social sciences and sciences, students sharpen their focus on the similarities—and differences—between the disciplines’ habits of mind.

Moelis Advance Access Program

The Moelis Advance Access Program is a deferred admission program that gives Penn undergraduates a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA while they pursue work experience. Moelis Fellows access Wharton resources and network during their deferment period and can be considered for a $10,000 fellowship per year during the 2-year full-time MBA program. Beginning in 2018, the program will accept a highly selective cohort of Penn seniors whose academic and career interests expand traditional notions of business education. The program was established with a $10 million gift from Ken Moelis, W’80, WG’81, and Julie Taffet Moelis, W’81. The program is open to all Penn undergraduates, beginning with the Class of 2018, who aspire to set the stage early for their advanced education and highly successful careers. Seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Nursing, the Wharton School, and all coordinated dual degrees may apply.

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Networked & Social Systems Engineering

The Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Networked and Social Systems Engineering (NETS), formerly called Market and Social Systems Engineering (MKSE), is the world's first course of study to fully integrate the disciplines needed to design and analyze the complex networks reshaping our society. This program prepares students to shape the technologies that underpin Internet-based search and electronic commerce, financial networks, social networks, and even such exchanges as the power grid. Graduates of this program will be prepared to engineer networks that work for both end-users and investors. Other graduates may become the policy-makers urgently needed to regulate these networks for the protection of commercial property and societal good.

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The Nutrition Science major is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Nursing and the School of Arts & Sciences, and it builds on a student’s basic science skills with a deep dive into the science of nutrition. Linkages of nutritional compounds and dietary approaches with health and disease, novel approaches to the study of nutritional impact on health, and future avenues of exploration in the field are examined. Elective courses in anthropology, biology, economics, physiology, psychology, health care, and public policy provide a rounded context for the study of nutrition science.

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Penn offers many opportunities for interdisciplinary study in global contexts. Here are some of the opportunities available to undergraduates.

Penn offers the opportunity to study more than 40 languages at the Penn Language Center. For more information, visit Foreign Language Study Opportunities.

School-based Global Opportunities

Global Health Opportunities

School of Arts and Sciences Departments

Regional Interdisciplinary Centers and Programs