The dictionary definition of interdisciplinary is relating to more than one branch of knowledge. As a first year student at Michigan, I have learned to appreciate this integral part of the academic structure as related to my classes.
I knew before I came to Michigan that I wanted to pursue both design and English, and I decided to enroll in the Multiple Dependent Degree Program. I am aiming to get a BA in Art & Design in Stamps as well as a BA in Communication Studies in LSA. I aspire to have a career in creative direction and graphic design, and my interests span technology, media, English literature, and pretty much all things arts-related.
Within my freshman year classes, I have already used the unique opportunity to combine studies. Although I am not enrolled in another interdisciplinary program, I love that my classes give me flexibility to use knowledge and tools from other areas of academia to supplement learning.
For example, I began composing music in my 4D (Audio/Video/Time-based projects) for my videos, which made me appreciate my music background more and inspired me to incorporate composition into my Methods of Inquiry class. I also joined the Campus band, which allows me to keep playing clarinet, since I knew I would not be studying music in college.
Furthermore, the Stamps School of Art & Design is well known for its interdisciplinary approach to art. They encourage students not to dwell on one subject, but to explore other artistic mediums and areas which intersect with society. Foundation year, although overbearing at times, pushes the idea that art and design are interconnected, and that knowledge of cultural, political, social, and economic contexts is essential for learning about and producing creative work. If I had gone to another university, perhaps one not as large as Michigan, I probably would never have thought about touching clay, or writing music for an art class. I could do research, or take business classes, or have an on-campus internship. I truly appreciate the freedom of this education and encourage students to take advantage of all that Michigan has to offer.