The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies remains dedicated to supporting the campus population. We are actively practicing social distancing, which means we remain open for business but we are limiting the number of students, faculty and staff on campus. At this time, we are currently working to provide assistance virtually or by phone. If you need to contact the Department, please do so between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. via phone at 828-262-3177 or email burnistonjc@appstate.edu. (Updated 3/20/20)



The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies offers courses and programs and programs of study that challenge disciplinary boundaries. We offer degrees in the interdisciplinary fields of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies and Global Studies, plus Appalachian's only "DIY" major: the Interdisciplinary Studies degree. 

The Department is also home to Watauga Residential College, an alternative general education program that emphasizes integrative and experiential learning.


The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies affirms diversity and difference in all their forms as a starting point for creating responsible discourse and collective engagement. Diversity remains central to our mission, goals, and objectives, and we encourage and celebrate it through faculty and student research and scholarship. As interdisciplinary teachers and scholars, we attest to the value of diversity in creating communities of inquiry and solidarity. We reject bigotry, hate, willful ignorance, and intolerance. We advocate for a diverse classroom, campus, community, and nation inclusive of all.


“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”  

– Audre Lorde



Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

The DIY major – Students design their own major, integrating concepts and methods from multiple disciplines. 

Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies

Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies

GWS is an academic program generating, supporting and sharing research on women, gender and sexuality.

Global Studies

Global Studies

An interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary academic program devoted to understanding historical, social, political, geographic, cultural and artistic dimensions of international, transnational and global processes.

Watauga Residential College

Watauga Residential College

WRC is a student and faculty community that fosters creativity, thoughtfulness, and civic engagement through experiential, inquiry-based learning both in and out of the classroom. Watauga students live, share meals, and take classes together in a unique hillside residence hall on campus.