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Interdisciplinary Studies


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"I discovered my life’s purpose – to become a naturopathic doctor focusing on preventative health care and all-natural medicines."

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Jessica Tapper

Interdisciplinary Major: Holistic Health 

As long as I can remember, I have had an innate passion for helping and healing. This drive manifested in various ways throughout my life across a broad range of interests. When I entered college, I had to choose which health care career path to pursue. The university had limited options in the health care field, so I decided to study nursing. Along this journey, I discovered my life’s purpose – to become a naturopathic doctor (ND) focusing on preventative health care and all-natural medicines. I researched and toured multiple ND programs, and found that I had already completed all the pre-requisite coursework and only needed a bachelor’s degree. Eager to begin ND school, I contemplated my options to obtain a bachelor’s degree as soon as possible. This search led me to develop an interdisciplinary studies major tailored to best prepare me to become a ND. My major, Holistic Health, involves courses from a wide variety of subjects: biology, psychology, anthropology, communication, public health, and more. This program provided me an expansive perspective and diverse educational experiences that no single major could.  CLA’s Interdisciplinary Studies program enables me to pursue my individualized passions and achieve my dreams. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity, and highly encourage those whose interests don’t fit into a standard major to take advantage of all the benefits an interdisciplinary studies major offers. 


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Olivia Westphal

Interdisciplinary Major: Sustainable Food Systems

Through the Interdisciplinary Studies program, I am receiving the undergrad education of my dreams. My major touches the fields of socioeconomics, biology, environmental science, anthropology, and indigenous studies, to name a few. Every course offers a new lens for considering approaches to the problems arising from our industrial food system, and I can feel myself becoming increasingly worldly for it. Throughout my future, I’d like to participate in language-learning programs to increase my capacity for directly connecting with those impacted by the food and environmental crises. My goal is to go to grad school for Agroecology, and to strive for educational and management roles in the movement for local and global communities to achieve food sovereignty.