Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) is a unique program that allows students to design their own curriculum customized to their specific interests and goals. Do you want to study Adventure Therapy? Expedition Leadership? Community Development? Outdoor Education? Sport Performance? Another adventure-related topic? You decide, and then work with an Adventure Studies Department faculty member to custom build your own program. Incorporate TRU courses, distance learning courses, independent studies courses, and field work courses (practicums, field schools or co-op placements).

Possible concentrations

The Adventure Studies Department has pre-packaged a number of concentrations in the following study areas. Details for each are found later in this document.

  • Adventure tourism
  • Adventure therapy
  • Adventure sport performance
  • Nature-based community development
  • Expedition leadership
  • Outdoor and experiential education
Additional concentrations

For students interested in areas other than the concentrations listed above, the following list is intended to help generate ideas about other possibilities. If you have another idea, work it out and propose it.

  • International development
  • Adventure risk management
  • Adventure journalism
  • Adventure sport coaching
  • Outdoor recreation programming
  • International guiding
  • First Nations adventure tourism
  • Emergency management
  • Adventure liberal arts
  • Snow science
  • Sustainable development
  • Adventure entrepreneurship
  • Adventure sport psychology
  • Sport management
  • Guiding in polar regions
  • History of polar exploration
  • Camp administration
  • Adventure and sport marketing
  • Guiding operations management
  • Backcountry facility management

Program structure

The idea of the BIS-Adventure Studies degree is to study a specific adventure-related topic from the perspectives of a variety of different areas of study (disciplines). The student's program must incorporate a number of different disciplines (for example, adventure, geography, sociology, psychology, economics, business, tourism, physical education, anthropology, science, etc.).

 Program entry policies
  • The BIS is intended as a two-year add-on (60 credits) to any 60 credits of lower level credits a student brings into the program.
  • Students can apply to the BIS during their second year of study if they will have 48-60 credits completed prior to admission.
  • A minimum of 60 credits must be taken from TRU or TRU, Open Learning and at least 48 credits must be upper level.
  • Students with two-year diplomas (with a minimum GPA of 2.5) from other institutions are able to ladder seamlessly into the BIS degree and receive block transfer. All credits taken at other approved institutions are transferable to the BIS.
  • While students are completing their 60 lower-level credits, consideration should be given to meeting any prerequisites for upper-level courses they may take in future years.
  • Admission requires proof of English proficiency: English 12 with a minimum of 73% (within the last 5 years); or Language Proficiency Index Level 4 (within the last 2 years); or completion of ENGL 0600; or completion of EASL 0570 and 0580 with a grade of C+ or better.
  • Returning adult professionals with diplomas and work experience relevant to the degree may receive credit for workplace learning.
 Program requirements
  • Students must complete 15 credits of Required Courses. These include IDIS 3000-Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, IDIS 4980-Research Project, IDIS 4990-Graduating Essay, Research Methods course (see the approved list below), and Critical Thinking course (see the approved list below).
  • 18 credits of Concentration Courses. These are courses that make up the specialization and must be from at least two different disciplines.
  • 6 credits of Writing Intensive Courses. These are approved courses that include extensive written work.
  • 9 credits of Breadth Courses. These are three courses that are from three different disciplines different from those that make up your Concentration. They do not have to be related to your concentration.
  • 12 credits of Elective Courses. May be prerequisite courses or other courses and may be Upper- or Lower-Level courses.
  • BIS graduation requires a minimum of 120 completed credits.
 Approved research methods courses

The following are approved BIS research methods courses. Students may identify other suitable courses from outside TRU.

  • Anthropology: 3050 or 3060
  • Business: 3980
  • Economics: 3700
  • Geography: 3190, or 3200, or 3500, or 3610
  • History: 3000
  • Psychology: 3030, or 3190, or 4100
  • Sociology: 3800 or 3820
  • Theatre: 4000
  • Tourism: 3050
 Approved critical thinking courses

The following are approved BIS critical thinking courses. Students may identify other suitable courses from outside TRU.

  • Adventure: ADVG 4030, or ADVG 4220
  • Anthropology: 3050, or 4030, or 4150, or 4600
  • Economics: 3100, or 3110, or 3190, or 3320, or 3890, or 4510
  • History: 3000, or 3520
  • Journalism: 3010
  • Philosophy: (all UL courses)
  • Psychology: 3200, or 3210, or 3240
  • Sociology: 3200, or 3210, or 3210, or 3220, or 4640, or 4750
  • Theatre: 4300
  • Visual Arts: 3130

Suggested BIS adventure concentrations

The following examples of BIS adventure concentrations are intended to provide students with information on approximate structure of a number of our popular concentrations. The following pre-approved concentrations are flexible depending upon a student’s interest. Alternatively, students may develop their own concentration with the involvement of an Adventure Studies Department faculty.

 Adventure tourism

Most suitable for students who hold outdoor recreation, adventure tourism, leisure, or tourism lower-level credits this concentration is intended to provide a broad background in the management of adventure tourism businesses and the development of quality adventure programs.

Required courses

  • IDIS 3000-3 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
  • IDIS 4980-3 Research Project
  • IDIS 4990-3 Graduating Essay
  • Research Methods course (3 credits) (see the approved list)
  • Critical Thinking course (3 credits) (See the approved list but one of the following is suggested: ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism, or ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure)

Concentration (18 upper-level credits)

  • 9 ADVG credits
  • 9 TMGT or tourism-related GEOG credits

Writing intensive (6 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability & Risk Management for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism
  • ADVG 4090-3 International Adventure Tourism Community Development
  • ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure

Breadth requirements (9 upper-level credits)

  • Selected from disciplines other than the concentration

Electives (12 lower- or upper-level credits)

  • Any 1000 to 3000 level ADVG field course

 Nature-based community development

Most suitable for students who hold geography, sociology, psychology, outdoor recreation, adventure tourism, leisure or tourism lower-level credits this concentration is intended to develop graduates who have the ability to work in the field of community development, both in Canada and abroad. Note: BIS students have permission to take Social Work (SOCW) and Human Service (HUMS) courses as part of their program.

Required courses

  • IDIS 3000-3 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
  • IDIS 4980-3 Research Project
  • IDIS 4990-3 Graduating Essay
  • Research Methods course (3 credits) (see the approved list)
  • Critical Thinking course (3 credits) (See the approved list but one of the following is suggested: ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism, or ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure)

Concentration (18 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4090-3 International Adventure Tourism Community Development
  • ADVG 4100-6 Adventure Tourism Field Trip
  • 9 additional credits related to community development. Some examples might be:
    • SOCI 2130-3 Women in Global Perspective
    • SOCI 4600-3 Globalization
    • SOCI 4730-3 Global Social Change
    • GEOG 4240-3 Geography of Tourism
    • SOCW 3110-3 Aboriginal Perspectives on Social Policy
    • SOCW 3300-3 International Field Studies
    • SOCW 3540-3 Introduction to First Nations Issues and Human Service
    • SOCW 3750-3 Cultural Immersion
    • SOCW 4520-3 Educating for Social Change
    • SOCW 4800-3 International Social Work
    • ECON 3740-3 Land Use
    • SCDE 3010-3 Sustainable Community Development (TRU Open Learning)
    • SCDE 4010-3 Social Enterprise for Sustainable Community Development (TRU OL)
    • SCDE 4030-3 Leadership in Sustainable Community Development (TRU OL)
    • ECON 3710-3 Economics of the Environment,
    • or other similar courses

Writing intensive (6 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability & Risk Management for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism
  • ADVG 4050-3 International Adventure Tourism Business
  • ADVG 4070-3 Directed Studies in Adventure
  • ADVG 4090-3 International Adventure Tourism Community Development
  • ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure

Breadth requirements (9 upper-level credits)

  • Selected from disciplines other than the concentration

Electives (12 lower- or upper-level credits)

  • Any 1000- to 3000-level ADVG field course
 Adventure therapy

Most suitable for students who hold sociology, criminology, psychology, outdoor recreation or leisure lower-level credits, this concentration is intended to develop graduates who have the ability to work with special populations in the field of adventure therapy (for example, youth-at-risk, the aged, returning military). Note: BIS students have permission to take Social Work (SOCW) and Human Service (HUMS) courses as part of their program.

Required courses

  • IDIS 3000-3 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
  • IDIS 4980-3 Research Project
  • IDIS 4990-3 Graduating Essay
  • Research Methods course (3 credits) (see the approved list)
  • Critical Thinking course (3 credits) (See the approved list but one of the following is suggested: ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism, or ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure)

Concentration (18 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4040-3 Programming Experiential Activities (required)
  • 15 additional credits related to deviance, social control, intervention, therapeutic process, and group work. Some examples might be:
    • SOCI 3680-3 Deviance and Social Control
    • SOCI 4200-3 Sociology of Aging (TRU Open Learning)
    • SOCI 4220-3 Social Construction of Crime and Deviance, or other similar courses

Writing intensive (6 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability & Risk Management for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism
  • ADVG 4050-3 International Adventure Tourism Business
  • ADVG 4070-3 Directed Studies in Adventure
  • ADVG 4090-3 International Adventure Tourism Community Development
  • ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure

Breadth requirements (9 upper-level credits)

  • Selected from disciplines other than the concentration

Electives (12 lower- or upper-level credits)

  • Any 1000- to 3000-level ADVG field course
 Expedition leadership

Most suitable for students who hold outdoor recreation, adventure tourism or leisure lower-level credits, this concentration is intended to develop graduates who have the ability to plan and lead international adventure expeditions.

Required courses

  • IDIS 3000-3 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
  • IDIS 4980-3 Research Project
  • IDIS 4990-3 Graduating Essay
  • Research Methods course (3 credits) (see the approved list)
  • Critical Thinking course (3 credits) (See the approved list but one of the following is suggested: ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism, or ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure)

Concentration (18 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 2830-3 Expedition Planning and Leadership
  • ADVG 4010-3 Business Applications for Eco & Adventure Tourism Management
  • ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • ADVG 4050-3 International Adventure Tourism Business
  • 6 additional credits related to leadership and organization. Some examples might be:
  • BBUS 3880-3 Teamwork in Organizations
    • LEAD 4900-3 Strategic Thinking for Leaders (TRU Open Learning)
    • SOCI 4600-3 Globalization or TMGT 4160-3 Tourism in a Global Environment
    • or other similar courses

Writing intensive (6 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability & Risk Management for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism
  • ADVG 4050-3 International Adventure Tourism Business
  • ADVG 4070-3 Directed Studies in Adventure
  • ADVG 4090-3 International Adventure Tourism Community Development
  • ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure

Breadth requirements (9 upper-level credits)

  • Selected from disciplines other than the concentration

Electives (12 lower- or upper-level credits)

  • Any 1000- to 3000-level ADVG field course
 Adventure sport performance

Most suitable for students who hold adventure, sport, recreation, or physical education lower-level credits, this concentration is intended to develop high-performance adventure athletes.

Required courses

  • IDIS 3000-3 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
  • IDIS 4980-3 Research Project
  • IDIS 4990-3 Graduating Essay
  • Research Methods course (see the approved list)
  • Critical Thinking course (3 credits) (See the approved list but one of the following is suggested: ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism, or ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure)

Concentration (18 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 3110-3 Adventure Activities
  • KINE 3100-3 Exercise Work Physiology (TRU Open Learning)
  • KINE 3110-3 Applied Human Nutrition or KINE 3120-3 Nutrition for Fitness & Sport (TRU Open Learning)
  • KINE 3250-3 Basic Human Anatomy (TRU Open Learning)
  • KINE 3750-3 Human Growth & Development (TRU Open Learning)
  • ADVG 4XXX-3 Adventure Sport Performance (to be developed)
  • Upper-level PHED courses

Writing intensive (6 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability & Risk Management for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism
  • ADVG 4050-3 International Adventure Tourism Business
  • ADVG 4070-3 Directed Studies in Adventure
  • ADVG 4090-3 International Adventure Tourism Community Development
  • ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure

Breadth requirements (9 upper-level credits)

  • Selected from disciplines other than the concentration

Electives (12 lower- or upper-level credits)

  • Any 1000- to 3000-level ADVG field course
 Outdoor and experiential education

Most suitable for students who hold sociology, psychology, adventure, sport, recreation, or leisure lower-level credits, this concentration is intended to develop graduates who have the ability to work with school, camp or therapeutic populations in the fields of outdoor and experiential education.

Required courses

  • IDIS 3000-3 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
  • IDIS 4980-3 Research Project
  • IDIS 4990-3 Graduating Essay
  • Research Methods course (3 credits) (see the approved list)
  • Critical Thinking course (3 credits) (See the approved list but one of the following is suggested: ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism, or ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure)

Concentration (18 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 3110-3 Adventure Activities (or equivalent)

15 additional credits related to outdoor and experiential education. Some examples might be:

  • OEED 4150-3 Outdoor and Experiential Education Concepts
  • OEED 4200-3 Outdoor and Experiential Education Program Development, Design and Delivery or, ADVG 4040-3 Programming Experiential Activities
  • OEED 4250-3 Outdoor Leadership 1
  • OEED 4300-3 Outdoor Education Legal Liability & Risk Management or, ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • OEED 4700-3 Initiative and Challenge Games
  • or other similar courses

Writing intensive (6 upper-level credits)

  • ADVG 4020-3 Legal Liability & Risk Management for Eco & Adventure Businesses
  • ADVG 4030-3 Contemporary Perspectives in Eco & Adventure Tourism
  • ADVG 4050-3 International Adventure Tourism Business
  • ADVG 4070-3 Directed Studies in Adventure
  • ADVG 4090-3 International Adventure Tourism Community Development
  • ADVG 4220-3 The Culture of Adventure

Breadth requirements (9 upper-level credits)

  • Selected from disciplines other than the concentration

Electives (12 lower- or upper-level credits)

  • Any 1000- to 3000-level ADVG field course
  • Any other OEED course