Degree Design Lab: Integrative Professional Studies

Build your own Integrative Professional Studies major in Champlain's Degree Design Lab

Degree Design LabBuild your own Integrative Professional Studies major in Champlain's Degree Design Lab.

Are you interested in lots of things and dreaming about building a career around your passions? We can help you make it happen. Combine more than one area of study to create powerful and innovative learning for your future success.

Complex problems require creative problem-solving. More than ever, employers need people who can adjust to rapidly changing industries and work on a wide variety of projects. This program prepares its graduates to navigate a swiftly evolving workforce by fostering innovation, autonomy, and applied creativity.

Using real-world projects to gain practical experience throughout your studies, you’ll have a portfolio that provides the tangible evidence you need to stand out from the crowd when you enter the job market.

What is the Degree Design Lab?

Recognizing that many of the best solutions are born from interdisciplinary thinking, Champlain offers the Degree Design Lab (DDL) to students whose passions cross more than one academic area. The DDL is a new way of combining courses and experiences to create your own personalized education. As an Integrative Professional Studies major, you will use the Degree Design Lab to build and develop your academic experience.

The Experience

Design your college experience in a way that capitalizes on two of Champlain's greatest strengths: interdisciplinary learning and innovative, career-driven programs.

Here's how it works:

  • You choose two to three academic threads or minors from a selection of professionally focused programs to provide you with an impressive foundation of experience in those fields. See the areas of study below to get started.
  • In addition to learning your chosen subjects, you'll take Degree Design Lab courses that act as a bridge between fields and foster interdisciplinary, collaborative thinking.
  • You'll work closely with a faculty mentor who coaches you through your studies. As an expert in interdisciplinary thinking, your mentor will help you develop as a professional and attain the competencies that employers want.
  • Throughout your college experience, you’ll tackle real-world problems in a variety of local and global settings.

What areas of study can I combine?

Design your own major by weaving together your chosen areas of study. Possibilities include:

  • Accounting
  • Broadcast Media & Production
  • Business Administration
  • Business Analytics
  • Communication: Communication Studies
  • Communication: Media Production  
  • Communication: Media Writing
  • Communication: Public Relations/Strategic Communication
  • Community Management
  • Computer & Digital Forensics
  • Computer Networking & Cybersecurity
  • Computer Science
  • Conflict Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Digital Marketing
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Studies & Policy
  • Event Management
  • Finance
  • Foreign Languages
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Game Programming
  • Global Studies
  • Human Resource Management & Organization Development
  • Information Technology
  • Interactive Narrative
  • International Business
  • Law
  • Managing Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Professional Writing
  • Psychology
  • Public Relations
  • Social Justice
  • Social Work
  • Sonic Arts
  • Web Development

The Work

Based on your interests, you will be immersed in a variety of professional topics starting in your first semester. You'll engage with projects of your choosing in a collaborative setting, learn how to combine your multiple interests to create new knowledge, and see how your work fits within an increasingly complex world.

The Places

Burlington, Vermont, provides an ideal setting for diverse applied learning opportunities. Champlain has forged relationships with local businesses and nonprofit organizations that allow students to do hands-on work in industries such as environmental stewardship, social justice, and technology. We strongly encourage DDL students to gain international experience, as well!

The Future

According to a recent survey of top executives, nearly all employers give preference to graduates with skills that will enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace. Many of the greatest innovations of the world have been novel combinations of existing tools or ideas—creating something new from the things that came before. An interdisciplinary education trains you to make these kinds of outside-the-box connections.

"In my current position, I never solely rely on my education expertise. On a daily basis, there are threads between education, psychology, criminal justice, communication, and social work. All of these disciplines coexist within my job as an advisor; I don't code switch and take turns wearing education hats vs. psychology hats. This interdisciplinary approach needs to happen simultaneously if I want to be successful at my job."
-Kayla Arena '18 // Early Childhood/Elementary Teacher Education