The University of Texas at Austin
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Frequently Asked Questions about the BDPs

What is a BDP?
A BDP (or Bridging Disciplines Program) is an interdisciplinary certificate program that combines coursework with research and internship experiences. There are twelve different BDPs, each focusing on a topic that benefits from the perspectives, methods, and tools of multiple disciplines.

What is a forum seminar?
Forum seminars are foundation courses for the BDPs. A forum seminar is a one-credit course that introduces students to interdisciplinary approaches to studying the BDP topics through weekly guest lectures from faculty in different departments across UT-Austin.

What is a Connecting Experience?
A Connecting Experience is a research, internship, or creative project experience for credit, conducted under the supervision of one or more faculty mentors. These experiences are called “connecting experiences” because they help connect a student’s BDP topic with his/her major, and they help connect knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom with hands-on applications.

What if I have questions but can’t come to an info session?
Call 512-232-7564 or stop by FAC 338 to make an appointment with a BDP advisor.

How can I write a successful BDP application essay?
See our application form (PDF) for tips.

Can I apply for more than one BDP?
While it is possible to apply for more than one BDP, we strongly recommend that you choose only one BDP. It is always possible to apply for another program later on if you decide you still want to pursue a second program. If you have questions or would like to speak to an advisor about narrowing down your interests in multiple BDPs, come to an information session or call 512-232-7564 for an appointment.

Can courses I’ve already taken count toward the BDP if I’m admitted?
Yes. If there are courses you’ve taken before applying to the BDPs that are listed in your BDP curriculum, they will count toward your certificate even if you were not admitted to the BDP at the time you took the course.

Can I apply if I’m a freshman? If I’m a senior?
Students must plan to be enrolled at UT-Austin as a degree-seeking undergraduate for at least two semesters after the semester in which they apply to the BDP. We encourage students to apply for the program early in their UT career, in order to integrate their BDP work effectively with their degree plans.

How can a BDP complement my degree plan?
The courses you count toward your BDP certificate can also fulfill core curriculum requirements, major requirements, and electives. Your BDP advisor can help you plan how to integrate your BDP work with your degree plan, so the BDP will not extend your time at UT.