Student designs for interdisciplinary majors and minors are normally formulated and approved no later than the first semester of the junior year. A student whose proposal for a student-designed interdisciplinary major has not been approved by March 31 (or Oct. 31) of the second semester of the sophomore year must declare an established major. Before presenting a formal proposal for a major or minor, the student must receive support from at least one faculty member who is willing to serve as an adviser. The student should also consult with members of the Committee on Student-Designed Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors before submitting the application.

Proposals for student-designed interdisciplinary majors shall include:

  1. A closely articulated group of nine to 15 courses in two or more disciplines.
  2. An integrative project (individual study, honors study, or appropriate seminar) that counts as one of the nine to 15 courses and serves as a capstone to the major, through which students have the opportunity to reconcile or synthesize the interdisciplinary materials with which they have been working.
  3. An essay describing the overall coherence or unity in the form of a central topic, theme, or problem.
  4. A letter of support from the potential major adviser.

Proposals for student-designed interdisciplinary minors shall include:

  1. A closely articulated group of six or more courses in two or more disciplines.
  2. An integrative project (individual study, honors study, or appropriate seminar) that counts as one of the six or more courses and serves as a capstone to the minor, through which students have the opportunity to reconcile or synthesize the interdisciplinary materials with which they have been working.
  3. An essay describing the overall coherence or unity in the form of a central topic, theme, or problem.
  4. A letter of support from the potential minor adviser.

After receiving preliminary approval from the Committee on Student-Designed Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors, the student’s proposal is forwarded to the Academic and Administrative Procedures Committee for inclusion among the substantial curricular changes to be presented to the faculty. Once a major or minor has been formally approved by the faculty, the Office of the Registrar must receive a declaration form with the name of the new major or minor and the signature of the faculty adviser.

The Committee on Student-Designed Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors may authorize substitutions of individual courses for student-designed interdisciplinary majors and minors that have already been approved by the faculty. Such substitutions may not decrease the total number of courses required for the major or minor. When possible, substitute courses should be at the same level or higher and should come from the same department or program as the courses that are being replaced. The Committee on Student-Designed Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors may approve proposals for honors study in student-designed interdisciplinary majors, subject to the relevant College-wide policies. In the event that the student’s adviser is unable to continue serving, the SDIMM committee is responsible for helping the student find a new adviser.

For more information, please contact Christopher Hammond, Associate Dean of the College for Curriculum and chair of the SDIMM Committee.