How do I apply?

Working with your faculty advisor(s) you will develop a proposal. Together, you will determine the intended outcome of your degree, previous coursework that applies to your goals, additional courses you plan to take, and any experiential learning opportunities (study away, internships) that might fit your plan. Consult with department chairs to be sure the courses you hope to take will be offered when you need them.

All students seeking an individualized major in Interdisciplinary Studies will submit a proposal to the program director (currently the Interim Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies). Proposals should include the elements listed below.

1. Personal Information:

  • Your name
  • Student ID
  • Current major(s) or minor(s) and if you intend to retain those majors/minors or if this degree will be replacing them.
  • Intended graduation date

2. Statement of Objectives (no more than 350 words)

  • The student describes what the degree is expected to represent and why the individualized course of study is more appropriate than a traditional degree program. Students are encouraged to discuss vocational or career aspirations, and how this course of study speaks to those goals. Applicants are encouraged to develop this statement in conversation with the program director or their faculty advisor.

3. A Program of Study (no more than 450 words)

  • The student describes how their objectives will be attained through regular coursework, independent study, possible study away, internships, or other means. This proposal must outline a complete schedule of courses to be completed over the time remaining until the granting of a degree. The program of study should reflect the following guidelines:
    • At least 36 credit hours
    • At least 12 credit hours of upper division courses.
    • Courses from at least two different programs; and at least 8 credit hours each from at least two different disciplines.
    • A capstone course or other summative experience, such as an internship. (If a student has already completed a capstone in another major, a capstone in the Individualized Major is optional.)
    • Generally speaking, if the student has another major or minor, no more than 8 credits should “double-dip” with that other program of study.

4. A Schedule of Courses that includes when you plan to take the course/have taken the course, and if you’ve yet confirmed with the home department to ensure it will be offered.

An example is provided here:

Course Prefix and #Name of courseWhen you will take or have taken the courseIf not yet taken, have you confirmed that the course will be offered?
HIST 337History of MexicoJ Term 2020Already taken
NAIS 250Intro to Native American and Indigenous StudiesFall 2022Yes
ENGL 216Topics in Literature: Native American LitSpring 2023No
HGST 201Intro to HGSTNot yet sureNo

5. Context and Background (no more than 350 words)
The student is encouraged to provide any additional context for their proposal. This may include discussion of previous academic course work, life experience, professional work experience, or other information they would like to share about why this pathway is a good choice for them at this time.

6. Name of Preferred Faculty Advisor(s)
The student should identify one faculty member who may serve as their primary advisor. Students may also identify one or more additional faculty members who may serve as supporting advisors. Students are encouraged to consult with the program director if they would like guidance in identifying a possible advisor.

Upon receipt of the proposal, the program administrator will invite faculty advisors to complete a Faculty Recommendation Form, indicating their assessment of the student’s ability to meet their learning goals, and their willingness to support the student as a primary or secondary advisor. Following submission, proposals will be reviewed by the program director in consultation with faculty advisors and the director of undergraduate programs. The student will be notified if the proposal has been approved or if further revisions are necessary, most often within two weeks of submission.

Once completed, this course of study leads to the conferral of the B.A. degree with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies. Approved proposals will be shared with the Registrar’s office, who will create a CAPP report that reflects requirements as outlined in the student’s proposal. Thereafter, it is recommended that students meet with their primary faculty advisor or the program director at least once each semester (i.e. during advising weeks). Any changes to the proposed plan of study must be submitted in writing.