Students with a GPA of at least 2.5 who wish to pursue in depth a particular topic or area of study not available in an established major may choose the Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) major. MDS allows students, in consultation with a faculty advisor and the Director of Multidisciplinary Studies, to combine course work in two or three disciplines to create their own major. Considerable latitude is allowed in the design of the program of study, and course work, studios and laboratories from any of the colleges may be included, as long as one of the core disciplines is in Arts and Sciences. Examples of topics or themes chosen by MDS majors are:
- Environmental Studies
- Society and Aging
Multidisciplinary Studies is intended as an option for students who have some familiarity with college-level study. Thus it is available only to students who have completed at least one semester of college work. Transfer applicants with a minimum of 15 transferable credits may also receive admission, if otherwise qualified, upon the recommendation of the MDS Director following a personal interview. The earlier a program of study is designed, the greater the flexibility in scheduling required courses. Requests for admission from seniors can rarely be accommodated. Students may not use MDS as one program within a double major. Interested students should contact the Director of Multidisciplinary Studies.
The Multidisciplinary Studies major is built around a thematic program of study that encompasses two or three disciplines, one of which must be in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program consists of a minimum of 36 credits in the selected disciplines, 30 of which must be at the 300 level or above and constitute the core courses of the major. (Experiential learning and courses in pedagogy may not be included in the 300- and 400-level courses.) Ordinarily only three credits of either independent study or directed study may be included in the 30 credits of core courses.
To become a Multidisciplinary Studies major students must, before the end of the Junior year:
- Identify a faculty member who will act as academic advisor and who, along with the Director, will assist in the design of the program
- Write a one-page description of the proposed program of study and complete a change of major form with the Director. The description should include the objectives of the program and a rationale for how each of the core courses will help meet the objectives.
- Develop, with the director, a contract containing a description and a list of the courses that will comprise the program. Substitution for courses in the contract is allowed only with prior written approval by the faculty advisor and the director.
Interested students should contact the Director of Multidisciplinary Studies.
Multidisciplinary Studies Major
For the BS degree, students must satisfy all College of Arts and Sciences requirements along with the program of courses listed in the contract. University Studies requirements must also be met. The contract must contain the components of either of the two options given below:
- 36 credits in two or three sciences,* 30 of which are at the 300-level or higher.
- A two-semester sequence of mathematics, if mathematics is not a component of a) above.
- 15 credits at the 300-level or above in one or two sciences.
- 15 credits at the 300-level or above in one or two disciplines other than science.
- 9 credits in sciences at any level, other than disciplines included in a) above.
- A two-semester sequence of mathematics, if mathematics is not a component of a) or c) above.
*For these options, “sciences” include Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Information Science, Mathematics, Medical Laboratory Science, and Physics.