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 to combine course work in two or three disciplines to create their own major, in consultation with a faculty advisor and the Director of Multidisciplinary Studies. 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, and not to entering freshmen. Transfer applicants with a minimum of 15 transferable credits may receive admission, if otherwise qualified, upon the recommendation of the MDS Director, based on a personal interview. The earlier a program of study is designed, the greater the flexibility in scheduling the required courses. As with most other changes of major, requests 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 will consist 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:
1. Identify a faculty member who will act as academic advisor and who, along with the Director, will assist in the design of the program.
2. 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.
3. Develop, with the Director, a Contract containing the 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 BA degree, students must satisfy all College of Arts and Sciences requirements for that degree, along with the program of courses listed in the Contract.