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Advising Handbook

Interdepartmental Studies

Beginning in Fall 2015, students interested in pursuing an individualized interdepartmental major, minor, or cluster should be referred to the Multidisciplinary Studies Center, Lattimore 203. Informational handouts and application forms are available there.

I. Because individualized majors and minors require more time to organize than traditional majors or minors, interested students should be advised to begin their preparation as early as possible. Students may apply at any time until the first semester of their senior year. Previously approved interdepartmental program majors and minors are available at the website; students will find these helpful in planning their own programs.

The formal procedure is as follows:

A. The student needs a commitment from two faculty members to sponsor his or her interdepartmental major, or from one faculty member for the minor. While initiating contact with the faculty is the student’s responsibility, the center’s staff advisors will help students to identify potential faculty advisors. Some students start discussion of the proposal with a faculty member; others may begin by meeting with an advisor in Lattimore 203. A handout and the application forms entitled “Individualized Interdepartmental Majors” are available in the center, and at the website at

B. After consulting faculty and staff advisors, the student submits a proposal. The faculty advisors will be asked to write in support of the proposal, indicating their appraisal of the student’s ability to benefit from the program, their evaluation of its coherence, and their satisfaction with the courses taken. The deadlines for submitting proposals are April 1 and November 1.

C. The College Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Programs decides on the acceptability of the proposal. (They meet once during the semester, normally within a few weeks of the deadline.) Students are notified by letter of the Committee’s decision within a few days of the meeting. If the proposal is not approved, students will be given helpful recommendations on alternatives, such as amendments, or referrals to existing combinations of majors, minors, and/or certificates.

D. Programs of a pre-professional nature, e.g., business, accounting, pre-med, cannot be approved.

II. Individualized clusters may be proposed with the support of two faculty members. These clusters generally consist of courses from three separate departments. Consult with an advisor in Lattimore 203. The deadlines for submitting proposals are April 1 and November 1. Proposal forms are available in Lattimore 203.

Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

B.S. in Engineering and Applied Sciences - The completed form, available in the Dean’s Office in Lattimore 301, needs to be signed by the student and his/her faculty advisor and be submitted with an Approval Form for Majors and Minors and a Senior Project proposal.

B.A. in Engineering Science - Students must show that they have completed (or will by the end of the current semester) at least the Primary Writing Requirement, three mathematics courses (including differential equations), two physics courses, one chemistry course and two engineering courses. A grade point average of at least 2.3 must be attained in these courses in addition to an overall 2.0 average. The student must also attach a letter of educational purpose to the program application, which is available in the Dean’s Office in Lattimore 301.