Faculty and students should keep in mind the following guidelines when submitting a proposal for an interdepartmental major, minor, or certificate.

General Requirements

Interdepartmental (IPA) majors require a minimum of 40 credit hours of core courses. Interdepartmental minors require a minimum of 24 credit hours.

Titles of proposed programs (majors and minors) should be brief and general in nature, e.g., “Modern China”, not “Contemporary Problems in Chinese Society.”

Students may use some 100-level courses, but the major or minor consists primarily of upper-level work. Normally, language courses at the intermediate level or above may be included.

Cross-listed courses will be considered according to the parent department of the course.

Courses Outside of Arts, Sciences & Engineering (AS&E)

Traditionally, no more than two courses taken outside AS&E may be included in an interdepartmental major’s core program, although there are exceptions (study abroad programs, etc.).

If students provide strong and compelling rationale, they will be permitted to use one course from outside AS&E, but within the University of Rochester, for an interdepartmental minor.

Course Overlap

Up to two courses used to fulfill requirements in another major or minor may be used towards the core of an interdepartmental major.

No courses for an interdepartmental minor may overlap with courses from another major or minor.

Faculty Advisors

Faculty advisor endorsements are important to the proposal but do not guarantee acceptance.

Faculty Advisors for Interdepartmental Majors

Interdepartmental majors require two faculty advisors who are:

  • From different departments
  • In some way connected to the core courses proposed

And at least one faculty advisor who:

  • Holds the rank of assistant professor or higher
  • Is from AS&E

Faculty Advisors for Interdepartmental Minors

Interdepartmental minors require one faculty advisor.

Divisional Area

The majority of core courses determines the divisional area (humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences) of the interdepartmental program.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULW)

Students must take two designated writing courses in each of their majors.

For the purposes of interdepartmental programs, upper-level writing courses may not be shared between an interdepartmental major and another major.

Proposal Rejections

A proposal might be rejected if it:

  • Is a watered-down version of something that currently exists in the curriculum (major, minor, certificate)
  • Consists of courses from only one department
  • Is pre-professional in nature (e.g. accounting, physical therapy) as determined by the committee
  • Contains too many courses from outside AS&E
  • Has essays that are poorly written
  • Poorly justifies the reasons for proposing the interdepartmental program

A proposal might also be requested if the student has:

  • Not yet completed any of the proposed courses
  • Done poorly (less than C average) in the proposed courses