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Interdepartmental Programs

Writing a Proposal

You should meet early and often with each of your faculty advisers and a Multidisciplinary Studies Center (MSC) academic adviser as you develop your interdepartmental proposal. Advisers can be helpful in determining the most appropriate core and supplementary courses, and in helping to develop a title for your proposed interdepartmental programs.

Before meeting with your faculty advisers:

  1. Compile a list of coursework you have completed thus far, and your grades in each course. (You may find it helpful to print your academic history from student ACCESS for your personal use.)
  2. Create a list of those courses you are considering as part of your proposal. Use the online course schedules to find selections.

After you and your advisers have agreed on your proposed major or minor:

  1. Share with your faculty adviser(s) that they will need to fill out a Faculty Recommendation Form as part of your proposal.  You will need to let the Multidisciplinary Studies Center (MSC) know who you have selected as your faculty adviser(s), so that the Center may send the electronic Recommendation Form directly to your faculty adviser(s) for them to complete. The faculty adviser(s) will complete the Recommendation Form electronically and submit the information electronically and directly to MSC.
  2. Students applying should plan to submit a completed draft of their proposal (not including faculty adviser(s) signatures) to the MSC by the deadline posted on the website (usually two weeks before the submission deadline). This will provide an opportunity for an MSC adviser to meet with the student and review the draft.  The MSC adviser will also be able to sign your proposal to verify that it has been reviewed.
  3. Fill out the major proposal form electronically, print it out, and have the proposal signed by your faculty adviser(s). Give each adviser a copy of your proposal, and keep one for yourself.  Completed proposals (including faculty adviser(s) signatures) are due by the submission deadline listed on the interdepartmental website.

The Faculty Committee is comprised of representatives of each of the College’s divisions: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.  You will be notified in writing of the Committee’s decision. 

If your proposal is approved - you will receive a completed major declaration form along with your approval letter.
If your proposal is conditionally approved - the Committee will give reasons and conditions to be met in order for the proposal to be approved. You will be asked to respond to the committee by the deadline listed in your letter.
If your proposal is not approved - the Committee will give reasons and suggestions for majors (and/or minors) that may be suited to your academic interests.  In this case, the committee’s decision cannot be appealed. Any student is free to submit a new proposal to be reviewed at the next scheduled meeting.

***An important and critical part of the interdepartmental application process is to identify a parallel plan in the event that a proposal is not approved.  This parallel plan identifies an existing major that a student can complete, and is the responsibility of the student.