Interdisciplinary Major Program

FACULTY Brown, Johnson, McConnaughay (chair), Zant.

The Interdisciplinary Major Program (IMP) is a self-designed course of study for students interested in experiences that fall outside or between existing academic programs. The program of study is designed by the student and IMP faculty adviser to utilize two or more departments to gain educational experiences that bridge each department while directing the student towards a unique professional goal. The coursework should be focused on achieving a specific aim through the use of existing courses and faculty expertise. Through the IMP, the student should gain a multi-disciplinary education that is not currently available as an interdisciplinary major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Students without definite academic plans should register in academic exploration rather than in the Interdisciplinary Major Program.

The Interdisciplinary Major cannot duplicate any existing major in fact or principle; generally, the Interdisciplinary Major is more rigorous than existing majors. The Interdisciplinary Major Program committee is chaired by the associate dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and constituted by three faculty members representing humanities and natural and social sciences. Committee members are advisors to Interdisciplinary Major Program students within their academic domain.

Students must write a proposal for the Interdisciplinary Major Program course of study that clarifies their specific intellectual ideals and goals, indicates their proposed list of courses, and demonstrates that their program does not duplicate existing majors. Approved programs of study in the Interdisciplinary Major Program typically require 55–70 hours of a cohesive plan of study, with an acceptable majority of those hours from courses within College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Thirty hours must be at or above the 300 level. An Interdisciplinary Major Program of study must contain a minimum of 15 hours of coursework unique from any existing major. Student’s course selections must be integrated around the focus as articulated in their proposal. The committee strongly encourages an internship or capstone experience as part of the program of study. The proposed program should specify the departments that would participate in the major and include a list of the courses from each of those departments. Two of the departments included should contribute a significant number of courses (two-thirds), and two departments must be in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Transferred courses can be used. Students graduating in this major must have a 3.0 overall grade point average. The entire Interdisciplinary Major Program committee and the chairs of all included departments must approve the proposal. Proposals meeting the requirements above are not guaranteed acceptance, but will be reviewed by the program committee.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a representative from the program committee and chairs or advisors from those departments contributing the majority of the courses in the proposed curriculum of study early in the proposal development process.

After consulting with the appropriate IMP and departmental representatives, students should submit the following to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office:

  1. An official record of their past and present courses.
  2. A written, detailed statement of their intellectual ideals and career goals.
  3. A detailed plan of the courses from the course catalog the student plans to take as part of the Interdisciplinary Major Program.
  4. A rationale explaining how these courses facilitate the proposed course of study and the achievement of the student’s ideals and goals.

The program offers both the B.A. and the B.S. degree. Those seeking the B.A. must complete two years of college-level study of a foreign language, or the equivalent of such study.

Eligibility: Students are eligible for the program if they are at least second-semester freshmen, have fewer than 70 hours completed and/or in progress, and have a Bradley University grade point average of 3.0.