The Interdisciplinary Major Program offers students with unusual interests, superior ability, and exceptional self-discipline the opportunity to design an individual program of study instead of pursuing a regular department major. The program hopes to attract proposals that show creativity, novel approaches to learning, and experimentation, but it does insist that the applicant be able to designate clearly a definite field of study which falls within the liberal arts and sciences. Medical Ethics, Psychobiology, Irish Studies, Physical Anthropology, Post-Modern Studies, and Philosophical Psychology are examples of the kinds of programs that are acceptable. There are, of course, many others. The program is a Distinguished Majors Program and as such requires a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.400. Students generally make application in their third or fourth semester; proposals made after the fifth semester cannot be considered. Students whose projects can be completed through regular departmental or interdepartmental majors will be asked to apply to those programs.
Successful applicants must demonstrate that the College has sufficient resources to support the proposal. Toward this end, applicants are asked to list thirty credits of course work (normally 3000-level and above), drawn from three different departments of the College that will form a curriculum. Also, applicants must secure the sponsorship of your proposal from a (full-time) faculty member from each department as well as their agreement to serve as mentors. Finally, all IMP students must agree to write a year-long thesis, worth six credit hours, in their fourth year. At least two of the sponsors must agree to direct, read, and grade this work.
If you are interested in applying, you should discuss the project with several member of the faculty in your field of interest, and once your plans are firm make an appointment to meet with Assistant Dean Shawn Lyons (924-3353), the program Chair in Monroe Hall. Application to the program requires a written proposal outlining your project, a list of courses related to your field with a total of 30 credit hours, and a current transcript.