Interdisciplinary Studies

The undergraduate major in interdisciplinary studies allows students to combine disciplines in Krieger School of Arts and Sciences to develop a major focused on a particular topic or intellectual theme. Therefore, courses proposed for this interdisciplinary major must have coherence and build toward a rich exploration of a clear set of principles or questions.

Requirements for a B.A. Degree with a Major in Interdisciplinary Studies

Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.

Students in the humanities and social sciences who wish to design their own major, or who wish to divide their studies between departments, may create their own program in Interdisciplinary Studies. This interdisciplinary major may straddle several traditional disciplines but must maintain a substantive theme or focus. For example, a student interested in the American Revolutionary period may construct a curriculum including courses from History, English, History of Art, and Sociology. Another may wish to focus on children in poverty, drawing from Anthropology and Economics. Proposals for the interdisciplinary major should be submitted at the end of the sophomore year.

This major requires the support of a faculty advisor and the approval of the Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. A student wishing to complete this major must work with a full-time faculty member from the Homewood campus to construct a curricular plan that includes courses representing 45 to 60 credits. These courses can include all related prerequisites and related courses, such as language study. Independent study, research, and internships may be included. Twenty-one credits must be earned at the 300-level or higher. Courses from the School of Engineering are not permitted, except by petition.

The proposal should explain how each of these courses provides insight on the given topic, concept, issue, time period, etc. There is no need to defend the principle of interdisciplinary study, as that is a given, but the student must explain how the courses from two or more departments represent a conceptual whole.

After receiving approval from a sponsoring faculty advisor, the student then works with the Office of Academic Advising to finalize the proposal and to present it to the Curriculum Committee, consisting of faculty and undergraduates, who must approve the proposal by majority vote. After approval, the student continues to work with the faculty advisor and Academic Advising to oversee completion of requirements.

Rules: 

  • Students pursuing this major must still meet all other requirements for a bachelor's degree in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.
  • All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade and students must earn a C- or better in courses completing major requirements.
  • Students must earn 45-60 credits in the completion of the major.
  • At least 21 credits must be completed at the 300-level or higher and may not be counted toward another major or minor.
  • Courses offered by the School of Engineering may not be included in major requirements. (Some minor exceptions may be permissible.)