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Interdisciplinary Inquiry

If your academic interests extend beyond traditional academic disciplines, the Interdisciplinary Inquiry major can help you achieve your academic and professional goals. Interdisciplinarity is an approach to studying and addressing problems that are too complex or broad for individual disciplines or professions. Interdisciplinary studies draw on and integrates multiple perspectives, theories, methodologies, and insights to construct more comprehensive and nuanced understandings. Because you “create your own major,” your coursework will depend on your particular interests. For example, a student interested in legal studies might combine coursework from multiple disciplines, including Economics (Law and Economics), English (Law and Literature), Criminal Justice (Courts and Judicial Process and Criminal Law), Philosophy (Introduction to Philosophy of Law and Advanced Issues in Philosophy of Law), and Political Science (Introduction to Public Law, Topics in Public Law, and Moot Court). A student interested in a liberal arts approach to environmental studies might combine coursework from Economics (Environmental Economics), Environmental Science (Contemporary Environmental Issues, Concepts in Environmental Science and Environmental Stewardship Seminar), History (American Environmental History), Philosophy (Environmental Philosophy), Religion (Religion and Science), and Sociology (Sustainability: Environmental, Social & Economic Issues).

  • This program is designed to give the highly-motivated student, whose academic interests connect separate traditional disciplines, the opportunity to create an integrated, rigorous course of study.
  • By design unconventional, the major enables deep inquiry and focus through advanced coursework from two or more academic departments. The major requires an independent-minded disposition, yet ensures close student supervision by a committee of faculty who serve as advisors.

As a recent column in The Wall Street Journal acknowledges, interdisciplinary majors “spark students’ enthusiasm for learning,” equipping them for rewarding careers that depend upon complex methods and skills gleaned from multiple academic disciplines.

Courses taken each year towards the major are determined by the student, along with a supervisory committee of faculty within the areas of study the student pursues. No more than 24 hours may be taken from a single academic discipline.

For a B.A. degree, 4th semester proficiency in a foreign language is required.