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Undergraduate Catalog 2008-09


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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences


Interdisciplinary Programs


Multidisciplinary Studies

Calvin Mercer, Director, A-327 Brewster Building

Multidisciplinary studies is a university-wide program administered by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. The goals of the program are to foster multidisciplinary study among various schools and departments, enable motivated students to pursue degrees in specialized or new fields, and encourage undergraduates to pursue research interests while working closely with faculty. Honors are awarded to students who earn a 3.5 GPA in approved major courses. There are two multidisciplinary studies options.

The individual concentration is designed for the student (1) who has clear interests and objectives that overlap schools, departments, degrees, or concentrations; (2) whose interests and objectives cannot reasonably be met through existing majors, minors, and electives; and (3) whose program is not fashioned in order to bypass a requirement of an existing program. A course of study is developed by the student in consultation with faculty in the appropriate disciplines and the director of multidisciplinary studies. A formal proposal, including the list of faculty who will supervise the student, is submitted to the Multidisciplinary Studies Committee. To begin the process, interested students should contact the director of multidisciplinary studies for procedures and guidelines. The major must be approved early enough in one’s academic career in order to have time to adhere to program guidelines. To declare a major, students must have completed 30 s.h. with a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and the student’s proposal must be approved by the Multidisciplinary Studies Committee. Program requirements include MULT 3500 and 4999; students may not be enrolled in these courses without admission to the program.

The nature of this program requires that the student be highly motivated and disciplined and that faculty advising the student be closely involved in the process from the proposal preparation stage through the completion of the program. The program is not a general studies degree and program guidelines prohibit approval into the program of students who have not developed a coherent and academically respectable course of study that meets program guidelines.

The structured concentrations are approved by the Multidisciplinary Studies Committee and are provided in areas where there has been clear evidence of significant student demand. For structured concentrations, students take a prearranged curriculum that is approved by a recognized academic committee with oversight in that disciplinary area. Requirements include the completion of interdisciplinary courses, comparable to MULT 3500 and 4999, which address interdisciplinary methods and topics. Current structured concentrations are: classics, neuroscience, and religious studies. Students interested in one of these programs should contact professors John Given, classics; Tuan Tran, neuroscience; or Derek Maher, religious studies.

BA in Multidisciplinary Studies

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

  1. Foundations curriculum requirements (See Section 4, Foundations Curriculum Requirements for all Baccalaureate Degree Programs.) - 42 s.h.
  2. Foreign language through level 1004 - 12 s.h.
  3. Core - 30 s.h.
    MULT 3500. Research in Multidisciplinary Studies (3) (WI) (P: Admission to MULT; consent of program director) or comparable structured concentration course.
    MULT 4999. Seminar in Multidisciplinary Studies (3) (WI) (P: MULT 3500; consent of program director) or comparable structured concentration course.
    A minimum of 24 s.h. of approved courses in the major.
  4. Minor or approved structured electives - 24 s.h.
  5. A minimum of 24 s.h. from Sections 3 and 4 must be above 2999.
  6. Free electives to complete requirements for graduation.

BS In Multidisciplinary Studies

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

  1. Foundations curriculum requirements (See Section 4, Foundations Curriculum Requirements for all Baccalaureate Degree Programs.) - 42 s.h.
  2. Core - 42 s.h.
    MULT 3500. Research in Multidisciplinary Studies (3) (WI) (P: Admission to MULT; consent of program director) or comparable structured concentration course.
    MULT 4999. Seminar in Multidisciplinary Studies (3) (WI) (P: MULT 3500; consent of program director) or comparable structured concentration course.
    A minimum of 36 s.h. of approved courses in the major.
  3. Minor or approved structured electives - 24 s.h.
  4. A minimum of 24 s.h. from Sections 2 and 3 must be above 2999.
  5. Free electives to complete requirements for graduation.