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Student Initiated Interdepartmental Major

The SIIM program exists to meet the needs of undergraduate students whose intellectual curiosity and career aspirations will not be best served simply by completing existing major and minor offerings. The SIIM provides enhanced curricular flexibility and enables students to creatively examine their academic interests from a wider yet focused perspective - across disciplines - and without being constrained by requirements inappropriate to their needs.

Recently approved SIIM's include plans in Arabic Studies, Arts Management and Women's Studies (combining literature and modern language study).

The SIIM is administered by the Interdepartmental Programs Committee. Please visit the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences (106 Dunn Hall) for the contact information of the current committee chair.

30-42 credit hours required.


Program proposals must be developed by students in consultation with the Chair of the Interdepartmental Programs Committee and their faculty advisers. The faculty advisers are responsible for developing the plan of study with the student and then for supervising the student?s progress through the study plan.

SIIM programs should be approved by the end of the sophomore year. Therefore, it is recommended that the plan of study be initiated during the fall semester of the sophomore year. Proposals will be accepted for review during fall semester until November 15 and during spring semester until April 15. SIIM proposals will not be accepted from students who have completed ninety (90) or more credit hours.

The SIIM proposal will incorporate an outline of the proposed area of study, a list of courses that the student intends to pursue and a written statement justifying the plan of study. The minimal academic requirements for a SIIM proposal are as follows:


  1. Each major must include a minimum of 30 credit hours but cannot exceed a maximum of 42 credit hours.
  2. At least 75 percent of the SIIM program must carry liberal arts credit.
  3. A minimum of 15 credit hours of upper-division (300 and 400 level) courses must be chosen from at least two departments within the major.
  4. Each major must include a seminar or specially directed tutorial study which reflects the student's interdepartmental interests. Such course is to be included in the 30-42 credit hours of the major.
  5. All courses in the major program must be completed with a grade of 2.0 or better.

Cognate Requirements

All collateral requirements for the major must be specified and these requirements cannot exceed 16 credit hours. All collateral courses must be completed with a grade of 2.0 or better.

Special Notes

  1. Admission to the SIIM requires:
    • Completion of the SIIM Proposal Form, submitted to the contact person
    • Additional documentation, including a current transcript.
    • Approval of the proposed plan of study by the Committee, based upon the plan's quality and the student's ability to carry it out.
  2. The proposed plan of study must contain:
    • A detailed outline describing the anticipated interdisciplinary area of study.
    • A list of all courses involved, including prerequisites and cognate requirements (if relevant).
    • A written statement justifying the plan of study.
    • Evidence that the student has consulted with faculty from all departments involved.
    • Evidence of support from a faculty adviser who will supervise the student's progress.