The Interdisciplinary Major Program Guidelines


Highly qualified students may design an Interdisciplinary Major, with a unified focus, on a topic not available as a regular major. The Interdisciplinary Major consists of courses offered by two or more departments, for a minimum of 42 hours. Students submit a proposal outlining the nature of the major, a list of courses to be included, evidence of a comparable major at another university (and their requirements) if available, and letters from at least two relevant faculty members in different departments supporting the proposal, one of whom must agree to be the student‘s primary adviser. The interdisciplinary major may be declared after the student completes 40 hours; however, planning for the major should begin as early as possible. A second major may not be declared. A minor may be declared; however, courses used in the interdisciplinary major may not also meet requirements in the minor. Students are required to complete an independent senior project, approved and reviewed by the adviser and readers from participating departments. A student who declares an Interdisciplinary Major, but who fails to complete the proposed plan, would still need to complete a regular major to graduate.  Proposals are reviewed by the Open Curriculum Committee.

Guidelines for proposals:

  • If a currently offered major or major/minor combination could satisfy the requirements of the proposed interdisciplinary major, the student should be advised to pursue the established major.
  • Independent studies (other than the senior project) may not be used to fulfill requirements.
  • Courses offered by programs without a major may be used.
  • Proposals for pre-professional majors (such as pre-med) will not be approved. Any student suggesting such a program should be advised to follow one of the paths already established by the departments.
  • Proposed interdisciplinary majors that appear to be designed to avoid particular required courses in established majors will not be approved.
  • Students may declare an approved interdisciplinary major after completing 40 hours. Students may use already completed courses to satisfy the requirements of the major.
  • Completed proposals should be submitted to the Open Curriculum Committee by February 15 to allow sufficient time for review and approval so accepted students may register for the following Fall term.
  • We do expect that students will look to previously approved interdisciplinary majors as models for their own proposals.
  • Interdisciplinary majors may be built on existing interdisciplinary minors; however in keeping with the student-designed aspect of this program, the proposal should demonstrate a focus that is adapted to the particular student‘s interests, and should demonstrate more depth than the minor in at least two disciplines.
  • Students should consult with faculty from relevant departments about the feasibility of completing the proposed courses during their time at Wake Forest, and must secure approval of their proposals by the relevant department chairs. Courses listed in the proposal should be selected from those that are offered regularly at Wake Forest. Alternates for specific courses should be provided, just in case they are not offered.
  • Once a proposal has been approved by the Open Curriculum

    Committee, the registrar will be notified so that the student may register for major courses in relevant departments.



Application Checklist

Interdisciplinary Major Program

Dr. Barry Maine
Dr. Barry Maine Chair of the Open Curriculum Committee Dept. of English, Box 7387 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC 27106-7387

The liberal arts college of Wake Forest University where students explore and integrate the humanities, sciences and fine arts


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