Interdisciplinary Major

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 must 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 at least one letter of support from a faculty member who has agreed to be the student’s research advisor. A second faculty member must agree to advise the student on the project as well, and although a letter of support from this second faculty member is not required, it is encouraged. 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 advisor 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 Interdisciplinary Majors 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, pre-business, or entrepreneurship) will not be approved. Studens who wish to pursue these types of programs will be advised to follow one of the paths already established by college 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 Interdisciplinary Majors Committee by February 15 to allow sufficient time for review and approval so accepted students may register for the following Fall term.
  • Students should 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. 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 CurriculumCommittee, the registrar will be notified so that the student may register for major courses in relevant departments.

Application Checklist

  • Minimum 3.3 GPA required
  • A written proposal with the name of interdisciplinary major, focus, and justification
  • List of courses (must include more courses than are actually required)
  • List of requirements for this major at another institution (if available)
  • Faculty letters of support: one required, two preferred
    • Include a signed letter of support by a faculty advisor who has agreed to be the research advisor and direct the senior project
    • If possible, include a letter of support from a second faculty advisor from a separate department
  • Official or unofficial transcripts

Applications due by February 15
of the student’s sophomore year.

Contact
Dr. Eric Stottlemyer
Chair of the Interdisciplinary Majors Committee
Office of the Dean of the College
104 Reynolda Hall
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27106-7387
stottlem@nullwfu.edu