Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Georgetown College offers a majors program in interdisciplinary studies that affords a limited number of qualified students the opportunity to pursue a major that integrates several disciplines. The interdisciplinary studies (IDST) major is typically developed during the second semester of the sophomore year with the aid of faculty from the integrated disciplines. The major is restricted to students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5. The program presupposes that most of the student’s core requirements have been fulfilled.

A viable proposal for an IDST major must span two or more departmental programs in the College. Applicants must show that the proposed major cannot be accommodated within an existing departmental major or through the combination of an existing major plus minor. An ordinary faculty member from each of the departments must be involved as a major advisor and thesis reader. The applicant should select a balance of coursework from each discipline. Students who wish to build an IDST major from an approved program or departmental minor must receive approval from the relevant program director or departmental chair.

The proposal should include a 1–2-page introduction to the proposed topic that justifies the major and outlines an intellectual question that guides the course of study. In consultation with faculty advisors, the student should identify 12–14 courses from College departments or programs that deliver breadth and depth in the disciplines to be explored. The curriculum should include 1–2 introductory survey courses appropriate for the proposed major, 3–5 upper-level courses (including both theoretical and practical approaches) for each of the disciplines involved, and a capstone course or senior seminar. Permission for study abroad must be received from the faculty advisors and the dean’s office. A maximum of 2 courses per semester of study abroad may be applied to the major. A senior thesis that integrates the curriculum pursued is required and may be part of the capstone course or may be independent.

Applications for the IDST major should be made in the spring of the sophomore year to the College dean’s office. Students must convey preliminary interest to Dean Bernie Cook, IDST Major Program Director, by February 1 of their sophomore year. Final proposals are due by March 1. Applicants should submit the proposal with signatures of the ordinary faculty advisors as well as the appropriate department chairs. Application forms are available online or in the Office of the Dean, ICC 303.