Multifield

The multi-field major program is designed for students who wish to study intensively in a multidisciplinary field but cannot achieve this goal through an existing departmental or interdisciplinary major. The multi-field program provides an opportunity for students to design their own program of study.

A student intending to pursue a multi-field major must submit a proposal for his or her individual plan of study to the Academic Advising Committee. Submission of a proposal does not guarantee acceptance into the program; the proposal must be approved by the committee. The proposed program must be an integrated plan of study for the junior and senior years that incorporates course work from a minimum of two departments or fields. The proposal must be signed by at least one faculty member in each field; one member of the faculty in that program or field will serve as the student’s primary academic advisor. This advisor will have the same responsibility as a departmental advisor. After the proposal has been approved by the academic advising committee, any subsequent changes from those courses specified in the proposal must be approved by the student’s advisor and submitted in writing to the committee before the student begins to follow his or her new course plan.

A proposal for a multi-field major should be submitted during the student’s sophomore year. The latest a student may submit a proposal is in the third week of the second semester of his or her junior year.

A student entering the multi-field program must fulfill the distribution, unit and GPA requirements for graduation. A student must have a 2.0 overall GPA to be admitted to the program and must maintain a 2.0 cumulative average in his or her multi-field major to continue in the program. Students should be aware that certain courses carry prerequisites and that these apply to the multifield major as well as the departmental major.

A proposal for a multi-field major is both a description of the academic plan and a commitment to adhere to the objectives stated in the plan. A proposal must contain:

1. A narrative section that describes the academic purposes of the program. The description must include a specific and detailed explanation of the question or area of interest that is the focus of the proposal. Also, the narrative must clearly and coherently demonstrate how the courses included in the proposal constitute an integrated, in-depth study of the question or interest. Proposals that display an ambiguous focus and randomly selected courses from unrelated fields of study will be rejected.

2. A completed Form A, available online, which lists:
a. a minimum of two fields of study;
b. a minimum of four semester units in each field;
c. at least one advanced semester unit (300-level or above) in each field;
d. at least six advanced semester units within the chosen fields of study.

Form A must include the signatures of faculty sponsors in each field listed. One of these faculty sponsors must be designated as the primary academic advisor.

3. A current academic transcript. Students choosing the multi-field major program are encouraged but not required to pursue an interdisciplinary, independent project (Multifield 489 and/or 490) as part of the major.

This project allows the student to pursue independent work in his or her area of interest as defined by the original proposal and should demonstrate the interrelationships among the fields comprising the multi-field major. The project can be submitted as one of the six advanced semester units and its focus should be described briefly in the proposal. Projects are normally undertaken during the senior year.

A student may graduate with honors from the multi-field major program. Honors for the multifield major requires a 3.5 GPA in the multi-field major, satisfactory completion of an interdisciplinary, independent project (Multi-field 490) and the presentation of its results in some academic forum. The student must also receive the recommendation of his or her advisors.