Interdisciplinary Studies Major: Application Process
When and Where to Apply
The completed Interdisciplinary Studies major proposal must be submitted
during the spring semester of the sophomore year (see deadlines below). Direct the
completed proposal to the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at:
Remember that the application approval process requires some time, so you
should plan accordingly. It would be best to submit the proposal early in
your fourth semester.
The application procedure will require you to create an advisory committee,
develop a proposal for a major, and obtain approval for this proposal.
- Advisory Committee. You are responsible for selecting a
principal advisor and two other advisors who will support your proposal.
At least two of these advisors must be full-time members of the Arts and
Sciences faculty with the rank of lecturer or above, at least one of them a
tenure stream member of the A&S Faculty, and they must represent at least
three departments in two of the previously listed five areas. Should one of
your advisors be from outside the Tufts community, a brief indication of his
or her professional affiliation should be included. It is important to
choose advisors who will not be leaving Tufts while your Interdisciplinary
Studies major is in progress. We suggest that you make sure that each
of your advisors is familiar with the information presented in this guide.
- Proposal. This site includes forms for your program proposal. The
proposal should include the following sections:
You will find it useful to consult your advisory committee members several times
while drawing up your proposal. Writing professionals at the Academic Resource
Center and the Chair of the Committee on Curricula can also help you refine, clarify,
and polish your proposal. Note that the Interdisciplinary
Studies Major Application Form requires a substantive statement of support for your proposed program from
each of the three advisors. We suggest that you keep a copy of your proposal
for your own records.
- An overall description of your Interdisciplinary Studies Major.
This should include a preliminary title for your major, a rationale
for why it is an inherently interdisciplinary course of study, a
description of the main problem or problems that you propose to
address through your course of study and why they are significant
problems to address. (Remember that "problem" doesn’t necessarily
mean a social problem, and that "significance" may be defined in
many ways, including but not limited to: theoretical or methodological
significance, topicality, or social, political, cultural,
economic ramifications and so forth).
Sample application >
- The proposed methodology you will use to address this issue.
- A preliminary bibliography of some of the core literature you
would be reading.
- A list of the courses you have taken, are taking, or plan to take
as part of this major.
- A copy of your most recent transcript.
- CIS Faculty Committee. After your application has been
completed, send it via email attachment in Microsoft Word to CIS at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Faculty on this committee are responsible for
reviewing your application, possibly suggesting changes, and ultimately
approving or rejecting your proposal. The committee will contact you
and arrange a time to meet with you to discuss your proposal. If changes are
suggested, more than one such meeting may be required.
For Sophomores: Dates to Review
Fall Sophomore Year
Contact IS Major Committee Chair to set up an appointment to
discuss your ideas.
IS Major Committee Chair 2016/17:
Julie Dobrow, Director for the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
Reach out to potential faculty advisors who may serve on your
advisory committee for your IS Major.
Spring Sophomore Year
By February 26th:
Send a brief email message to CIS at email@example.com
to inform them of your intent to submit a proposal for the Interdisciplinary Studies Major.
By March 7th:
Deadline for your full proposal, including all letters of support
Download the Interdisciplinary Studies Major Application Forms
Send all materials to CIS by email to:
Letters of support should be emailed by the faculty members directly
to CIS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students will be notified if they have qualified for the second
stage of the application process, and will be invited for a
20-minute interview with the IS Major Faculty Committee. This
interview will include the student giving a 4 to 5 minute "elevator
pitch," and explaining to the committee your intellectual goals and
rationale for this Interdisciplinary Studies Major.
The IS Major Faculty Committee decides which proposals that have
qualified for an Interdisciplinary Studies Major. Students are
notified via email.