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Tufts University

Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a GPA minimum for IS major applications?
Candidates who are applying for an Interdisciplinary Major should have a minimum GPA of 3.4. A full list of requirements and application process can be found on the CIS website.

Can IS majors double major or minor in other programs?
There are no rules prohibiting an IS major, second major, and interdisciplinary minor. A student may only do one disciplinary minor but as many interdisciplinary minors as s/he likes. The only rules in place are to prevent too much overlap:

  1. a student cannot pursue both a major and a minor in the same discipline, and
  2. the IS Major may not double count more than two credits from their Interdisciplinary Studies Major towards another major or minor. If the minor is too similar to the IS major or the other major, this could be a problem.

The IS major also prohibits triple majors.

What kinds of topics topics have students undertaken as IS majors?
A few sample topics from recent years include:

  • Children's Entertainment Media (combining Child Development, Communications and Drama);
  • Linguistics (combining Philosophy, Child Development, and Psychology)
  • BioDramatics (combining Biology, Drama and Communications)
  • International Urban Development (combining History, UEP, and Art History)

Students may view past Senior Honors Thesis online at the Tufts Digital Collections and Archives. Students are also welcome to read any past Senior Honors Theses, which are kept in the CIS office. Contact: Julie Dobrow to set up an appointment.

Must the faculty advisors serving IS majors be full-time faculty?
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.

Can IS majors study abroad?
There are no restrictions on IS Majors interested in studying abroad. Students must plan their coursework accordingly and remain in contact with their faculty advisors in order to be sure they are on track with completing the requirements of there IS Major.

What is an oral defense?
The Oral Defense meeting must take place by the last day of reading period. This one-hour meeting is an opportunity for student and the Faculty Advisors serving on the students committee together to discuss and assess achievements and reflect on areas for improvement. The faculty advisors jointly grade the project at that time and assign the level of honors received for the Thesis.