Student-Designed Majors and Minors

A student-designed multidisciplinary major or minor must be liberal arts in spirit and content, must be comprised of at least three disciplines, and must fall within the competence of the College faculty. The student prepares, in consultation with faculty advisors, a written proposal demonstrating a coherent progression of study. The proposal must include a statement of intellectual rationale for the proposed field of study, an outline of courses already taken, and a complete plan of proposed courses. Proposals are written in consultation with the Director of CIS and faculty sponsors based in departments related to the proposed major/minor. If the plan is approved, the faculty sponsors and the CIS Director serve as an advisory committee responsible for approving changes in the major plan and giving guidance to the student undertaking the program. Students may design their major/minor from scratch, or use a faculty-designed template, or generic plan, as a basis for their course work and study Multidisciplinary majors require that integration of knowledge be an essential curricular goal. It is the responsibility of students and their faculty advisers to state explicitly how this goal will be met and how the student will demonstrate that it has been met.

Architectural Studies

Students may plan a multidisciplinary major/minor to approach the study of architecture from multiple perspectives of relevant, selected disciplines and area studies: Studio Art, Visual Art History, Physics, Computer Assisted Design, and so forth. Majors are able to develop skills in studio practices, as well as gain an understanding of the domestic and global conditions for the practice, design, and building of structures. Major or Minor.

Business, Ethics, and Society

Explore the institution of business through an interdisciplinary lens. Building from a foundation in economics, accounting, and values, the minor in Business, Ethics, and Society will guide you through coursework in a broad range of social science and humanities disciplines to address central questions about the role of business in a just and flourishing society.  

Business is one of the dominant institutions in contemporary society. Regardless of whether you will participate in business or simply live in a society deeply shaped by it, the interdisciplinary minor in Business, Ethics, and Society will help you gain a deeper understanding of what it is, what it does, and what it could – and should – become.

Catholic Studies

Students plan a sequence of courses to develop an understanding of the intellectual tradition and social teaching of Catholicism. Towards this end they may take courses in philosophy, theology, history, art, literature, sociology, and other appropriate offerings. Such multidisciplinary study offers an opportunity to engage Catholicism comprehensively as a living faith expressed in a wide diversity of contexts and cultures. Major or minor.

Italian Studies

Students may broaden their knowledge of Italian culture by taking a variety of courses that focus on the literature, art, history, and politics of Italy. The courses may concentrate on different periods of Italian civilization from antiquity to the present and may be conducted in English or Italian. Students who pursue Italian Studies as a major must have a foundation in Italian language, which is an essential element of culture, and therefore must complete the Italian language cycle (through ITAL 301 Italian Comp & Conv). Major or minor.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Students may focus a program of study on the cultural and political life of the pre-modern and early modern world. Spanning a period from the fourth to 17th centuries in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, an interdisciplinary study of this historical epoch offers a foundation for understanding the interaction of cultures and religious traditions. Major or minor.

Middle Eastern Studies

Middle Easter Studies focuses on historical developments, political systems, cultural traditions, religious diversity, and domestic and foreign policy issues related to the region. Minor only.


The College has recently established a new interdisciplinary student designed template minor in Neuroscience, drawing on psychology, biology, and related disciplines. Minor only.

Russian and Eastern European Studies

Students take courses in history, language, literature, and political science, in an attempt to analyze the distinctive traits of Russia and its people and/or the Eastern European countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union or the Soviet sphere of influence. Major or minor.