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Student-Designed Interdisciplinary Major (SDIM)

The Student-Designed Interdisciplinary Major (SDIM) is an option available to students whose academic goals are not adequately served by any major, or combination of majors, second majors, and minors, available in the College of Arts and Sciences or in one of the professional schools.

Students selecting the SDIM option must satisfy all College Additional Requirements and meet all University academic regulations. The option may not be used as a way of circumventing the requirements of an established major, and SDIM Plans (see below) that constitute only minor changes to an existing major will not be approved. An SDIM Plan must represent a coherent academic program of study, not simply a collection of courses assembled to enable a student to obtain a degree.

The procedure for requesting approval of an SDIM is as follows:

  1. A faculty member in the College must agree to serve as the student’s advisor, to take responsibility for helping the student design a plan of study and for monitoring the student’s progress. A student who wishes to pursue an SDIM, but is unsure which faculty to ask to serve as his or her advisor, should consult initially with the Associate Dean of the College, Room 100, Foust Building.
  2. The student and the advisor devise a Plan of Study for the major. The Plan consists of:
    1. A brief paragraph describing the aims and intentions of the proposed major, and explaining why no existing major or combination of majors, second majors, or minors can be used to pursue those aims;
    2. A list of courses (minimum of 27 credits) that will constitute the major;
    3. Either a list of courses or a narrative paragraph explaining how the student will satisfy (or has satisfied) the College’s Liberal Education, foreign language, and writing-intensive requirements.
    The student’s advisor should ensure that courses included in the Plan are in fact offered with reasonable frequency; not all courses listed in the Bulletin will be available with sufficient frequency to ensure timely graduation.
  3. The Plan is initially submitted to the Associate Dean of the College for review. The Associate Dean will ensure that the Plan meets all the requirements noted above and will send copies of the approved Plan to the student, the major advisor, and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
  4. A student planning to graduate with an SDIM should submit the Plan of Study for review as soon as possible, but in any case prior to registering for the last 45 semester hours needed for graduation.
  5. Any changes to the Plan after it has been submitted must be approved by the Associate Dean, who will forward the modified Plan to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Generally, modifications will only be approved because some of the approved courses have become unavailable or because a new course appears to be better suited to the Plan than one that was originally included.

This page was last updated on June 8, 2011.