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Degree Requirements

The Multidisciplinary Studies major is built around a thematic program of study that encompasses two or three disciplines, one of which must be in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program will consist of a minimum of 36 credits in the selected disciplines, 30 of which must be at the 300 level or above and constitute the Core courses of the major. Ordinarily, the upper level credits will be evenly split between two disciplines. (Experiential learning and courses in pedagogy may not be included in the 300- and 400- level courses.) Only three credits of either independent study or directed study may be included in the 36 credits of Core courses, although students may petition for approval to include additional credits under exceptional circumstances.

To become a Multidisciplinary Studies major, students must, before the end of the Junior year:

  • Identify a faculty member who will act as academic advisor and who, along with the Director, will assist in the design of the new program. The student must develop a plan of study which does not duplicate existing degrees on campus. In addition, the student should be able to define and defend a clear need for an alternative program of study.
  • Write a one-page description of the proposed program of study and complete a change of major form with the Director. The description should include the learning objectives of the program, a justification for developing the program in lieu of existing degrees, and a description of the field of study.
  • Develop, with the faculty advisor and Program Director, a Contract containing the description and a list of the courses that will comprise the program. Substitution for courses in the Contract is allowed with prior approval.
  • Once the contract has been authorized by the student's faculty advisor and the Program Director, the student must obtain approval from the chairpersons of the departments offering the core courses in the plan of study.
  • Interested students should contact the Director of Multidisciplinary Studiesat kcurow@umassd.edu.

Multidisciplinary Studies Major

BA degree

For the BA degree, students must satisfy all College of Arts and Sciences requirements for that degree along with the program of courses listed in the Contract.

Multidisciplinary Studies Major

BS degree

For the BS degree, students must satisfy all College of Arts and Sciences requirements for that degree, along with the program of courses listed in the Contract. The Contract must contain the components of either of the two options given below:

Option 1

  • 36 credits in two or three sciences*, 30 of which are at the 300-level or higher.
  • A two semester sequence of mathematics, if mathematics is not a component of the above requirement.

Option 2

  • 15 credits at the 300-level or above in one or two sciences.
  • 15 credits at the 300-level or above in one or two disciplines other than the sciences.
  • 9 credits in sciences at any level, other than disciplines included in the first requirement.
  • A two-semester sequence of mathematics, if mathematics is not a component of the first or third requirements above.

* For these options, "sciences" include Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Information Science, Mathematics, Medical Laboratory Science, and Physics.

College and University Studies Requirements

Students majoring in Multidisciplinary Studies must pay special attention to selecting courses so as to satisfy both their general education or University Studies as well as their College Studies requirements. Courses used to satisfy major and college distribution requirements may also be used to satisfy specific University General Education or University Studies requirements.

Students are ultimately responsible for meeting all College Studies and University Studies or General Education requirements and should consult with their advisors on both major and and other requirements.

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