Interdisciplinary Studies Self-Design Bachelor of Arts Major
Upcoming Application Deadlines for the Self-Design Degree:
Monday, October 7, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
The Interdisciplinary Studies Self-Design Major program exists to allow undergraduate students to design a Major in an area of academic interest that crosses disciplinary boundaries.
Admission to the Self-Design Major program is by application only. The first step for the student who wishes to enter the program is to identify a faculty advisor. This advisor will assist the student to develop an academically sound Major in an interdisciplinary area. If the student is not able to identify a Major Advisor, Ms. Sandy Stallings [phone: 919-515-9739], Program Director for the Self-Design Major Committee, can help students identify an appropriate advisor.
The student completes an application for the Self-Design program (form and instructions below) with assistance from the advisor. The application must be approved by the Self-Design Major Committee. This committee meets twice a semester to review applications. Contact Ms. Sandy Stallings for details [phone: 919-515-9739].
The Application (which MUST be typed or word-processed) consists of:
- A list of concentration courses for your Major (30 credit hours)
- A description of your Major explaining (1) what you want to learn, (2) how these courses fit that goal, and (3) why you want to learn these things
- A worksheet listing the courses you plan to take to meet the basic requirements for students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS)
- A current automated degree audit (ADA) and an unofficial transcript
A semester-by-semester plan of study
Guidelines for Selecting Courses for your Concentration:
- The courses selected must make one coherent academic course of study. The description (see below) of your concentration that you submit as part of your application package will make clear how the courses are related to each other and to the theme (title) of your concentration. A proposal that consists of five courses in one discipline and four courses in another discipline, without an adequate explanation of their relationship, is not a interdisciplinary studies concentration and will not be approved.
The courses included in the concentration must total 30 credit hours from at least two disciplines. No more than 15 hours in the concentration may come from a single discipline. At least 5 courses must be from the humanities and social sciences, defined as follows:
- Courses offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Economics courses (College of Management)
- Courses on the General Education Requirement (GER) or the General Education Plan (GEP) lists of humanities and social science courses
- At least 3 of these 5 courses must be taught in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS)
- No more than 12 hours of concentration courses should consist of transfer credits.
- The concentration must include 8 courses at the 300 and 400 levels and at least 2 of the courses must be at the 400 level. The concentration will not, as a rule, include 100-level courses. Foreign language courses at the 202-level and above may be allowed in the concentration. Students who wish to include a 500- or 600-level course must submit written permission to take the class from the instructor with their application package.
- At least 18 hours of concentration courses must be begun after the date when your application is approved. Students are encouraged to apply to the program as early as possible.
- Students who use independent studies (except for the independent studies listed in number 7), special topics courses, internships, studios, and practicum courses must submit attachments to the application with a full description of these courses, explaining their relevance to the concentration.
- Of the 30 credit hours, 3 will consist of IDS 490, Interdisciplinary Methods and Issues, to be taken in the senior year. The 3-credit course will involve readings in interdisciplinary thought, service learning, a 30-hour service experience with a community partner, and a final presentation.
- Students may not include in their Major concentration courses for which they do not have the prerequisites or any other necessary qualification to take the course, unless they submit written permission to take the course from the course instructor with their application package.
- The concentration as approved by the Self-Design Major Committee is fixed. Substitutions are sometimes possible, but only if the request for the substitution and the reason for it are submitted in writing with the endorsement of the advisor prior to the time you begin the course.
The Description of Your Concentration
The application calls for a description of your concentration. The description will include the title for your concentration and a brief explanation of what it means. In addition, the description must include:
WHAT you want to learn
- List 4 or 5 learning outcomes. This list MUST consist of five continuations of the sentence, "At the end of this program I will know...". These are your educational objectives--what you want to know at the completion of the program. Under each objective list the prefix, number and title of the courses that will help you toward the outcome. It is fine to list courses under more than one learning outcome.
- It is very important that the 4 or 5 learning outcomes make a coherent group. Choose your words carefully so that this coherence is clear. When appropriate, outcomes three and four will build on the first or second outcomes, or both.
Please note that learning outcomes are different from career objectives. Although you may want to take the concentration courses in order to have the credentials and the knowledge for a particular profession, you should not include career objectives in this part of the application.
HOW you will learn what you want to learn
- Indicate how each of the learning outcomes will be met by identifying the courses that will help you achieve each learning outcome.
- Several courses in your proposed concentration may help you work toward a particular educational objective, and each course may help you achieve more than one objective.
- When it is not obvious how a particular course will help you achieve the learning outcome with which it is linked, you will need to give a fuller description of the course’s contents than the catalog does.
WHY you want to achieve the learning outcomes identified
- Follow up the list of learning outcomes and courses associated with them with any further explanation you and your advisor think the Self-Design Major Committee will find helpful. Explain your theme and its significance.
- For example, you may want to identify the social context that explains why it is important for some people, and you in particular, to have the opportunity to pursue the learning outcomes you have listed. Explain your background and future interests in the field.
- Consult your advisor and work with him or her closely as you develop the title for your concentration, your courses, your learning outcomes and your explanatory remarks.
Additional Requirements in your Application Package
- A worksheet listing how you plan to fulfill the CHASS basic requirements. Although the Committee wants to see this worksheet, the Committee’s approval of your program does not imply that the courses listed on the worksheet meet these requirements. You may make alterations from the courses on the worksheet without the Committee’s approval, but you must be careful to choose courses that really do meet the specific requirements.
- A copy of your ADA (Automated Degree Audit) and an unofficial transcript.
- A semester-by-semester plan of study for the semesters following the current one. Please give both course numbers AND course titles.
- You must pass the courses in your concentration with the grade of C- or better, and the grade point average (GPA) of courses in your concentration must be 2.0 or better in order to graduate with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies.
- In order to be admitted into the program you must have a GPA of 2.0 or better.
- The program is open only to students who have already been admitted to North Carolina State University. One cannot apply to the University as a Self-Design Major.
- The Self-Design Major program is one of the programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS), so students in the program must meet all the general education requirements for CHASS Majors.
- None of the concentration courses for your Self-Design Major concentration can count toward the general education requirements.
- Only one of the courses in the Self-Design Major concentration may also be counted as a course in a minor. Courses in the minor may count toward CHASS general education requirements or free electives.
- The Self-Design Major Committee meets twice each semester. In order to have your application considered, you must submit it by the deadline set by the Committee. Typically these times are late September and early November, mid February and mid March.
Members of the Self-Design Major Committee:
- Chair: Sandra Stallings, Communication
- Cathy Crossland, Curriculum and Instruction
- Deidre Crumbley, Africana Studies
- John Mertz, Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Bob Patterson, Crop Science