Special Interdisciplinary Major

The purpose of the Special Interdisciplinary Major (SIM) is to permit exceptional students to complete their degree at Puget Sound through a course of study designed in concert by a faculty committee and the student that draws upon the curricula of two or more departments, schools, or programs. The Special Interdisciplinary Major may be in a recognized interdisciplinary field or in an emergent field. The Special Interdisciplinary Major plan of study must present a coherent program in the liberal arts and include sufficient methodological grounding in the relevant disciplines, as well as sufficient upper division coursework, to provide the student with knowledge and analytic tools sophisticated enough to permit interdisciplinary synthesis, as demonstrated in the senior thesis or project.

The pursuit of a Special Interdisciplinary Major is regarded as preferable for some students to the completion of a double major. Its purpose is not to dilute an existing major.

The Special Interdisciplinary Major is supervised by a principal advisor from a relevant department with a Special Interdisciplinary Major committee of two or more other faculty, one of whom must be from another department. All three faculty committee members supervise implementation, approve changes when necessary, and certify completion.

Steps in the Development of a Special Interdisciplinary Major

Students interested in pursuing the Special Interdisciplinary Major must do the following:

  1. Create a SIM advisory committee composed of three faculty members from departments appropriate to the topic, including one as the principal faculty advisor.
  2. With the SIM advisory committee, develop a SIM application (application forms are available online, in the Registrar's, Associate Deans', and Academic Advising offices).
  3. Submit the proposal to the Curriculum Committee no later than first term, junior year. Proposals submitted to the Curriculum Committee by October 1 or February 15 will be acted upon before registration for the following term.
  4. Complete the program plan approved by the Curriculum Committee. Modifications to the approved SIM program require approval by the SIM Advisory Committee and the Curriculum Committee. The Registrar will be notified of any modifications to the approved SIM program.