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A student-designed minor crosses the traditional divisions of academic study by including courses in two or more departments, being unified by a methodology and culminating in a project that integrates the student's previous coursework.

The integrating project may be a Special Studies that results in an essay or other project, or a senior seminar paper or project. Discuss the integrating project with your advisers.

Planning Your Minor

Your first step is to consult widely among faculty in the field in which you are interested and to speak to your dean.

Remember that in planning a cohesive and persuasive proposal:

  • breadth of study is as important as depth
  • narrowly defined minors in very specific areas of expertise will not be approved



  • 20–24 credits in related courses in more than one department or program, at least one of which offers a minor
  • a maximum of 8 credits may be at the 100 level
  • a minimum of 4 credits must be at the 300 level

Applying & Advisers

Begin the process by speaking to potential advisers and then scheduling an appointment with the senior class dean.

Steps to get your application considered by the Subcommittee on Honors and Independent Programs (SHIP) include:

  1. Fill out the Student-Designed Interdepartmental Minor Application.

    (Word document)

  2. Explain the rationale for your proposed minor (500 to 1,000 words). Explicitly define the problem, subject matter or method of approach that underlies the proposed minor.
  3. List the courses in the proposed minor with an explanation of how each course relates to your overall plan. If you are including special studies courses, list the title(s) and proposed instructor(s).
  4. Make an academic plan: List all the courses you will take, including those for your proposed minor by semester and year for all four years. Include the three-letter department codes, course numbers and titles (for example, MTH 111, Calculus 1). If you are including special studies courses, list the title(s) and proposed instructor(s).


    (Word document)

  5. Obtain letters of support from at least two advisersrepresenting two areas of study central to the minor. At least one adviser must be a tenured member of the faculty and at least one department or program must offer a minor. One of the advisers must be designated as the primary adviser.
  6. Get signatures from your advisers and the chairs of the departments in which they teach. Both chairs must sign and endorse the plan.

Bring your application and all signed supporting documents to the class deans office, College Hall 101.

The deadlines for consideration of student-designed minors are October 15February 1 and March 15. If any of these deadlines falls on a weekend day (Saturday or Sunday) the due date will be on that Monday. SHIP will inform you of its decision before course registration for the following semester.

If you miss one of the due dates, your proposal will be considered after the next due date. SHIP will review your application and notify you of its decision by email before registration for the following semester.



You need two advisers, one from each of the departments or programs. One of these advisers should be designated as the primary adviser.

Changes to Course Plan

Once your interdepartmental minor has been approved, you must inform the senior class dean of any later revisions of your course plan after you have consulted with your advisers and they have approved the change.

More Information

If you have questions, speak to the senior class dean.