Interdisciplinary Major Policy

Westmont College offers twenty-seven departmental and interdepartmental majors. In addition to these officially approved majors, a student who has a particular interest or goal may wish to construct an interdisciplinary major and submit it for approval. The following guidelines should be followed:

  1. The proposal specifying the title and degree (BA or BS General) must be submitted at least three full semesters prior to graduation.
  2. The student must secure a faculty sponsor who can endorse what is proposed as a major and who will attach a letter of support to the proposal described below and will serve as the student’s academic advisor.
  3. The written proposal should be submitted through the faculty member to the Registrar for the Academic Senate’s consideration.
  4. When the title of the proposed major implies competency in a discipline, the student must consult with the corresponding department and secure signed approval from the chair.
  5. The proposal should explain the coherence, breadth, and depth of the major being presented. Students are expected to demonstrate how the courses fit together logically; how they cover the essential components of the field of study; and how they would provide mastery of a body of material comparable in scope to other majors Westmont offers. (It may be helpful–though not required–to show that the courses proposed would constitute a major at other institutions.)
  6. The courses in the proposed Major should be available at Westmont.
  7. Tutorial units should be limited in number according to the Academic Policies Handbook.
  8. Major Honors courses may be included in the major proposal, but the Major Honors project must be approved separately by the appropriate committees.
  9. Total units for the major, the distribution of units between lower and upper division, and limits on transfer units in the major should be within the normal range for existing majors.
  10. In cases where there is standing student and faculty interest but uncertain availability of courses, the full Academic Senate may approve an interdisciplinary major template submitted by a member of the faculty.  Proposals conforming to the template need not include an analysis of the coherence, breadth and depth of the proposed major.  Applications will be approved by the Registrar subject to verification of course availability. 
  11. Aside from approved templates, no appeal may be made to precedent; each application is unique and individual.