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Process for Proposing an Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM)

What follows are the steps to propose and seek approval for an Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM).

Simpson College offers a process that enables exceptional students who have passion and drive for a particular problem, interdisciplinary theme, or professional area that cannot be addressed within a standing Simpson College major or minor to design and seek EPCC approval of an independent interdisciplinary major proposal. All such proposals must be fully reviewed and passed by EPCC to be pursued. It is the student’s responsibility to submit all completed applications and seek faculty support in a timely manner, meet with the IIM Coordinator and the IIM Committee (simply an advisory committee), and present their proposal to EPCC for consideration. Guidelines and forms for this process are included below.

To propose an IIM, students must have a strong academic record demonstrated by a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must also request two letters of recommendation from faculty or staff to demonstrate the seriousness of purpose, and an ability to work independently and in a dialogue with faculty advisors.

Students are often well-served by examining interdisciplinary programs of quality in place at other institutions to use as models or interdisciplinary study recommendations of graduate or professional programs in which they are interested. Students can submit a proposal for an IIM after the completion of the first year and before the second semester of the junior year.

The major will include a minimum of 11 courses and a maximum of 14 courses including a senior project.

The course list should include options that allow for changes in course availability. The course list must include

  • No more than four 100-level courses
  • At least four 300-level courses
  • No more than two independent studies, not including the senior project
  • The courses must span at least two academic departments.

No more than 4 courses may be counted as part of the IIM and any other major or minor. Other requirements common to all majors (minimum GPA, etc.) also apply to the IIM.

A senior project is required as a capstone experience for the IIM. The student, in consultation with student-chosen advisory board, will design the senior project, which must be appropriate for the field of study. Possibilities include advanced readings in the field, undergraduate research, a performance or an internship.

IIM Application