Program Director: Dr. Lois Daly
Interdisciplinary Major Committee: Ms. Jennifer Fairall, Dr. Jason Hofstein, Prof. Deb Kelly, Dr. Tom Swan
The Student Designed Interdisciplinary Major (SDIM) is a rigorous program for highly motivated students who have a clear plan, the creativity, and the determination to chart their own course of study. It is designed for students who have an interest other than the ones covered by traditional majors. SDIM can be a primary major or a second major.
Working closely with faculty, students will design a major that includes courses from at least 3 different departments, with no more than 15 credits from a single department, and which has no more than 12 credits of independent studies. The major is a minimum of 39 credits and includes a required Research Colloquium and Capstone (6 credits). Students in this major will earn a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration noted on the transcript.
Interested students must apply to the Interdisciplinary Major Committee after earning 24 credits at Siena and achieving Siena GPA of 3.0 or better. Transfer students may be admitted to the program at the discretion of the Committee. Application includes a one page rationale for the plan of study, a list of possible courses (minimum 39 credits including the Research Colloquium and Capstone), letter of recommendation from a fulltime/continuing faculty member who will serve as the student’s advisor, additional faculty for the mentoring group, 4-6 specific learning outcomes grounded in the college-wide learning outcomes, and a resume.
The Interdisciplinary Major Committee will review each proposal. It may reject, approve, or approve with qualifications. Students will be encouraged to submit their proposals at the earliest date possible. Once the course of study is established by the Committee, changes to the plan can only be made with the approval of the faculty advisor in consultation with the Interdisciplinary Major Committee.
Once the project is accepted, each student will work with an advisor and at least two additional faculty members within a Mentoring Group. The advisor and student will work together to set up this group which is comprised of appropriate faculty members from various departments that correspond to the subject to be studied. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.3 or better in the major to remain in this major. A 3 credit hour Research Colloquium is preparation for the 3 credit hour Capstone experience which includes a thesis project. The thesis is written under the direction of the faculty advisor. These two courses (SDIM 350 . and SDIM 400 .) are 6 of the credits required for the major. Students will offer a thesis “Defense” which will be open to the public.