Individualized Interdisciplinary


Design your own, customized major to explore your varied—but related—interests. Draw on the strengths of multiple academic departments for an education that gives you the best of many worlds.

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Why Pursue an Individualized Interdisciplinary Major?

Interdisciplinary programs combine two or more established academic disciplines. They create a powerful learning experience. The individualized interdisciplinary major (IIM) emphasizes integrative learning, critical thinking, and creative problem solving.

Pursuing an IIM gives you the opportunity to collaborate with a faculty advisor. Together you’ll determine a learning path that aligns with your interests and goals.

What You’ll Learn

When you complete an IIM, what you learn is kind of up to you! Here are some examples of recent IIM topics:

  • Art Theory and Criticism
  • Persuasion and Social Change
  • French Linguistics
  • Chinese Language and Linguistics
  • Movement Fundamentals

The opportunities are limitless.

Official Guidelines

As Luther student, you may propose an individualized interdisciplinary major. You must develop your IIM in close consultation with a faculty advisor. Your proposal should have enough coherence in the disciplines/departments involved to achieve a knowledge base and an understanding of the philosophy and methods comparable to those of a traditional major.

IIM proposals should also meet the following criteria:

  1. GPA. Students should have a GPA of at least 3.00 at the time they submit an IIM proposal. (A person with GPA lower than 3.00 may petition for an exception, providing a rationale for the request.)
  2. Credits. An IIM proposal must have between 30 and 40 credit hours. At least 16 credits in the proposed IIM must be in courses numbered 300 and above. The major must also identify a suitable course to meet the general requirement in writing and specify a suitable senior project (1-4 credits) unless a senior project is completed in conjunction with another major.
  3. Approval. The proposal must be approved by a faculty advisor, in consultation with the heads of the departments from which the courses are drawn. In addition, it must be approved by the Registrar and the Curriculum Committee.
  4. Timing. The student must show when he/she anticipates enrolling in each course included in the major. Each proposed course must be signed by the relevant department head at the time of proposal.
  5. Submission. An IIM proposal, together with an unofficial transcript, should be submitted to the Registrar by October 1st of the student’s Junior year. Students may expect a committee response no later than March 1.
  6. Rationale. Every IIM proposal should be accompanied by a two-page typed rationale in which the student, in close consultation with the faculty advisor, describes how and why the IIM relates to the student’s educational goals, the purpose of these individual courses, the relationship that exists among the courses, and how they fit together to support the proposed major. Courses taken at other institutions that are unavailable at Luther may be included.

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