Students accepted into the Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Studies program should use this information as a general guideline for completing the program requirements. Please note, deadlines vary slightly from year to year:


Fall semester
If you are thinking about studying abroad or about graduating a semester early, it is very important that you plan ahead. The Interdisciplinary Major requires a two-semester thesis/capstone project. This course must be taken in consecutive semesters and cannot be taken over the summer or while abroad. Both sections of the thesis course are offered each semester. So, for example, if you plan to graduate in December of your senior year, take the Thesis A course in spring of your junior year and Thesis B in your final fall semester. Arrange meetings with the primary faculty advisor on a regular basis and meet with the entire committee at least once per semester.

Early November
Register for courses. Look for future course offerings to see if they fit your initial plan of study. Make adjustments with advice from your faculty committee and approval from your primary advisor. Any major changes to your course of study must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Studies Committee.

Spring semester
Start to formulate thesis proposal. If applicable, begin to put together an IRB (Institutional Review Board) proposal.

Early April
Register for courses.


Fall semester

Arrange a meeting with your full committee to develop goals for the thesis and establish a specific timeline for completion, including due dates for handing in drafts, completing the final project, and meeting for an oral defense. At this meeting you will submit a thesis proposal with a working title, thesis statement, and description of proposed research.

IS Majors Senior Checklist
Student Forms - Includes Senior Honors Thesis Candidate Form,
Major Info Sheet
Thesis Proposal Template

Enrollment for Thesis 
Students must decide with their committees whether they will be enrolling in the honors section of the thesis project (CIS 195) or the non-honors section (CIS 95). A designation of “honors thesis” means that the work will be longer and more in-depth than the “non-honors thesis” designation. Students are required to enroll in two consecutive semesters of whichever thesis course they select, A and B sections, with the 8 SHUs being given in the second semester of the course. A and B sections of both thesis courses are offered every semester, but not over the summer. Students are not permitted to take this course while studying abroad. Therefore, it is very important to plan ahead.

*Note: CIS 95/195 (Honors) is a year-long course. Students must re-register for CIS 95/195 for the following spring semester.

Honors Thesis (CIS 195) Eligibility
The designation of whether a thesis or capstone work will be considered an honors thesis is usually determined between the student and their committee members.

If you choose to do an Honors Thesis (CIS 195), you and your primary advisor must complete the Senior Honors Thesis Candidate Form, available from the Registrar. For department write "CIS" and for the Chairperson write your primary advisor for your IS major.

Students to indicate Phase II department assignment to graduate. Students and advisors complete Degree Sheets, available from the Registrar, and the Major Checklist. Both forms must be signed by your primary advisor and the CIS Director, Julie Dobrow. Return the completed forms to Student Services, Dowling Hall. Copies must also be brought to CIS, Braker Hall, Room 308..

Senior Thesis Timeline

Spring Semester

Primary Advisor
Meet with your primary advisor at least 3-4 times during the semester. Such contact may be maintained by other means such as email, with the proviso that such communication is substantive and that the student keeps a journal print-out of the email exchange.

Second/Third Advisors
Consult with and keep the second and third advisors on your committee apprised of progress and concerns throughout the semester; two meetings are recommended, but are not required.

End of April/beginning of May
Arrange for a one- hour defense with your entire committee. Prepare a presentation of your work for the annual "IS Talks" night. File a copy of your final thesis with the CIS Office and with the Tufts Archival Research Center.

Apply for graduation