Submit an IS Major Proposal

The Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Studies program proposal must be submitted during the spring semester of your sophomore year. Email your proposal to the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Fall Sophomore Year

  • Contact CIS Director to set up an appointment to discuss your ideas.
  • Reach out to potential faculty advisors who may serve on your advisory committee for your IS Major.

Spring Sophomore Year

  • By February 1st:
    Email CIS to inform them of your intent to submit a proposal for the Interdisciplinary Studies major.
  • By February 15th:
    Deadline to submit full proposal, including all letters of support and transcript.
  • Late February:
    You will be notified if you have qualified for the second stage of the application process, and will be invited for a 20-minute interview with the IS Major Faculty Committee. This interview will include a 4 to 5 minute "elevator pitch," and explaining to the committee your intellectual goals and rationale for this Interdisciplinary Studies major.
  • Early March:
    The IS Major Faculty Committee decides which proposals have qualified for an Interdisciplinary Studies major. Students are notified via email. Note:  depending on the number of applicants, it is possible that not all IS interviews will be complete by the date sophomores need to declare a major. We will make every effort to accommodate students so that they can declare IS as a major, but it is possible that you will need to declare a different major and then switch if your IS major is approved.

Application Procedure

IS Major Checklist and Application Form

Sample Proposals: sample one | sample two

In order to apply to major in Interdisciplinary Studies, you must:

  1. Create an three-member advisory committee
  2. Develop a proposal for a major
  3. Obtain approval for your proposal

Advisory Committee

You are responsible for selecting a principal advisor and two other advisors who will support your proposal. At least two of these advisors must be full-time faculty members of the School of Arts and Sciences (including SMFA at Tufts), at least one of them a tenure-stream member of the A&S Faculty, and they must represent three different departments. If one of your advisors is from outside the Tufts community, a brief explanation of his/her/their professional affiliation should be included.

Note: Be sure to choose advisors who will not be leaving Tufts while your Interdisciplinary Studies major is in progress. We suggest that you make sure that each of your advisors is familiar with the information presented in this guide.

On occasion, it might be necessary to make a change in the faculty advisory committee If you must make a change, be sure to inform the CIS Director.


The proposal should include:

  1. A description of your proposed Interdisciplinary Studies major. This should include a preliminary title for your major, a rationale for why it is an interdisciplinary course of study, a description of the main problem(s) that you propose to address through your course of study and why they are significant to address. (Remember that "problem" doesn’t necessarily mean a social problem, and that "significance" may be defined in many ways, including but not limited to: theoretical or methodological significance, topicality, or social, political, cultural, economic ramifications and so forth). Sample Proposals: sample one | sample two
  2. The methodology you will use to address this issue.
  3. A preliminary bibliography of some of the core literature you would be reading.
  4. A list of the courses you have taken, are taking, or plan to take as part of this major. (Note:  this is a blueprint. Students often make changes to their course selections; this is acceptable but changes must be sent in writing to the CIS office).
  5. A copy of your most recent transcript.
  6. Letters of support from all three faculty members you wish to have on your committee.

You will find it useful to consult your advisory committee members several times while drawing up your proposal. Writing professionals at the Student Accessibility and Academic Resources (StAAR) Center and the Chair of the Committee on Curricula can also help you refine, clarify, and polish your proposal. We suggest that you keep a copy of your proposal for your own records.

CIS Faculty Committee

Faculty on this committee are responsible for reviewing your application, possibly suggesting changes, and ultimately approving or rejecting your proposal. The committee will contact you and arrange a time to meet and discuss your proposal. If changes are suggested, more than one such meeting may be required.