All Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) majors require an application, and not all applicants are accepted.
While student-designed majors are accepted on a rolling admission basis, center-established majors are not. Center-established majors apply to the CIS during sophomore year. Most CIS majors begin the process before choosing spring semester courses and apply between October and January, though the final deadline for applications is the Friday before spring break at noon.
The first step is to meet with at least two faculty members and discuss your idea for a major. At this point, you should have a strong sense of your academic plans, and which adviser(s) you would like to work with closely.
If you are applying for a center-established major, you should download a copy of the posted curriculum and be prepared to talk about how you plan to fit the necessary courses into your schedule. This includes fulfillment of Ways of Knowing requirements, other courses needed for your plans (i.e., premedicine courses), and education abroad possibilities (if applicable). You would need either one or two advisers (depending upon the curriculum); for student-designed majors, two advisers are necessary.
The relationship between CIS majors and their advisers is crucial to their success. In most cases, you will have already taken a course with potential adviser(s). You must also get support from your potential adviser(s) to serve as an adviser(s), and review the curriculum and your academic plans with your adviser(s), even if you select a center-established major. You should also discuss whether or not the capstone experience in your senior year will be a thesis, a project or a comprehensive examination.
Application forms are available in the Registrar's office. The application forms for center-established majors and student-designed majors differ slightly; please read the titles at the top of the documents. The application includes courses in the curriculum, a brief explanation for the necessity of a CIS major, and key signatures from the director, the advisers, and the Registrar. Capstone experiences (thesis, project or examination) almost always change over the course of study, and are only meant to help guide you in selecting required classes, planning for education abroad, finding resources for the capstone, and other tasks.
The CIS committee (consisting of one faculty representative from the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, as well as the CIS director who chairs the committee) will evaluate your application. You will then be contacted by the CIS director about admission to a CIS major.