Were you considering applying to Siena, but then didn’t see a major that appealed to you? Wait, don’t cross us off your list! With our Student Designed Interdisciplinary Major (SDIM), you could potentially have the opportunity to create your own plan of study and earn a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (with a specific concentration noted on your transcript). Here's how it works.
What is the Student Designed Interdisciplinary Major? In a nutshell, the SDIM is for students who are interested in studying something that isn’t covered by our traditional majors. It's a rigorous program that works well for highly motivated, independent self-starters, and can be a primary or secondary major. With determination and creativity, students get the freedom to chart out the course of their studies.
What would my experience be like? At the start, you'd plan out your entire academic program with your faculty advisor, including what classes you'd take. From there, you would choose courses from at least three different academic departments to complete your designed major. You’d also work closely with your advisor and at least two other mentors to keep you on the right track. And on top of the courses you choose, you'd ultimately take a Research Colloquium, which will prepare you to write your thesis and learn advanced research skills.
What are some concentrations I could design? In the past, students have worked toward degrees in Asian studies, Catholic studies, gender studies, medieval studies and theatrical studies, to name a few. You could also expand a minor, like criminal justice or multimedia, into a major through the SDIM. The idea is to think about what kind of career you'd love to have and what your passions are (or might be), and come up with a journey that reflects all of that.
Okay, I’m interested. How can I get started? First, as an undeclared major, you’d need to spend your freshman year taking core courses (required for all Siena students) and maintain a 3.3 GPA. During your first semester of sophomore year, you can work on a proposal with a faculty member who can recommend a program and eventually become your advisor. When the proposal is approved, you’re all set to get started.
For those who aren't completely sold on traditional majors or would like to navigate an academic course of their choice, this is an incredible opportunity—and one that would certainly make for great conversation with potential employers. So what do you say?