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BS in Interdepartmental Engineering

Major Proposal

Exploring/Proposing a BS Interdepartmental Engineering (IDE) Major

Investigate: Start by investigating existing majors and gathering information from other students and faculty. Each BS IDE curriculum should be designed in consultation with at least one Hajim School faculty advisor. Serious applicants should schedule an appointment with Associate Dean Jim Zavislan to solicit feedback.

Solidify a Plan: Draw up a tentative major proposal with the help of your advisors, detailing your proposed course of study. BS IDE programs must meet the general minimum requirements:

  • Three mathematics courses (including differential equations)
  • Four physics or chemistry courses, with at least one in each
  • One to three natural science courses
  • One four-credit, single-department computational analysis course related to the student’s field of interest
  • Eight Hajim School courses from at least two or more departments
  • Three sequences of technical or scientific courses, including the Hajim School courses if desired.
  • At least one course that is intended as a “capstone/senior project or thesis” course 
  • Two upper level writing courses
  • Two clusters, one in the humanities and the other in the social sciences

Each proposal must contain the following three elements:

  1. Rationale. The proposal should begin with a carefully crafted statement that describes the major, characterizes the proposer’s motivation for pursuing it, justifies it intellectually, indicates the proposer’s ultimate goal and how the major relates to it, shows how the courses comprising its curriculum make sense given its purpose, and tells why this plan of study cannot be pursued in any existing Hajim School major program. A proposed title for the major, the accepted version of which will be shown on the student’s diploma and transcript, should be included.
  2. Interdepartmental Engineering Major Proposal Form
  3. Senior thesis/senior design project proposal
  4. Letter of support. A letter of support from the student’s primary advisor appraising the academic value and viability of the proposed major and the student’s ability to successfully complete it must accompany the proposal.

Merge the documents above into a single PDF file with the filename “IDE Proposal – Your Name.pdf". Attach that file to an email and send to In the subject line, write “IDE Proposal: Your Name.”