University of Maine at Farmington 2021-2022 Catalog

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Interdisciplinary Studies - Self-Designed
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Degree Earned
Bachelor of Arts: Interdisciplinary Studies - Self-Designed

Interdisciplinary Studies recognizes that academic disciplines do not exist in a vacuum, that to fully understand a subject one must move beyond the silos of the individual disciplines and integrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are to be found in related, complementary academic subjects. Thus the student will study at least two different subjects in the Interdisciplinary program, looking for connections between them.

About the Concentration:

Many talented UMF students have multiple interests or interests that cross traditional academic disciplines.  The self-designed concentration allows them to pursue their educational goals through the creation of their own degree requirements.  In this concentration, students work with one or more advisors to create a conceptual framework that will serve as the foundation for their program of study and then design a curriculum that will help them fulfill their academic goals. The plan is reviewed by faculty advisors and by the Integrative Studies Program Council to ensure that it is academically coherent and rigorous. Following Council approval, the self-designed curriculum becomes the student's major. Self-designed majors require careful advance planning and thought; accordingly, the student must complete at least 32 hours after Council approval.

Students are invited to create majors that are truly self-designed and unique. Creativity is encouraged. The following are only possible examples: Global Peace Studies; Religion and Anthropology; Biological and Social Evolution; Policy Studies; Science and Religion; Human Rights; Literature, Film and Culture. For further information, contact your advisor or the Associate Provost.


Students completing a self-designed major must earn a total of 128 credits and meet all general education requirements. In addition, all self-designed majors must meet the following requirements:

  1. The major must have a substantial and clearly-defined conceptual framework, articulated in a detailed and well-written rationale. 

  2. The major must be academically coherent and rigorous, with required courses clearly developing the themes and concepts articulated in the rationale. 

  3. Students must complete 32 credit hours after Council approval, not including the semester in which the proposal is submitted.

  4. At least 16 credits in the major must be in 300- or 400-level courses. Field experiences, internships, and independent studies cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. 

  5. The major must span at least two academic disciplines.

  6. The Self-designed Major is not available to students seeking teaching certification or wishing to student teach.

  7. Students must meet the prerequisites for all courses, or obtain instructor permission to enroll.


For specific information about general education requirements and expectations, see the General Education Requirements in the Academic Programs section of this catalog.

Application forms are available from the office of the Provost; completed applications are returned to that office.

Learning Goals:
  • Student will be able to integrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are to be found in related, complementary academic subjects chosen by the student and as delineated in a clearly defined conceptual framework.

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