The Integrative Studies Major option is for those students who have interests or goals that may not be adequately met in an official NWU major or minor, but which can be met by constructing an individualized program from a variety of learning opportunities across the curriculum and co-curriculum.
The procedure for approving an Integrative Studies (IS) major program is as follows:
- Student has an initial consultation for the proposed IS major program with the Integrative Studies Program Coordinator. The consultationʼs purpose is to determine the studentʼs learning goals in seeking an IS major and whether or not an IS major is best for achieving those goals.
- Either before the initial consultation or as a result of it, students must obtain agreement from at least two other faculty members from the disciplines to be represented in the studentʼs proposed IS major to be members of the studentʼs Integrative Studies Advisory Committee (ISAC), along with the Program Coordinator, for a minimum total of three members. ISAC members must be from at least two different disciplines.
- In light of advice and guidance provided by members of the studentʼs ISAC, the student will submit a proposed IS major program to his or her ISAC for approval. The ISAC will then either approve the proposal, deny it, or request that the student revise and resubmit it in light of feedback.
- If the studentʼs ISAC approves the proposal, then it will be forwarded to the Executive Committee for review to either issue final approval or denial, or request that the student revise and resubmit in light of further feedback.
Requirements for an Integrative Studies major:
- To graduate with an Integrative Studies major, students must complete all university requirements for graduation as well as the curricular and co-curricular activities required by the studentʼs approved IS major program.
- All approved IS major programs must conform to the usual NWU standards for constituting a major.
- An approved IS major program cannot duplicate a major already offered at NWU through one of its departments or programs.
- The student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the curricular and co- curricular activities contained in the studentʼs approved program.
- At least 50% of the approved IS major program must be for curricular and co-curricular activities that will be completed at NWU.
- An approved IS major program may include coursework from other institutions, not exceeding this 50% requirement.
- Curricular and co-curricular activities must be from at least two different disciplines.
- An approved IS major program cannot exceed 40 credit hours.
- Students wanting to declare an IS major must have a plan approved before the end of the first semester of their junior year, to discourage the cobbling together of majors “after the fact.”
- Approved IS major programs must include a senior capstone activity that integrates and/or synthesizes the learning from the curricular and co-curricular activities completed in the studentʼs approved IS major program. The capstone may be from one of the departments offering courses for that studentʼs IS major program or could be unique (e.g. independent study) for that program.
- Students will document and reflect on their learning at designated stages in their approved IS major program, using ePortfolios. The studentʼs ISAC will determine when and how this will be administered during the major program consultation and approval process.
- Students will meet with the Program Coordinator and/or the other members of their ISAC (as determined in the original, approved major program) at least once per semester to track progress.
- Approved IS major programs may be modified in light of further developments, with ISAC and Executive Committee approval.