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FAQs about the IIM

Would this major work for me?

For most students at SMSU, pairing an existing major and a minor or even choosing a double major gives plenty of opportunity to tailor their education to their particular goals. However, if your goals can’t be fully reflected in our existing programs and you think a different combination of courses from two or more disciplines would work better for you, the Individualized Interdisciplinary Major may be a good option.

How do I create an IIM?

  1. Read the guidelines for an IIM. You will need to understand the process and requirements for creating an IIM. If you need some help with this or have questions not addressed here, make an appointment with one of the academic deans (507) 537-6251.
  2. Think about whether the IIM is a better option for you than a traditional major, and if you think it is, then consider what combination of disciplines and courses best fit your goals. On the Curriculum form, you are required to provide a justification for why an existing major, double major, or combination of majors and minors, will not satisfy your academic goals. What does your plan do for you that (a) traditional major(s) and minor(s) would not?
  3. Once you have identified which disciplines and courses you want to include, contact two faculty members from at least two of the disciplines in your plan to possibly serve on your advisory committee.
  4. Make appointments with these potential advisors and ask if they would serve on your advisory committee. If so, they will need to approve your proposal and sign the form on which you outline your plan.
  5. Submit your proposal, at least three semesters prior to graduation, to the SMSU Curriculum Committee for approval.

How do I select my faculty advisors?

The courses and disciplines you plan to include in your IIM will provide you with some direction on this. In short, your advisors should be from disciplines that are represented in your degree plan.

For instance, if you’ve included quite a few courses from both Professional Writing and Communication and Agriculture, you would want to include advisors from those two areas. If you include some courses from Culinology and Art, then you would need advisors from those areas.

How do I decide which degree I need… a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts?

There isn’t an exact science to this. One rule of thumb is if your major will teach you some specific skills for a particular type of career, you should choose a Bachelor of Science. Examples of disciplines that offer a BS degree include the Sciences, Agriculture, Business disciplines, Justice Administration, Social Work, and Hospitality Management.

A Bachelor of Arts is usually offered in disciplines from the humanities, fine arts, and some social sciences. For instance, Art, English, Theatre, Sociology, Music, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Communication Studies all offer BA degrees.

Some disciplines, like Mathematics, offer both.

One suggestion is to look through the SMSU catalog to get a better idea of which disciplines offer which degrees. If you find your plan includes a majority of course from disciplines that offer one degree over the other, then you should probably choose that degree.

What will my transcript say is my major?

Your transcript and your diploma will both have “Individualized Interdisciplinary” identified as your major.

Last Modified: 8/29/22 2:57 PM | Website Feedback