Coursework (39 credits minimum)

  • Courses from at least 3 different departments
  • No more than 15 credits from any single department
  • No more than 12 credits of independent studies
  • Required Research Colloquium and Capstone (6 credits)


Students who have completed at least 24 credits at Siena (transfers may be considered after completing one semester) with a 3.0 GPA or higher. The GPA must be maintained to continue in the program. A GPA of 3.3 in the major is required for graduation.

Mentoring Community

Once the project is accepted, each student will work with an advisor and at least two additional faculty members within a Mentoring Group. The advisor and student will work together to set up this group which is made up of appropriate faculty members from various departments that correspond to the subject to be studied. A different Mentoring Group will be established for each student. The role of the faculty is to support the student throughout the course of study and to assist the student as he or she formulates her/his thesis topic. Students should meet with this group regularly, perhaps over meals, to discuss the program of study. The goal here is to set up a communal and engaged learning experience for the student.

If a faculty member is unable – because of sabbatical, leave, retirement, or other reason – to take part within the Mentoring Group, additional members can be added in consultation with the advisor.

Other Details

All of the published guidelines in the catalog for majors apply. If students have a double major, they will not be considered to have completed a second major unless at least seven of the courses successfully completed in the fulfillment of the second major are different courses from those taken to fulfill the primary major.

A 3 credit hour Research Colloquium is preparation for the 3 credit hour Capstone experience which includes a thesis project. The thesis is written under the direction of the faculty advisor. These two courses (SDIM350 and SDIM400) are 6 of the credits required for the major. Students will offer a thesis “Defense” which will be open to the public.

It is possible that a symbiotic relationship may develop with a student in the program who is also writing an Honors thesis, or a thesis for another major. Details on any relationship will need to be worked out with the Honors Director and/or the Chair of the other department. It is possible that a student will write one thesis that will count for both the Honors program and the Interdisciplinary Studies major.


If this sounds like the right path for you, your next steps should be to meet with Program Director or any member of the Interdisciplinary Major Committee to discuss options and explore possibilities with faculty members.