Honors Interdisciplinary Bachelors Degree Program (HIBDP) Description

The HIBDP is a special kind of honors contract major. Recognizing that the traditional division of knowledge into subject areas or disciplines is, to some degree, artificial, the University makes it possible for the highly motivated student to pursue a specialized course of study that examines in depth a single theme or idea from the perspective of two or more disciplines. A student might, for example, wish to pursue a course of study focusing on the Middle Ages, combining the disciplines of history, literature, philosophy, art history, music history and Latin. The student who chooses this option works closely with a faculty advisor and thesis director. The specific procedures for establishing an Honors Interdisciplinary Bachelors Degree Program are listed below.

Procedures for Establishing an HIBDP

  1. The student should formulate the name and content of the HIBDP in consultation with at least one advisor from each of the departments where nine or more credit hours will be drawn. These advisors will also normally serve as members of the honors thesis committee (described below). The Honors Council recommends that the proposal for a HIBDP receive final approval prior to the senior year. Students must maintain a 3.2 GPA or higher in order to be eligible for a HIBDP.
  2. The student should write a proposal for the HIBDP containing a description and rationale for the major. Also, the student should fill in a program sheet stating how general education and the HIBDP credits will be fulfilled (the program sheets are available from the Dean of Arts & Sciences or the Registrar’s Office). All programs should contain between 39-50 credit hours including 3-6 hours of thesis credit taken as a Student Developed Study (SDS). At least two thirds of the credit hours must be from courses 200 level or higher(with at least six credits hours drawn from courses 300 or higher).

    At least one-half of the course credits must be drawn from courses taken at Western. Under unusual circumstances a student may petition the Honors Council for an alteration to the above credit hour requirements.
  3. The student should obtain approval for the HIBDP from chairs of departments where nine or more credit hours are drawn.
  4. The student should submit the proposal with chairs’ signatures to the University Honors Council for review via the Dean of Arts & Sciences office (Warner 300).
  5. If approved by the Honors Council, the student should submit the proposal, program sheet and approval page to the chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Standards (CUCAS). Once the program is approved by CUCAS only a three-hour change in the overall program can be made. In cases where a change is necessary, the student must petition the Honors Council to request such change.
  6. If approved by CUCAS, the student should submit a change of major form to the Registrar’s Office.
  7. Before the final year the student should form a thesis committee consisting of at least one member of each of the departments where nine or more credit hours are drawn. This committee, along with the Honors Council, will be responsible for approving the honors thesis.
  8. The student should present the thesis orally to the Honors Council and the thesis committee. If approved by both, credit will be given for the thesis (SDS).

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