Warren Wilson College Catalog 06-07

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Integrative Studies

Faculty: Gwen Diehn Chair (Art), David Mycoff (English), Graham Paul (Theatre), Andrew Summers (Minister to Students), Ann Turkle (Writing)

The Integrative Studies major at Warren Wilson College enables students to develop and complete an individually designed major program. Although the major may or may not lead to professional competency within a field or area, it assists the student in developing a deeper understanding of a particular area or set of issues.

The Integrative Studies major serves the needs of well-disciplined and self-motivated students whose interests do not match existing major programs at Warren Wilson College. The Integrative Studies option stems from the awareness that a student may be drawn toward in-depth investigation of questions, issues, or areas of interest that may be most effectively examined from a variety of perspectives. Thus, study of these interests may extend into fields that may not relate to any one of the existing academic disciplines or the interdisciplinary majors offered at Warren Wilson College.

The student who wishes to consider this option must take responsibility for identifying and articulating the area of interest, and the process requires the ability to work independently. Any member of the Integrative Studies Faculty Committee may provide assistance in developing the necessary focus and ideas for appropriate courses. The chair of Integrative Studies maintains student records and serves as advisor of record for students in this major.

Major in Integrative Studies

The Integrative Studies major consists of 40 credits of courses, all of which bear upon the selected theme or topic and will assist the student in reaching an integrated, comprehensive understanding. The program must consist of at least 12 credits of courses at the 300 or 400-level, and must include INT 480 Integrative Studies Thesis.


  1. Grade Average: Because the Integrative Studies major requires self-discipline and the ability to work independently, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for admission to the major.
  2. Class Standing: Normally, a student will apply for the Integrative Studies major during the sophomore year. Students who have reached senior status usually will not be permitted to apply.

Integrative Studies Major Proposal:

The student desiring candidacy for the Integrative Studies major shall prepare a written proposal. The student completes this proposal with the help of a committee consisting of the advisor and two other faculty members, chosen for their knowledge of the areas represented in the themes of the student's interest.

The proposal shall include:

  1. A title for the project: The title will serve as the actual name of the major, and should characterize the area or topic of the major succinctly and clearly.
  2. A description of the theme of interest: The theme or topic should be clearly described in such a way that it expresses the issues that the major will address as well as its relation to other disciplines or subjects. It is essential that the major truly have a theme and not just be a "general" or eclectic collection of courses.
  3. The rationale for Integrative Studies as the best vehicle for pursuing the theme: This section of the proposal will justify the need to develop a unique, individualized major to address the theme or topic. It is the student's responsibility to provide a convincing argument that the topic cannot be effectively pursued through one of the existing majors.
  4. Proposed courses for study: This section will consist of a list of the actual courses that will be proposed as making up the major. These may include courses already taken as well as those to be taken in the remaining years of study. The course list must include the following information: course department, number and name; number of credits; where and when taken; and a brief description of each course's relationship to the student's theme.
  5. Proposed thesis project: One of the requirements for the Integrative Studies major is a thesis or research project that will provide a comprehensive integration of the topic. It will attempt to provide a connection among all of the courses and other activities that bear on the theme or topic and should serve as a culmination of the integrated understanding that the student has achieved in relation to the subject. The proposal should include one or more ideas for thesis or project ideas, including subjects to be covered and potential approaches. It need not be final at the time of application. However, prior to registration for INT 480 Integrative Studies Thesis, a formal written proposal for the thesis project must receive approval by both the student's committee and the Integrative Studies Faculty Committee. Copies of Integrative Studies Thesis projects are kept on file in the Pew Learning Center and Martha Ellison Library for review by any interested party.

Approval Process:

The student's committee members and the faculty committee must approve all proposals. This decision is based on the completeness and coherence of the student's proposal and evidence of the student's ability to profit academically from such an independently developed program.

Any member of the committee will gladly discuss the Integrative Studies major with students interested in learning more about it.