Integrative Studies

Program Overview

The mission of the Integrative Studies major is to provide a means for well-disciplined and self-motivated students, whose interests integrate two or more disciplines and which cannot be adequately addressed by a single major program at Warren Wilson College, to design and carry out an individualized major.

The goals of the Integrative Studies Program are the following:

  1. To assist students in conducting in-depth investigations of questions, issues, or areas of interest that may be most effectively examined from a variety of perspectives.
  2. To provide guidance for students in designing and carrying out an individualized major.
  3. To encourage students considering this major to take responsibility for identifying and articulating the area of interest.
  4. To encourage students to work independently to complete the major.

Major in Integrative Studies

Grades: Students must have a 3.0 GPA in order to apply to this major. They must pass courses at a grade of B- or better to count toward fulfillment of the major.

Total Credit Hours: The Integrative Studies major consists of a minimum of 40 credit hours of courses, all of which bear upon the selected theme or topic and will assist the student in reaching an integrated, comprehensive understanding.


  1. Core Requirements: The program must consist of at least 12 credit hours of courses at the 300 or 400-level, and must also include INT 480 Integrative Studies Thesis. The program may include an Integrative Studies internship, and if it does, 8 credits of that course may be applied to the 40 credits for the major. Any member of the Integrative Studies Faculty Committee may provide assistance in developing the proposal. A member of the Integrative Studies Committee maintains records and serves as advisor for each accepted student.
  2. Special Requirements: In order to apply to the major, students must submit a proposal to the Integrative Studies Committee. In addition, the following prerequisites must be met in order to apply to the major:
    1. Grade Average: a cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for admission to the major.
    2. Class Standing: Students must be between their first sophomore semester and second junior semester in order to be considered for entrance into this major.

Integrative Studies Major Proposal

The student desiring candidacy for the Integrative Studies major shall prepare a written proposal. The proposal shall include:

  1. A title: 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 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 make 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 credit hours; 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 that will provide a comprehensive integration of the topic. It will 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 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 the Integrative Studies Faculty Committee.
  6. The names of the three faculty members who have agreed to serve on the student’s committee, one of whom must be a member of the Integrative Studies Committee (and is usually the student’s temporary Integrative Studies Advisor.)

Approval Process:

Proposals are due on Monday of Week 6 via email to the Chair of Integrative Studies. The Committee meets in week 7 to deliberate on proposals.

The Integrative Studies Committee must approve all proposals. The decision is based on the completeness and coherence of the student’s proposal, the ability of the college to support the proposed major in terms of courses offered, the evidence that the theme could not be pursued in an established major, and evidence of the student’s ability to profit academically from such an independently developed program.