123456       So Stewart set about creating a major that would cover his interests. Using a brochure for The College of Arts and Sciences' Selected Studies Program and the undergraduate course catalog, he put together a proposal for an East Asian studies major. It included courses in history, language, religion, political science, geography, and fine arts. In fall 1997, Stewart met with Maura Ivanick, director of academic advising and counseling services in the college. After working with Stewart on his program proposal, Ivanick took it to a committee of arts and sciences faculty members. They were impressed with the thoroughness of the plan. The process took a full semester, but Stewart finally received the go-ahead to study East Asia. "The amount of time and effort the process takes is an asset," he says. "By the time you go through all of that, it creates a real dedication to the program."
      In doing so, he became one of the many SU students who cross traditional department lines to get the education they want. In the Spring 1998 semester, 707 SU undergraduates pursued a double major (two majors within one college); 625 signed up for dual majors (majors from two different colleges linked by a formal program) or combined majors (two degrees in unrelated programs); and 67 students signed up for doubles and duals at the same time, meaning they have two majors in one college and one major in another college.
      Interest in multidisciplinary programs is also evident at the graduate level. Last spring, 46 students pursued two different master's degrees; 36 were going for master's and doctoral degrees in two different programs; 44 were earning master's and doctoral degrees in the same subject. These numbers don't include the 52 students registered in both the graduate and law schools, or the seven in the Graduate School and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. They also don't include the many students pursuing degrees in such interdisciplinary programs as women's studies and cultural foundations of education.

      Other programs form a bridge between two colleges. Examples are the media management master's program in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Management, and the engineering/physics undergraduate program offered by the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science and The College of Arts and Sciences. "Students who complete the media management program receive degrees from both schools, giving them a 'second suit' in the other discipline," says Newhouse professor and program director Samuel Kennedy III. Engineering/physics students earn their degree from engineering, but also complete a number of physics courses in arts and sciences that enhance their knowledge of the physics principles underlying their discipline. "There is a whole group of students whose interests can't be fulfilled through one department," says physics professor Marina Artuso, who coordinates the physics part of the program.
      The retailing/marketing program, which straddles the College for Human Development and the School of Management, "is an ideal program for students who have a general interest in business and also love retailing," says retailing professor Amanda Nicholson. "It's a way to put a foot in both camps."
      Some programs, while housed in one college, are interdisciplinary by nature. Examples of these are the social science Ph.D. program in Maxwell and the cultural foundations of education (CFE) master's and doctoral degree programs in the School of Education. In each of these programs, students develop concentrations for themselves. CFE director Sari Biklen points out that such concentrations as gender studies or popular culture tend to be multidisciplinary. Social science and CFE students are also encouraged to take relevant courses in several departments. Bianca Wulff, whose social science concentration focuses on conflicts between

123456       Many students can find, or construct, programs of study they want within one college. In The College of Arts and Sciences, for example, undergraduate and graduate students who don't want to limit themselves to sociology, history, or anthropology can major in international relations, which combines courses from those and other departments. "It really broadens you and forces you to think about how it all fits together," says Maxwell professor G. Matthew Bonham, director of the international relations program.
      College of Visual and Performing Arts students interested in the history and practice of art can major in the history of art, which combines studio and art history courses. Art professor Judith Meighan, who directs the program, says it gives students a broad view of the art world. "Artists and art historians tend to see each other as enemies," she says. "The intention of the program is to narrow the gap between the two disciplines."
      However, not all multidisciplinary programs are majors. Judaic studies and cognitive science, for example, are offered only as minors in The College of Arts and Sciences, but encompass a range of disciplines. Judaic studies is made up of courses from such departments as English, religion, history, sociology, and fine arts. To earn an 18-credit cognitive science minor, students take required courses in three of the following areas: philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and computer science.
Native Americans and non-Native Americans, has completed courses in history, anthropology, sociology, conflict resolution, and law. "It wouldn't be possible to understand the roots of these conflicts without such a varied knowledge base," she says.
      Multidisciplinary programs also vary greatly in size. With about 250 students, international relations is one of the largest arts and sciences majors. At the other end of the spectrum is the cognitive science program. "If two students complete the minor program in a given year, that's a good semester," says program director Robert Van Gulick. "It's a small program, but it really fits the needs of some students."
      While many of the small programs would like to be bigger, they serve a valid purpose just as they are. Ken Frieden, B.G. Rudolph Professor of Judaic Studies and director of the Judaic studies program, says while the number of Judaic studies minors is small, many other students take a class or two in the program. "For Jewish students, it seems to be a safe way to explore their Jewish heritage," he says, adding that the existence of Judaic studies at SU may attract prospective students who are Jewish.

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Main Home Page Winter 1998-99 Issue Contents
Chancellor's Message Opening Remarks In Basket
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