Academic Services

Independent Interdisciplinary Major

An independent interdisciplinary major (IIM) offers students with diverse academic interests the opportunity to design a course of study not available in the regular curriculum. Our student-focused learning environment provides meaningful interactions between students and professors, making Brandeis an ideal setting for pursuing an independent major.

To pursue an IIM, you’ll propose a course of study, drawing on at least three departments, that will enable you to probe your topic through a variety of lenses, perspectives and schools of thought. Once your proposal is accepted (by the end of the fall semester of your junior year), you’ll work closely with three carefully chosen faculty advisors as you complete the 12 courses required for your IIM. Your IIM experience will culminate in a senior capstone project.

 The IIM allows for truly original and interdisciplinary inquiry, as you can see from these recent examples: Communication and Media Studies; Conflict and Cooperation Studies; Global Hunger and Food Security; and Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

IIM Proposal Deadlines:
Fall 2023- Friday, October 13
Spring 2024 - Friday, March 15

Why Brandeis? 

At Brandeis, you are at the helm of your education, and our faculty are committed to your success. If you have the academic ability, intellectual curiosity, drive and passion to create a new topic of inquiry and devise a curriculum to explore it, we will support you all the way. Some IIMs, like Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation. even become official majors at Brandeis.

Academics and Research

Beyond the Classroom

“The week before I proposed [my IIM], I met three of my professors for lunch at the Faculty Club. Their confidence in my ability to create a special major that would address a field that is constantly changing, innovating and growing fueled my own.”

Michael Heldman ’20