What should I do if I’m interested in Interdisciplinary Fields?

Do you have the sorts of interests that defy categorization? Do you enjoy reaching across disciplinary boundaries and finding connections between sometimes disparate fields? If so, then study in one of Stanford’s many Interdisciplinary Programs might be right for you. In fact, Interdisciplinary programs offer some of the most popular majors on campus.

Before NSO

If you are looking at this before New Student Orientation (NSO), you should consider attending a variety of Academic Planning Sessions on Wednesday of NSO.  If your interests span the Humanities and the Social Sciences, attend the panels on both. If they span the Sciences and Social Sciences, attend those panels. You may also want to attend an Engaging with Faculty session with a professor in a related field and take the opportunity to introduce yourself afterwards.

Courses and Opportunities

There are dozens of courses that may be a good starting point in interdisciplinary fields, depending on your particular interests. IntroSems are a great way to leap right into a field, and Cardinal Compass maintains a list of additional courses that departments think are suitable for frosh. You might use keyword search in ExploreCourses, or browse the prefixes for the departments linked above (intro courses will typically have lower numbers and appear toward the beginning of the course listing).

Students interested in interdisciplinary fields should look into courses within the combined disciplines as well as within the interdisciplinary program itself. For example, a student exploring an interest in Symbolic Systems might start with SymSys 1, but might also begin by exploring courses in Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, or Psychology.

Anyone interested in interdisciplinary fields should also take advantage of Majors Night to meet with representatives of each department, Student Services Officers, and peer advisors.