When students have interests and questions that cross the boundaries of academic disciplines yet do not fit easily into any of the other areas of concentration, they may work with an advisor to devise a self-designed concentration. Such a concentration may involve concepts, ideas and/or themes such as “freedom,” or focus more closely on areas that do not fit easily into other concentrations such as “women’s health,” “entrepreneurship,” or “studies for the ministry,” which the student wants to understand through inquiry into two or more disciplines, such as literature, art, philosophy, economics, history, political science, mathematics and the natural sciences.
In this case, the conceptual framework would necessarily involve understanding how the subject of inquiry is dealt with in each discipline, as well as knowledge of the disciplines themselves. Or the student’s work may involve core knowledge from more than one area, such as environmental design, which would require deep understanding in both environmental studies and the arts; or business, which requires core knowledge in psychology, ethics, mathematics and policy. If a student feels that her or his most desired areas of inquiry do not fit within the delineated concentrations, s/he can work with the faculty to design and agree upon a self-designed concentration, with relevant core knowledge, methods and outcomes specified.