On Wednesday, the Faculty voted overwhelmingly to approve a proposal for a new college, the College of Integrative Sciences (CIS), to join the College of Social Studies, College of Letters, College of the Environment, College of Film and the Moving Image, and the College of East Asian Studies. Students in CIS would have pursue a CIS Linked Major to complement an additional primary major in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM). According to the proposal, the new CIS aims to “offer Wesleyan students a curricular and research framework that enables new ways of thinking at the frontiers of science.”
In terms of coursework, the Linked Major requires a research frontiers course, two interdisciplinary upper-level electives, two semesters of a journal club, a senior capstone colloquium, two to four research credits, and a summer research experience. CIS students, along with other science students across the University, will have access to summer research grants through this program.
CIS aims to be pedagogically innovative while also building a cohort and community of interdisciplinary science students. On the pedagogical side, science fields are increasingly looking at the boundaries between the disciplines and this new College attempts to center students’ studies in that interdisciplinary research. Because each student will have a primary major within NSM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, etc.), the interactions between students through their coursework and research in the CIS Linked Major is aimed at fostering interdisciplinary and integrative approaches among the cohort.
The proposal was put together by a wide-ranging host of faculty throughout the NSM departments, led by Professor Ishita Mukerji as Academic Dean for Division III (NSM). Although the Educational Policy Committee, the faculty committee on the academic curriculum which heard and debated the proposal for many months prior, did not officially endorse the proposal, it passed with strong support of the Faculty on Wednesday after some extended discussion.
Underclassman students in the sciences and can look forward to applying to the new College this coming Fall.