Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) Major
Students pursuing an academic major through the Marlboro Institute complete an Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) program of their own design around a coherent idea or set of questions. It is crafted to uphold Marlboro College’s distinctive educational promise that students can craft their own education, engage in self-directed inquiry, and bring a big idea to life from conception to execution. Students will combine liberal arts courses from across the College, integrating professional studies courses if desired, in a program of their own design that culminates in a year-long senior capstone project centered on a coherent idea or complex problem that sparks their interest and that integrates learning across their chosen disciplines. Building on Emerson’s strong foundation in the liberal arts and Marlboro College’s long standing legacy of self-designed education, the IDS Major provides the support students need to carve their own interdisciplinary paths and to design their own unique program of study in close collaboration with faculty across the College. It emphasizes Marlboro College’s values of self-directed learning, project-based inquiry, and creative and critical thinking desired by students and employers alike.
Rooted in Marlboro College’s vision, students in the IDS program are supported through a four-year curriculum tailored to self-designed and project-based inquiry. Lower-level courses are oriented to intellectual exploration and academic flexibility, while upper-level courses are designed to support students as they execute their self-designed majors, culminating in a year-long capstone experience in the senior year.