The Structure of a Four-Year Program

First Year

  • Students take an IDS First-Year Seminar (FYS) in the fall, MI190: Ways of Knowing, which introduces interdisciplinary modes of inquiry through individualized and collaborative learning experiences.
  • In addition to MI190, students explore potential areas of concentration for their major through the Foundations and Perspectives curriculum. 

Sophomore Year

  • In their second year, students begin to define their academic program and course of study through MI290 Sophomore Seminar: Project-Based Learning. Students focus on a set of key problems and their relationship to their proposed courses and areas of concentration. As part of MI290, students begin working with their chosen faculty advisor. 
  • By the end of the sophomore year, each student submits an IDS Application that specifies their areas of concentration and the courses that make up their self-designed major. The application is reviewed by the IDS Curriculum Committee. 
  • Students are encouraged to explore their curricular interests by taking a combination of Perspectives, major-related, and elective coursework from across the College.
  • In addition to coursework, students have the opportunity to engage in co-curricular experiences and to attend Kasteel Well.

Junior Year

  • Juniors take MI390 Junior Seminar: Theories, Sources, and Methods, a small seminar course that deepens their knowledge in their chosen fields of study and lays the groundwork for the methodological approach to their capstone projects.
  • Students take more advanced major and elective courses throughout the College based on their approved plans of study; these may include Directed Studies and internships related to their fields of study in various businesses, cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations throughout Boston and beyond.
  • Students periodically meet with their faculty advisor and MI390 instructor to assess progress in their academic program and to discuss any possible revisions. Students may elect to submit a Request to Amend form if they wish to revise their list of major courses, their areas of concentration, or the title of their IDS major.
  • During the second semester of their junior year, students submit an IDS Capstone Application which explains their proposed capstone project, what work is to be produced and evaluated, and who the Reader/Viewer(s) of their capstone project(s) will be. 
  • Students may also choose to study abroad in various countries around the world in our Summer Global Pathways locations.

Senior Year

  • In the senior year, students complete the credits for their major which may include advanced courses, internships and Directed Studies.
  • In the fall of their senior year, students begin the in-depth work on their IDS Capstone Project by taking MI490 Senior Seminar: Capstone in Interdisciplinary Studies. The capstone work is, by the nature of the IDS degree, interdisciplinary, and may contain multiple components in different media (academic writing, performance, poetry, film, sculpture, presentations, computer programs, etc.). Credits vary for this capstone and range from 4 to 8 credits per semester (8-16 total).
  • The MI490 Senior Seminar provides an opportunity for students to review each other’s work and collaborate on their research and creative processes. 
  • Each student may choose a faculty member to serve as Reader/Viewer for each 4-credit Capstone component. 
  • Students work with their faculty advisor and the instructor of their MI490 Senior Capstone to revise and submit a final version of their IDS Capstone Application, which is reviewed and approved by the IDS Curriculum Committee. 
  • An outside evaluator who is an expert in the student’s field of study and who has not previously worked with the student convenes with the student’s faculty advisor and Reader/Viewer(s) to assess the final capstone project(s) and sit for an outside evaluation. 
  • Seniors have the opportunity to present their Capstone Project to the Marlboro Institute community at Friday Forum and to students in the MI290 and MI390 courses for peer review and feedback.
  • Seniors may elect to attend Emerson Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard which includes an internship component.