Interdepartmental Majors

Course work and faculty for the following majors are drawn from two different departments. Students with specific questions regarding these majors should contact the registrar for further information.

Mathematics/Economics

The interdepartmental major in mathematics/economics is intended for those students who wish to combine these two areas of study but do not want to limit their course work in other liberal arts areas by having to take all of the classes necessary for completion of the two majors. Students interested in economics can learn the mathematical approach to this discipline, while students interested in mathematics will learn the importance of mathematics as a theoretical and empirical tool for solving economic and business problems. Students with this interdepartmental major will be well prepared to enter a career in business consulting or to enroll in graduate programs in economics, business, operations research or applied mathematics.

Requirements for Major

  • A student satisfies the requirement for the mathematics/economics major by successfully completing the following twelve courses:
    1. Economics and Management 101 or 101H, 102 or 102H, 230H, 232, 379, 380.
    2. Mathematics 141, 143, 236, 245, 309.
    3. One course from the following: Mathematics 326, 331, 360.
  • Each department may waive one or more of its own courses for students with advanced high school preparation.
  • All courses for the mathematics/economics major must be taken for a numerical grade.
  • Mathematics/economics majors are expected to attend all colloquia of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.
  • This major is not intended to lead to secondary teacher certification; however, a student may combine this major with a certification major in mathematics.
  • This major is not open to those who have a major in mathematics or economics.

Mathematics/Physics

The interdepartmental major in mathematics/physics is intended for those students who wish to combine these two areas of study, but do not want to major in one at the expense of the other or be limited by the concentration of courses in two departments necessary for a double major. The student with this major could enter a career in computer science or would be well prepared to enter a program in applied mathematics or mathematical physics.

Requirements for Major

  • A student satisfies the minimum requirements by doing all of the following:
    1. Completing successfully Physics 167, 168, 243, 244, 250, 325, 336.
    2. Completing successfully Mathematics 141, 143, 245, 247. The Mathematics and Computer Science Department may waive one or more of these courses for students with advanced high school preparation.
    3. Completing successfully Physics 380 or Mathematics 380, Mathematical Physics, a joint offering of the two departments.
  • The major is not intended to lead to secondary teacher certification and is not open to those who have a major in both mathematics and physics. However, a student may combine this major with a certification major in either mathematics or physics.
  • All courses for the mathematics/physics major must be taken for a numerical grade.
  • Mathematics/physics majors are expected to attend all colloquia of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department and the Physics Department.

Interdisciplinary Majors

Course work and faculty for the following majors are drawn from several different departments. Students with specific questions regarding these majors should contact the respective program director or the registrar for further information.

American Studies

The American studies major, by examining the development of a national culture from several perspectives, provides students whose interests transcend the offerings of single departments a wide cultural background in American life. The student is helped to arrive at an interdisciplinary perspective and to explore historical and ideological relationships through thematic motif and typological study. The major offers an excellent liberal education and can serve as preparation for high school teaching in the social sciences, American literature and American history; it also can provide a sound basis for graduate study in fields such as literature, history, American studies, law, etc. Students who choose the major may also enter museum work.

Requirements for Major

  • A student satisfies the requirements for the American studies major by successfully completing 11 units as follows:
  • History 101--American Dreams and Realities. (This course is the introductory course for American studies.)
  • Nine units chosen from existing departmental offerings: English--a minimum of three units related to American literature; history--a minimum of three units including at least one unit in U.S. history before 1877 and at least one unit in U.S. history after 1877; three units related to American life with at least one unit in the social sciences chosen from anthropology and sociology, art, communication studies, economics, music, philosophy, political science, religion, theatre.
  • American Studies 412--Directed Study. An interdisciplinary directed study dealing in a written, oral or visual manner with American life and culture.

Ethnic Studies

Information on the ethnic studies major is given under that heading in the departmental listings.

International Studies

Information on the international studies major is given under that heading in the departmental listings.

Public Policy

The public policy major allows students to get a broad background in the social sciences, while getting institutional knowledge and analytic tools relevant to current domestic public policy debates. The major prepares students for careers in government or for private-sector careers related to government policy. It also provides good preparation for students planning on attending law school or earning a master's degree in public policy, public administration, public health or social policy.

Requirements for Major

  • Five units: Economics and Management 101 or 101H, 230 or 230H, and 322 (or the Political Science equivalent of 322); Political Science 101 and 216.
  • One unit in statistics chosen from among Economics and Management 235, Mathematics 109 and Mathematics 210.
  • One unit in research methods chosen from among Anthropology and Sociology 224, Economics and Management 379 and Political Science 201.
  • Two units, which must be taken in two different departments, chosen from the following restricted electives related to public policy:
    Anthropology and Sociology 345, 370
    Economics and Management 232, 273, 323, 331, 351, 353, 354, 375
    Philosophy 206, 301, 303, 304, 308, 335
    Political Science 214, 220, 263, 308, 319, 322, 323, 324
    one or two units of approved selected topics courses or seminars (Anthropology and Sociology, Economics and Management, or Political Science 289, 389, or 402)
    one unit of an approved internship (Anthropology and Sociology, Economics and Management, or Political Science 392)
    one unit of an approved directed study (Anthropology and Sociology, Economics and Management, or Political Science 412)
  • A substantial paper and an oral presentation on a topic related to public policy. This paper and presentation will be completed as part of the requirements for Economics and Management 322 or the Political Science equivalent.

Students who enroll in the Washington Semester program at the American University can receive up to two units of credit toward the requirements of the public policy major, subject to the approval of the chair of the Public Policy Committee.

Women's and Gender Studies

Information on the women's and gender studies major is given under that heading in the departmental listings.