Professor Dennis Washburn: "The best interdisciplinary courses are either team-taught by faculty from different fields, or actively highlight the knowledge produced by seeing directly how different disciplines approach a problem or ask a question"

21st-century problems don't fall into traditional academic disciplines. Understanding how the brain processes language demands expertise in fields as diverse as philosophy and neuroscience while racial inequality is entwined with issues of economics, environmental studies, and gender studies. Dartmouth's interdisciplinary programs combine with its distinctively flexible liberal arts curriculum to let you build your academic experience around the urgent problems you're ready to solve.

Our Faculty of Interdisciplinary Programs Say

A photo of professor Jacqueline Wernimont

Jacqueline Wernimont

"My research and teaching are broadly interdisciplinary and trans-historical (1600 to the present), and I focus on computational and digital media, exploring how we construct and consume both information and imaginative visions."

Learn more about Jacqueline Wernimont, the Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities and Social Engagement
A photo of professor Jesse Shipley

Jesse Shipley

"I trace the socio-historical emergence of a national, urban public culture in Ghana by examining the changing aesthetics of leadership. I am concerned with the indeterminate and uncertain nature of national rituals and ceremonies and how marginalized people contest public space and political participation."

Learn more about Jesse Shipley, the John D. Willard Professor of African and African American Studies and Oratory and Chair of Program
A photo of professor Graziella Parati in her classroom

Graziella Parati

“It’s the ability to understand that in other people’s stories there is your story, and through that, to be able to create communities."

Learn more about professor Graziella Parati, Professor of Comparative Literature, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Paul D. Paganucci Professor of Italian Language and Literature
A photo of professor Michael Herron in the classroom with students

Michael Herron

"Among other things, the Program in Quantitative Social Science teaches students how to merge data from disparate sources and visualize statistical relationships. Showing trends within a graph is a straightforward and powerful way to understand a subject"

Learn more about Michael Herron, Remsen 1943 Professor of Government
A photo of professor Yusaku Horiuchi with students in his smart classroom

Yusaku Horiuchi

"The most recent paper that I have published with my co-authors here at Dartmouth is (on) what American people think about the Muslim travel ban, how American people react to this policy, how their reactions are influenced by the media frame and also how their reactions are conditional on whether or not there are many refugees in their area."

Learn more about Yusaku Horiuchi, Professor of Government, Mitsui Professor of Japanese Studies

Cool Classes

Dartmouth creates a rich academic culture imbued with critical thinking and creativity, one that promotes experimentation, reflection, learning, and leadership. But don't take our word for it. We asked our students to tell us about some of their favorite interdisciplinary courses.

Academics at DartmouthResearch at Dartmouth

Interdisciplinary Alumni

Nobel laureates, government leaders, judges, scientists, writers, scholars, journalists, entertainers-Dartmouth alumni have distinguished themselves in all fields. Here are some notable alumni in the interdisciplinary fields making a difference in the world.

Learn More About Our Alumni

Study Interdisciplinary Programs Off Campus

At Dartmouth, we have taken the traditional study abroad model, erased its boundaries, and expanded its parameters. Study abroad here is not an isolated semester in another country. Arranged through Dartmouth's Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education, these powerful learning experiences are enhanced through faculty mentorship. The curriculum and structure of the school year allow students to follow their research around the world.

Dartmouth's Global Impact
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  • African and African American Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    The interdisciplinary field of African and African American Studies (AAAS) provides an invaluable foundation in critical thinking, research, writing, and analysis—skills that form the core of a liberal arts education. The interdisciplinary nature of AAAS allows for a rich and challenging course of inquiry, benefiting students with interests in history, policy, culture, language, law, foreign affairs, and education, among other areas.

    The African and African American Studies Program at Dartmouth originated in 1969, making it one of the oldest programs of its kind in the nation. Utilizing innovative avenues of theoretical and empirical investigation, students explore questions and issues that shape the historical, social, political and cultural constructions and transformations of the African diaspora.

  • Cognitive Science

    Bachelor of Arts

    Featured Program News

    Cognitive Science is the study of cognition from the point of view of information processing. It combines the traditional fields of cognitive and physiological psychology with computer science philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience and other disciplines to study perception, memory, reasoning, motor control, language, and even the nature of consciousness itself. 

    Dartmouth students who major in Cognitive Science will work across disciplines to address questions about the mind, the brain, and the mental life of human beings. They'll study the work of psychologists, philosophers, linguists, and computer scientists and develop competence in the use of computational tools, statistical methods, experimental design, and linguistic analyses. Research in Cognitive Science is problem-oriented, and thus Cognitive Science elective coursework allows students to gain specialized knowledge in a particular problem area of Cognitive Science.

  • Comparative Literature

    Bachelor of Arts

    Comparative Literature is an interdisciplinary program that promotes the comparative study of literatures in different languages and the study of the relationship between literature and other human activity. It pays attention to language and to the relationship between literature and other disciplines and practices, such as the visual and performing arts, philosophy, history, the social sciences, religion, and mathematics.

    Comparative Literature students at Dartmouth enjoy studying literature and culture from an array of critical perspectives. Among these are rhetoric and poetics, translation and reception, film theory and media studies, colonial and postcolonial studies, theories of ethnic and national identities, and gender and queer theory. Majors develop competence in at least one language other than their native language and work with original texts in more than one language.

  • Environmental Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    The field of Environmental Studies views the earth, and humanity's place in it, as a set of complex, interacting socio-ecological systems. Gaining an understanding of this complexity involves drawing on concepts and methods from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities as complementary lenses through which to view these systems. Environmental Studies also seeks to overcome the limitations of any one of these perspectives by applying innovative approaches that integrate traditional disciplines in new and productive ways.

    The faculty and curriculum of the Department of Environmental Studies (ENVS) at Dartmouth motivate and prepare students to rise to the challenges and opportunities associated with human-environment interactions. Environmental degradation is an escalating problem from local to global scales. Training students to understand and address these environmental problems is the core mission of ENVS, and it is the basis of the belief that environmental studies is an essential component of a modern liberal arts education.

  • International Studies


    Featured Program Video

    A minor in international studies empowers Dartmouth students, regardless of major, to become educated in the cross-cutting global forces that shape the vital issues of our day. Topics such as climate change, international health crises, global inequality, terrorism, and violence transcend boundaries and cannot be understood from a single disciplinary perspective.

    The international studies minor provides rigorous training in relevant bodies of knowledge and values and makes students cognizant of the interplay between local and global processes, human and environmental interactions, and places, identities, and cultures of a rapidly changing world. The minor helps students prepare to live productive, responsible lives in an interconnected world.

    Students generally apply for the minor by their sixth term of study (i.e. the end of their second year at Dartmouth).

  • Jewish Studies

    Minor in Jewish Studies

    Jewish Studies is an academic discipline that focuses on the historical and cultural experience of Jews throughout the world, as well as on Jewish thought, literature, and contemporary political and social issues. It includes ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary Jewish history, Jewish literature and linguistics in Hebrew, Yiddish, and the other Judaic languages, and also the study of Judaism and Jewish philosophy.

    Dartmouth's program in Jewish Studies is a multi-disciplinary gathering of the various courses in Jewish history, religion, literature, and culture offered at the College. The department's faculty are among the most highly respected scholars and teachers in the field. The Jewish Studies minor gives students an opportunity to do intensive work within the discipline. Those completing the minor are encouraged, but not required, to obtain at least a working knowledge of Hebrew.

  • Latin American, Latino, & Caribbean Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    Latin American, Latino, & Caribbean Studies (LALACS) is a vibrant and expanding area of academic activity attracting scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including history, music, film and media studies, economics, languages, geography, politics, anthropology, international relations, sociology, and literature. LALACS studies important traditional topics like poverty, injustice, and inequality, but also exciting contemporary developments such as the indigenous resurgence across the region.

    Dartmouth's interdisciplinary LALACS program consists of two separate tracks: Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) and Latino Studies (LATS).  LALACS alumni have pursued further education and also worked in business, education, and consulting--in both South America and the United States--in the fields of banking, investment, law, and in governmental and non-governmental agencies.

  • Linguistics

    Bachelor of Arts

    Linguistics is the study of language — not so much a specific language, but of the system of language and the way humans communicate. Topics integral to linguistics include the physiology of language, the physical properties of language, the roles that it plays in determining cultural and social categories, the relationship between language and thought, the underlying manner in which sentences are structured, the way language conveys meaning, and the manner in which other systems may imitate natural languages.

    The Program in Linguistics at Dartmouth offers a major and minor in Linguistics. Students may also modify another major with linguistics, or modify linguistics with another major. Students interested in linguistics should consult with a Linguistics faculty member in advance of major declaration in order to plan a program that suits their needs and interests.

  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies

    major modification

    Medieval and Renaissance Studies encompasses the period from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern era, covering an expansive geographical range. The strength of Dartmouth's Medieval and Renaissance Studies program lies in its interdisciplinarity, with faculty housed in wide-ranging departments across the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

    Dartmouth students interested in the study of Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance/Reformation period can modify any appropriate major with Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The modification exposes students to a broad array of courses concerning societies and cultures that developed and flourished from Late Antiquity to Early Modernity. While centered in Europe, the concentration embraces developments in related cultures, especially that of the Mediterranean. The modification can be used in conjunction with majors including Art History, Comparative Literature, English, French, German Studies, Government, History, Italian, Portuguese, Religion, or Romance Languages.

  • Middle Eastern Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    Because of the pivotal role that the Middle East will play in the geo-politics, economics, and history of the twenty-first century, students with a strong background in the region are well prepared for a wide array of professional opportunities, including consulting, NGOs, development, government, medicine, and law—especially students who begin Arabic or Hebrew during their first term at Dartmouth.

    The Middle Eastern Studies (MES) Program brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines to teach and research the great civilizations, societies, and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. MES offers students an array of courses on history, politics, religion, literature, and culture of the region (taught in English), as well as state-of-the-art language training in Arabic and Hebrew. MES also offers advanced seminars utilizing primary source materials.

    In addition to its on-campus academic programs, MES offers a range of study abroad opportunities, and the relationships that develop between professors and students in MES often extend beyond students' time at Dartmouth.

  • Native American Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    Native American Studies (NAS) strives to develop interdisciplinary teaching and research and increase understanding of the historical experiences, cultural traditions and innovations, and political status of Indian peoples in the United States and Canada.

    Dartmouth offers both a major and minor in Native American Studies. The Native American & Indigenous Studies department faculty consists of scholar-teachers with a broad range of expertise from diverse backgrounds, including Native faculty members from the United States and Canada and non-Native faculty from the United States, Russia, and Britain. The Native American & Indigenous Studies program attracts a varied body of students who bring their own perspectives to the classroom setting. Our students build upon their individual experiences and understandings in a shared learning environment. Many NAD alumni remain in close contact, returning each spring for the annual Dartmouth College Powwow.

  • Quantitative Social Science

    Bachelor of Arts

    Quantitative Social Science (QSS) is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with both technical skills—concentrated in statistics and computing—and a grounding in a social science. Prior to 2015, the program was called the Program in Mathematical Social Sciences.

    QSS brings together Dartmouth faculty and students who are interested in applying statistical, computational, and mathematical tools to social science questions. QSS offers undergraduates a minor and an honors major, both of which combine mathematical training with one or more of the social sciences. Through QSS, Dartmouth undergraduates can integrate the power of modern quantitative and computational methods with the substance of a social science discipline. QSS alumni have pursued career options ranging from university teaching to research, law, business, medicine, public service, and a variety of other careers.

  • Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    The academic discipline of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies informs the ongoing conversation in our society about gender equality. It gives students a theoretical base for a systematic analysis of the construction of gender and the historical, economic, political, social, and cultural experiences of women.

    Established in 1978, Dartmouth College's Women's Studies Program was the first such program in the formerly all-male Ivy League. Today, the interdisciplinary WGSS Program draws on resources from the Social Sciences, the Arts and Humanities, and the Sciences. The program offers a range of courses that have a central focus on gender or women, as well as an extensive list of associated courses offered by other departments and programs. Students in the program work closely with faculty members and have the opportunity to design their majors in consultation with the department Chair.