Washington University in St. Louis is a place where disciplines meet and experts collaborate.
The intermingling of academic disciplines can energize new pursuits and discoveries, so the university encourages students and faculty to create new combinations.
Many Washington University undergraduate students pursue combined studies, finding it possible to graduate with more than one major and/or minor. Sixty-five percent of students earn a major and a minor or more than one major. More than one-third completed requirements for two majors; some of them earned two degrees from different Washington University schools.
Interdisciplinary Programs by Subject Area
Arts & Sciences
Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Barbara Schaal wrote, “My experiences have repeatedly reminded me of the importance of interdisciplinary approaches. It is often more difficult to find the answers we seek if we only examine an issue through one lens, if we only employ one set of principles or theories.” A wide range of majors and minors, graduate degrees, and interdisciplinary programs are available in Arts & Sciences.
Biology and Biomedical Sciences
Prospective graduate students apply to the interdepartmental Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, not to an individual department. Students are admitted into a specific program but may change their program affiliation if their research interests change.
All of the Brown School’s degree programs are interdisciplinary and focus on the critical thinking skills needed to understand and address the complex social and public health challenges faced by communities large and small.
McKelvey School of Engineering
Engineering students in all the school’s academic programs can contribute to solving national and international challenges in a wide range of areas through a variety of career paths. You find today’s engineering graduates pursuing careers in medicine, law, business, architecture and public policy, as well as engineering.
John M. Olin School of Business
Several of Olin Business School’s undergraduate majors and graduate degrees are interdisciplinary and combine Olin course work with closely related electives from other areas of Washington University.
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Innovation and collaboration are at the core of the Sam Fox School’s mission of interdisciplinary study and practice. Design and the visual arts play significant roles in inspiring solutions to social, cultural and environmental concerns, and have formulated an educational model that is flexible and attuned to the global realities of our complex century. An undergraduate degree from the Sam Fox School can be combined with a second major or minor from any of the university’s other schools.
School of Law
Students can design a joint degree at the School of Law to combine law with another master’s program in the university. The School of Law and the participating departments work together so that a student can earn a JD and a master’s or doctoral degree in another discipline in considerably less time than would be needed to pursue each degree separately.
School of Medicine
The medical school offers options to combine a medical degree with other degrees through joint degree programs. Options include: