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Interdisciplinary Study

One of the hallmarks of Johns Hopkins’ educational philosophy is the lack of a core curriculum. There are no courses that all students at the university are required to take, and no general education requirements exist. Instead, each department sets the requirements for graduation within the major, and students complete distribution requirements outside of that major.  As a result, academic curiosity is rewarded, and students can easily double major or minor between disciplines within the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, and even with majors and minors in the Whiting School of Engineering. As a result, approximately 60% of Johns Hopkins students either double major or minor.

Due to the ease with which students are able to pursue multiple majors and minors, humanities students at Johns Hopkins have the unique ability to combine multiple programs and extend both the breadth and depth of their learning. Some students pursue majors in very different areas of study. Zoe Ovans ’15 is double majoring in English and cognitive science and Andrea Fields ’15 is double majoring in Writing Seminars and molecular and cellular biology and is on the pre-med track. By contrast, some humanities students pursue different majors in closely-related departments. Andrew Townson ’14 is double majoring in Writing Seminars and film & media studies, and Grady Stevens ‘13 is double majoring in classics and philosophy.

Interdisciplinary study is not limited to double majoring.  Drawing on Hopkins’ impressive resources across a wide range of academic areas, students in the humanities have completed an array of compelling interdisciplinary research projects that span the breadth of the academic disciplines that the university offers.  Stephanie Kallab ’08 combined her academic passion for French and international studies to write her senior thesis on the concept of the nation in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature.  Her project was written entirely in French!  Recent graduate Megan Young’s senior thesis explored the intersections of archaeology and civil engineering, and proposed a new theory for the destruction of a fifth-century BCE temple. Rather than a casualty of war, Young argued that the temple fell due to a natural disaster.

Majors & Minors Programs