Orange Alert

New Interdisciplinary Offerings in A&S

The College of Arts and Sciences provides students with unique and innovative learning opportunities.

March 25, 2021, by A&S News Staff

Syracuse University Hall of Languages

As home to the liberal arts at Syracuse University, the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) offers students a highly personalized range of study. With over 50 stand-alone majors and seven Integrated Learning Majors (ILMs), which pair a traditional major with a second interdisciplinary field, students have numerous options to customize their academic experience.

A&S has once again expanded its offerings with new multidisciplinary majors and programs to give students even more academic options during their time on campus. They include: an M.S. in Biotechnology, a 4+1 A&S/Newhouse Combined Degree, two new Integrated Learning Majors in digital and health humanities and a new B.A. in creative writing.

M.S. in Biotechnology

Starting in Fall 2020, the biotechnology program began offering a combined five-year B.S./M.S. and a stand-alone M.S.

Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary program where students can take courses in biology, environmental sciences, chemistry, engineering, management, public policy and law. The interdisciplinary nature of the biotechnology curriculum trains students how to use science to solve real world problems in industries like pharmaceuticals, agriculture, stem cells and regenerative medicine, gene editing, viruses, vaccines and many more. In addition to biology courses, students take courses in Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Whitman School of Management and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The new B.S./M.S. and stand-alone M.S. program will offer rigorous courses and internships with the goal of providing students a competitive edge in the job market after they graduate. For those continuing on to a professional school like medical, dental or physician assistant school, the extra knowledge and research experience will provide applicants with an edge over the competition.

4+1 A&S/Newhouse Combined Degree

For students interested in pursuing a major from A&S | Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and an M.A. or M.S. degree in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the 4+1 combined degree program allows students to complete the coursework for both degrees in five years.

Students dually enrolled in A&S | Maxwell and Newhouse complete the requirements for an A&S | Maxwell B.A. or B.S. degree, or a selected studies program and also satisfy requirements for an M.A. or M.S. in Newhouse, chosen from advertising; arts journalism and communications; broadcast and digital journalism; magazine, news and digital journalism; media studies; multimedia, photography and design; new media management; public relations; or television, radio and film.

To be eligible for admission to the program students must be admitted to A&S | Maxwell with the decision on whether to admit the student into Newhouse based primarily on the student’s undergraduate academic record. Students must have a 3.25 GPA after completing 60 credit hours of coursework in A&S | Maxwell.

Find out more about the 4+1 A&S/Newhouse Combined Degree.

Digital Humanities and Health Humanities ILMs

Integrated Learning Majors (ILMs) allow students to integrate a traditional major with a set of coursework in an applied or multidisciplinary field. ILMs combine deep training in the liberal arts with comprehensive training in modern fields of study.

ILMs build on institutional strengths and new fields of study to prepare students for the global workplace. Employees are increasingly being asked to apply their expertise to seemingly unrelated areas and as a result, need to have an understanding of their own field and secondary knowledge of another, often interdisciplinary, field. ILMs appeal to students wanting to combine liberal studies and professional training.

The Digital Humanities ILM unites the strengths of the humanities, where students learn how to think creative and critically, with attention to digital and information technology. This ILM enables you to extend your study of the humanities to digital culture, as both a tool in service of the humanities and an object of humanistic study. Study in the ILM will apply the traditional skills of the humanities (contextualization, historicization, critical and rhetorical thinking) to understand digital culture while also learning how digital technologies can enable us to explore key questions in the humanities.

The Health Humanities ILM engages students with social and ethical questions that are central to all medical fields. The 24-credit hour program introduces students to a range of courses, including humanities, philosophy, sociology, psychology and anthropology. Medical schools are looking for future doctors who have not only excellent academic training, but also strong emotional intelligence and habits of critical reflection that this ILM helps to foster. Health humanities majors often go on to pursue advanced degrees in the following areas: dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, public health, health administration, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, nursing, law and physician assistant studies.

B.A. in Creative Writing

The Department of English’s signature creative writing program, home to the well-regarded M.F.A., now offers a bachelor of arts degree. The new creative writing major and minor are open to students with an interest in developing their skills as writers and readers of creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. The creative writing major is 30 credits and combines a grounding in literary study with a workshop-style focus on writing. The creative writing minor requires students to take 18 credits of craft classes and creative writing workshops. For more information about enrolling, email Sarah Harwell at

Media Contact

Dan Bernardi