Minor in Core Independent Studies

The minor in Core Independent Studies offers students the opportunity to explore an independently chosen topic with an interdisciplinary and global reach. By taking courses in a range of different departments and disciplines, students are encouraged to extend and give greater depth to their studies while working closely with a faculty advisor. Students will complete their work by preparing a capstone project within the context of a one-semester, 2-credit Core workshop (CAS CC 350). The minor in Core Independent Studies will prepare students to undertake further innovative research projects that cross disciplinary boundaries, whether in graduate school or the workplace.

Benefits of the Core Independent Minor

  • An opportunity for focused study. The minor allows students to explore an aspect of the curriculum in greater depth by taking relevant classes in various CAS departments.
  • Mentoring. Students in the minor in Core Independent Studies each work on their theme and the capstone essay or project under the close direction of a faculty member.
  • Interdisciplinary scope. Students are able to pursue knowledge across disciplinary boundaries.
  • A learning community. Through the capstone workshop, students will participate in an exchange of ideas with a small group of peers who share the common intellectual background of Core. Further, each student will be invited to present their work at a public event attended by the larger community of Core students, faculty, and alumni.


Students are eligible to begin the minor after taking one of the four 2-course sequences available in Core: CAS CC 101/102 (First-Year Humanities); CAS CC 201/202 (Second-Year Humanities); CAS CC 221/222 (Social Sciences); or CAS CC 111/212 (Natural Sciences).

Beyond these classes, minor in Core Independent Studies students must take at least four other 4-credit courses related to their topic:

  • at least two courses from two different CAS departments outside of Core
  • at least two of the courses must be at the 300 level or higher (unless permission to substitute is obtained)

The culmination of the minor is the 2-credit capstone workshop CAS CC 350 Core Capstone, in which students over the course of a semester complete a major paper or project that crosses at least two fields of study.