Prospective Student FAQs

BDIC is short for “Bachelor’s Degree with Individualized Concentration.”  The BDIC Major allows students to design their own individualized, interdisciplinary programs in areas that are not covered by traditional majors at UMass Amherst.

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Come to the BDIC office in 230 Commonwealth Honors College for a consultation. You will meet with a Peer Advisor, a current BDIC major, to talk about your ideas and whether BDIC is a good match for you?

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No! BDIC cannot be used to redesign an existing major, such as Biology or History

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Admission into the BDIC major is a multi-step process.  The first step is to submit an Application for placement in the 1 credit BDIC Proposal Writing Class (BDIC 396P).  This is where you formulate your proposed BDIC program in detail.  At the end of the class, you submit your Proposal for approval and admission into the BDIC Major. 

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The BDIC major requires a minimum of 4 semesters in the program.  However this can include a summer semester.  This makes it possible to start the BDIC major as late as the second semester of Junior year.  However, the earlier you get started in BDIC the more complete a job you can do covering your area of interest.

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Come to the BDIC office to familiarize yourself with our requirements so you can start planning your future course work. Try to satisfy as many General Education requirements as well as prerequisites to future upper-level BDIC-related courses as possible before you start your program as a first-semester sophomore.

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Very likely - Yes.  You should come to the BDIC office in 230 Commonwealth Honors College as soon as possible to discuss your situation and get started with the admission process.

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The foreign language requirement may not apply to every BDIC student. Your BDIC faculty supervisor will decide whether or not you need a foreign language on the basis of your concentration area.

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The diploma will read, “Bachelor of Arts (or Science) with Individual Concentration” and the transcript will read, “. . .with a concentration in your field.” In order to receive the Bachelor of Science degree, the student must complete at least 60 credits in the sciences.

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You may be allowed to count a maximum of 12 credits from the three semesters preceeding your enrollment in the Proposal Writing Class (BDIC 396P), provided that they are relevant for your BDIC concentration.  A minimum of 2 semesters of BDIC work must be completed following the semester you are enrolled in the Proposal Writing Class. See the Proposal Writing Guidelines for further information.

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Yes.  Many BDIC students do double majors.  Some have BDIC as their primary major.  Others have BDIC as a secondary major. 

For some students, their BDIC concentration complements their traditional major.  A recent example is a BDIC concentration in "Integrated Labor Studies" together with an Economics major.  Some pre-med students combine a hard science major with a BDIC concentration that relates to their interests in human health.  Other students have second majors that are unrelated to their BDIC concentrations.

The general rule is that at most two classes from your second major may be counted towards your BDIC concentration as well.  In addition, you only need to take one Junior Year Writing class.

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BDIC Majors have the option to either take BDIC’s own JYW course (BDIC 350) or to take a JYW course in an academic area related to their concentration. Students taking JYW in another department should notify the BDIC Assistant Director or Office Manager what course that are taking to satisfy the JYW requirement. 

Note that the JYW course does not count towards the 12 course/36 credit BDIC concentration requirement.

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Yes!  A great many BDIC students study abroad or do domestic exchanges.  Talk to the BDIC Assistant Director or Peer Advisors for advice on making this part of your program. 

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Maybe.  The BDIC requirements call for a minimum of 12 classes/36 credits at the 300 level or above.  However, as part of your BDIC Proposal you can ask for “exceptions” for a certain number of lower level classes.  Ultimately, your BDIC Faculty Supervisor be the who decides whether this will be allowed, or not.  As a general rule, you should not expect that you will be allowed more than two 200 level classes.

See the Proposal Writing Guidelines for further information.

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Only a maximum of 9 total credits of internships and independent studies (with a max of 6 in either category) can count towards your 12 class/36 credit BDIC concentration requirement.  You are always free to go beyond this (and many BDIC students do), but the additional credits won’t count towards the requirement.

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Absolutely!  Many BDIC majors include Five College classes in their curricula.  There is no limit on the number of Five College classes.

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