Progression through the Linked Major

Meeting the requirements for the CIS Major can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on your foundational major and interdisciplenary interests. Below is a typical progression.

  • First and Second Year 
    All CIS majors should take CIS 221 and/or CIS 222 in their first or sophomore year. Typically, the summer research experience is fulfilled in the summer between sophomore and junior year.
  • Junior and Senior Year

    We encourage students to build on their summer experience with research credit in both semesters of junior year and to complete an honors thesis in senior year. At least two research credits are required. 

    All CIS majors must take the senior colloquium (CIS 321/322) in both semesters of their final year. Additionally, two journal clubs or seminars in two different disciplines are required. 

    The linked major requires two additional interdisciplinary electives, most often hosted outside the foundational major. These upper level courses are typically taken in junior and/or senior year. 

Pathways to CIS 

There are many established and emerging fields of study that lie at the intersection of two or more disciplines. Below are examples of pathways to completing the CIS major that include synergies across departments. These are merely ideas; each student's course of study is unique. The specific electives and seminars used to fulfill the CIS major requirements should be determined in consultation with the student's CIS linked-major advisor.

  • Animal Studies

    Animal Studies is an emerging field that builds on scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences to investigate past and present relations between human and non-human animals, the representation of those relations, their ethical implications and their social, political, and ecological effects in and on the world. It is a field of critical importance today as the complex, but fragile interdependence of all life becomes increasingly apparent, and as scholars, artists, and activists seek ways to understand and enhance the lives of all animals. Wesleyan Animal Studies fosters scholarship on human-animal relations from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

    NSM Majors associated with Animal Studies: Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Psychology

    Interdisciplinary Minor: Animal Studies

  • Climate Science

    Climate science investigates the structure and dynamics of climate systems in order to understand how and why local, regional, and global climates change over time. It employs observations and theory from a variety of disciplines including meterology, oceanography, physics, and chemistry.

    NSM Majors associated with Climate Science: ChemistryComputer ScienceEarth and Environmental Science, Physics

    Interdisciplinary Minors: Environmental StudiesInformatics and Modeling

  • Cognitive Science

    Cognitive science is the study of the mind and its processes from the perspectives of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and anthropology.

    NSM Majors associated with Cognitive Science: Computer ScienceNeuroscience and Behavior, Psychology

    Interdisciplinary Minors: Data Analysis, Informatics and Modeling

  • Forensic Science

    Forensic Science is a broad, interdisciplinary field in which the natural sciences are used to analyze, examine, evaluate and assess physical evidence in matters of the law.

    NSM Majors and Minors associated with Forensic Science: BiologyChemistry, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry


  • Health Studies

    Health studies encompasses fields of interest in medical practice and research, veterinary studies, public policy, environmental toxicology, epidemiology and immunology, biotechnology, and pharmacology. 

    NSM Majors associated with Health Studies: BiologyChemistry, Molecular Biology and BiochemistryNeuroscience and Behavior, Psychology

    Interdisciplinary Minor: Informatics and Modeling  

  • Molecular Biophysics

    Molecular Biophysics is situated at the intersection of molecular biology, chemistry, and physics, and defines an interdisciplinary vantage point from which to develop a fundamental description of biological systems that spurs new and important advances in life science and biotechnology.

    NSM Majors associated with Molecular Biophysics: BiologyChemistry, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Physics

    Interdisciplinary Minor: Molecular Biophysics

  • Planetary Science
    Planetary Science is the study of the origin of planetary systems, planetary geology and geochemistry and the application of remote sensing to terrestrial environmental problems. This work incorporates results from observational astronomy, planetary image analyses, and the laboratory and field studies of Earth analogues to other planets.
  • Quantum Biology

    Quantum Biology is a field of study that applies quantum mechanics and theoretical chemistry to biological objects and problems.

    NSM Majors associated with Quantum Biology: Biology, ChemistryPhysics


  • Science Communication

    Science Communication is the practice of informing, educating, and raising awareness of science-related topics. Science communication is used in scientific journalism, education, media, outreach, scholarly publication, documentary film, and public policy. 

    NSM Majors associated with Science Communication: an emphasis in science communication is compatible with any NSM major

    Interdisciplinary Minors: Education Studies, Film StudiesGlobal Engagement

  • Synthetic Biology

    Synthetic Biology is an interdisciplinary field of study that involves the application of engineering principles to biology. It is a branch of science that encompasses a broad range of methodologies from various disciplines, such as biotechnology, genetic engineering, molecular biology, molecular engineering, systems biology, membrane science, biophysics, chemical and biological engineering, electrical and computer engineering, control engineering and evolutionary biology.

    NSM Majors associated with Synthetic BiologyChemistry, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Physics


  • Systems Theory and Data Analysis

    Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems, which are cohesive groups of interrelated, interdependent parts that can be natural or human-made. Data analysis is the process of collecting, modeling, and analyzing data to extract insights that support decision-making. These two fields work in tandem and can be applied to any data.

    NSM Majors associated with Systems Theory and/or Data Analysis: Computer Science, Mathematics, Psychology, and the techniques may be used with any major as a research foundation

    Interdisciplinary Minors: Data Analysis, Informatics and Modeling