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Field Description

When a student's educational objectives cannot be fully attained solely by study within an existing department, program, or school, he or she is given the option of devising an ad hoc pattern of courses in an area of concentration of his or her own choosing. A student may embark upon an arts and sciences ad hoc major following preparation and formal acceptance of a proposal outlining the area of study, the desired outcomes, and the educational values of the program. Arts and sciences ad hoc majors have been devised by students interested in majoring in area studies, childrens studies, fine and performing arts, modern languages, the natural sciences, and religion and culture.

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The Major

As described above, the arts and sciences ad hoc major is a student-designed course of study. Students create this major by combining courses from two or more departments into an integrated field of study with a clear liberal arts focus. There is no ad hoc major within the Zicklin School of Business or the School of Public Affairs.

The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences ad hoc major requires a minimum of 30 credits, with at least 24 liberal arts credits. The major must contain courses from at least two different Weissman departments, with a minimum of three courses (9–12 credits) from each of those departments, and may contain no more than two courses from the discipline in which the student intends to complete a minor (those one or two courses cannot be used toward completion of the minor). A maximum of three non–liberal arts courses may be included in an ad hoc major to provide support and/or supplementation to a strong liberal arts concept. No more than three courses from the Zicklin School of Business (3000-level and above) may be used in a Weissman ad hoc major. Students interested in including business courses in their ad hoc major should refer to the following website for the list of courses approved for use: 

Students are required to attend an ad hoc workshop led by Dr.Wendy Heyman, Arts and Sciences Coordinator in the Starr Career Development Center. Once drafted, the ad hoc proposal must be reviewed and approved by Dr. Heyman, faculty advisors from two of the Weissman departments in which at least three courses (9–12 credits) will be completed, and the Office of the Associate Dean,Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.

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Popular Ad Hoc Categories

The following interdisciplinary concentrations offer specific guidelines. Please make an appointment with the appropriate faculty advisor.

The Arts: Art, Theatre, And Arts Administration

Students interested in a career in the field of management and administration in the arts may consider the interdisciplinary arts administration specialization. In the visual arts or theatre, students complete an appropriate ad hoc major, an internship in an arts organization, and arts administration courses. This major and course offerings are described in full in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts section of this bulletin. Students may also contact the department at 646-312-4052 for additional information.

Asian And Asian American Studies

Students can combine Asian and Asian American studies courses with other liberal arts disciplines as well as courses in international business to devise a unique ad hoc major in arts and sciences. Students interested in including Asian and Asian American studies courses as part of an arts and sciences ad hoc major should contact History Professor Charlotte Brooks (646-312-4340; or Sociology and Anthropology Professor Carla Bellamy (646-312-4482;

Modern Languages And Comparative Literature

Students interested in including French, Spanish, or Italian as part of an arts and sciences ad hoc major should contact the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at 646-312-4210. For more information about department course offerings, students should review the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature section of this bulletin.

Natural Sciences

Students interested in including chemistry, environmental studies, or physics courses as part of an arts and sciences ad hoc major to prepare for graduate study in biology, for professional programs in medicine and health care, and for science teaching should contact the Department of Natural Sciences at 646-660-6200. For more information about department course offerings, students should review the department's section of this bulletin.

Religion And Culture

Students interested in including courses in religion and culture as part of an arts and sciences ad hoc major should contact Professor Michael Plekon, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at 646-312-4472 or by e-mail at For more information about religion and culture courses, students should review the Religion and Culture Program section of this bulletin.

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