Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Multidisciplinary (MDST) Program and is it the right academic path for me?

The MDST Major offers students the possibility of using existing University minors, along with additional upper-level courses (300-400 level), to craft an academically rigorous course of study to advance their educational and professional goals.  The MDST major must not duplicate existing departmental majors found across the University.  Thus, the first step in the process is to review the multitude of MU majors and minors (and their various combinations) to make sure the concentration you have in mind cannot already be found in some form at the University. Please consult curriculum requirements for existing University majors ( and University minors ( 

I have reviewed existing University majors and minors and my proposed academic program seems different from current departmental offerings, what is my next step?

The next step is to review the scope, purpose and academic structures of the University’s Multidisciplinary (MDST) Major (see  If the MDST Major seems like a good academic fit for you, then schedule a meeting with the MDST Faculty Coordinator to discuss your plans.  The MDST Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Nakeiha Primus, can be contacted at or 717-871-4851.

At this initial meeting, you and the Coordinator will discuss your academic and professional goals as well as your initial ideas for an MDST concentration.  With the Coordinator’s guidance, you will be directed to two academic departments to meet with faculty members who have expertise in the two disciplines identified as Core 1 and Core 2 in your proposal.  Working with these two faculty members and the MDST Coordinator you will begin to craft your proposal (see  It is very likely that your proposal will undergo multiple drafts throughout this process (see  An example of an excellent student-crafted MDST proposal can be found at

Are there other academic issues that I need to consider while working on my proposal?


  1. The student’s MDST proposal must be approved by the MDST Curriculum Committee PRIOR to the student scheduling ANY COURSES to be used in the new concentration.
  2. Students must complete at least four (4) courses, including their capstone experience, in their MDST major, after the proposal is approved by the MDST Curriculum Committee.
  3. May graduates must have their proposals approved by the end of the preceding October and December graduates must have their proposals approved by the end of the preceding March, with the understanding that if a proposal is held up in Committee, approval exceptions may be made.
  4. MDST Committee meeting dates can be found on the MDST homepage see Final proposals must be submitted at least two weeks before a specific scheduled Committee meeting in order to be placed on the agenda for that meeting.
I have worked with my academic advisors and the MDST Coordinator and I have a completed proposal. What happens next?

Once your two academic advisors, the Department Chairs of the two disciplines in your two cores and the MDST Faculty Coordinator have signed off, then the proposal goes before the MDST Curriculum Committee for consideration.  This Committee is comprised of nine faculty members from across the University.   It is their task to examine your proposal to make sure that the proposal is aligned with the MDST guidelines and eventually vote on whether to approve the proposal.  Throughout this process the MDST Coordinator acts as the student’s advocate before the MDST Committee.  If a proposal is not approved by the Committee, the MDST Coordinator will convey the Committee’s concerns to the student.  It may be possible, with further consultations with departmental faculty, to have a revised proposal considered by the MDST Committee.

My proposal was approved by the MDST Committee, am I now a MDST major?

Almost.  Once a final proposal is approved by the MDST Committee, the student needs to complete an “Academic Major Form” see (The MDST Faculty Coordinator signs as “Department Chair of New Major”).  Once this form is processed by the Department of Academic Advisement, then you are officially a MDST major.  The two faculty members who worked with you on the proposal will become your academic advisors.  The Faculty Advisor for Core One will have your TAP number which you will need to register for future courses.  

Are there any requirements to maintain the MDST major?

You must maintain at least a 2.0 average in each of your Cores as well as a minimum 2.0 average overall to graduate with a MDST major.  If a student requests more than two (2) exceptions to their approved MDST program, a new proposal must be reviewed and approved by the MDST Curriculum Committee.