Before Undergraduate Studies (UGS) students declare a major, they have the chance to test drive one during Interdisciplinary Studies Week (ISW). In its fifth year, ISW—a partnership between UGS and Senate of College Councils—pairs upper-class mentors with undeclared students. The program offers a dedicated week of major exploration, encouraging students and their mentors to meet up for coffee and attend classes together, giving them a sneak peek of their future day-to-day studies.
This year, UGS student Abigail Robertson signed up to participate because she is interested in pursuing biology and wanted to gain insight into what the major entails. After being paired with biology student Samantha Rabinowitz and attending her cellular biology class, Robertson’s major choice was affirmed: “I really enjoyed ISW! It provided good context to the path I might pursue.”
In addition to UGS students previewing coursework and meeting peers, mentors enjoy the opportunity to give back. Rabinowitz noted that she signed up to mentor during ISW because she wanted to share the lessons she learned along the way from being undeclared to declaring biology. “Major exploration is important,” says Rabinowitz. “I got into biology because I had the chance to explore different interests while I was still in UGS.” Rabinowitz emphasized that there are many exploratory resources available for students. “It’s really important to explore several options and find your passion.”
Samantha Rabinowitz and Abigail Robertson