We recognise that complex challenges in the society and consequently, new kind of job opportunities are occurring at the intersection of various axes of influence, defined by disciplines (data, materials, biology, and behaviour), nature (air, water, forests, and land), sectors of impact (health, transport, energy, and education) and society (individual and community). An Ahmedabad education guides you to navigate this fast emerging need to deploy theory into practice and address these intersecting issues.
Interdisciplinary learning becomes crucial in such settings – whether it is Climate Change and issues of saving corals or mangroves or Public Health and issues of data and platforms for development of vaccines or it is Transportation and issues of connected vehicles and clean fuels etc. Ahmedabad students learn to connect multidisciplinary knowledge and real-life experiences to develop a better understanding of issues, its analysis, and decision making around them.
It is not uncommon to find faculty from two different disciplines in the same classroom teaching the same course.
The University also provides flexibility of creating a customised Major to meet the academic requirements of a very well prepared student. Such a student may decide to undertake an Interdisciplinary Major (instead of a predefined Major) or a self-designed Major. The student has to initiate a request for an Interdisciplinary Major and defend a proposal before a Committee on Individual Choice. If approved, the programme of study will be designed by the Committee on Individual Choice in conjunction with the student. An interested student will apply to a single Major at the time of application and may indicate that he/she would be interested in an Interdisciplinary Major. The student will work with the Committee on Individual Choice during the first year at the University and will design the Interdisciplinary Major and the accompanying programme of study at the end of the second semester. Alternatively, a student can apply to transfer to an Interdisciplinary Major at any time; however, such a student may have to take an additional set of courses which may increase the duration to complete the programme (Note that this option is in addition to the pre designed Interdisciplinary Majors existing at the University, such as, Philosophy, History and Languages or the Social and Political Sciences in the Bachelor of Arts Programme or Finance and Economics in the Bachelor of Business Administration Programme). Generally, very few proposals for Interdisciplinary Majors are accepted each year, so a student should have a traditional Major in mind.
It is becoming abundantly clear that the key challenge to our societies in the 21st century is from the interplay of a variety of sources that range from rapid urbanisation, consumption of natural resources, waste and sanitation, and, above all, global warming and pollution. The coronavirus pandemic has reemphasised a range of anthropogenic threats, the most obvious of which is the climate crisis.
In keeping with our interdisciplinary perspective at Ahmedabad University towards finding answers to many complex questions of our times and studying phenomena that help us understand their impact on our society and on the generations to come, we have created two University-wide Programmes around Sustainable Systems and Living. These Programmes are meant to spur interdisciplinary inquiry through research, development of new courses and teaching material, new interdisciplinary laboratory experiments, art and related activities that involve the University community, workshops, field visits for students and faculty, development of a Minor and more.
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The University provides you an opportunity to pursue alternative areas of interest (in addition to a Major) by taking a limited number of prescribed courses in a given area. Minors are another way of building expertise in multiple areas and be able to build perspectives and skills that will allow you to search for solutions for problems from more than one direction.
We encourage you to design your own course by taking an independent study with a Professor. If you are interested in exploring an issue or a problem or are intrigued by a phenomenon, develop a reading list or a field project or a build a model under the supervision of one or more faculty. It’s a phenomenal way of building interdisciplinary capabilities.