Students accepted into the Beyond Boundaries Program
will have opportunities to explore topics — from climate change to aging to creativity — from multiple disciplinary perspectives. This two-year program, with the option to continue for two more years, equips students to make a difference in a complicated world. By allowing students to enter Washington University unaffiliated with any one school (for their first year), the program allows them to address challenges that do not reside within the territory of a single discipline.
Beyond Boundaries is a framework of classes and resources that allows students to understand issues in an interdisciplinary way. Faculty from the School of Medicine, Olin Business School, Brown School, School of Law, McKelvey School of Engineering, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, and Arts & Sciences collaborate in the Beyond Boundaries Program to produce an interdisciplinary curriculum rich with possibilities for students with interests that do not fit within the confines of traditional subject matter.
Beyond Boundaries aims to bring a student's different interests into conversation with each other in order to approach the big social and intellectual problems of tomorrow. This is a different approach than having two majors, which indicates an interest in two separate fields of study. Many students in the program may have two majors, but this is not a requirement of the program.
Beyond Boundaries spans the first two years of a student's time at Washington University, with the option to continue into the third and fourth years. At the beginning of their second year, Beyond Boundaries students matriculate into their chosen school and declare a major during the spring semester.
- Students who participate in both the first and second years of the Beyond Boundaries Program will receive a milestone notation on their transcripts.
- Students who complete years three and four of the program, regardless of whether they entered during their first or third year, will receive a milestone notation on their transcripts.
- Those who complete all four years of the program will receive an Interdisciplinary Certificate upon graduation.
The required curriculum of year one includes College Writing, multiple Beyond Boundaries courses, and a first-year 1-credit seminar (fall and spring semesters, Beyond Boundaries students only). During year one and two (and beyond if applicable), program students also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of lectures, seminars and community-building events that count toward program requirements.
Students participating in Beyond Boundaries can still complete their graduation requirements in four years.
The minimum GPA requirements needed to maintain eligibility for Satisfactory Academic Progress are dictated by the specific program of study. In each case, per the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 668.34(a)(4(ii), the federal student aid program requires a minimum of a C average to maintain eligibility for aid, but an individual degree or certificate program may have a higher minimum GPA for federal Satisfactory Academic Progress. Beyond Boundaries Program students are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. To be in good academic standing in the program on a semesterly basis, students are expected to complete a minimum of 12 units per semester with a minimum 2.0 semester GPA.
In special circumstances, if a first-year program student wishes to leave the program, they must be approved for a transfer to an undergraduate division, either before the fourth week of the fall semester or after the fall semester has finished. The approval of the Beyond Boundaries Program as well as the proposed school is required.
Who Should Apply
Students who are talented, self-initiated and self-motivated and who wish to pursue their own broad interdisciplinary interests through a unique education experience that requires collaboration across academic disciplines and perspectives should consider applying to this program.
Who Should Not Apply
Students interested in pursuing degrees in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, and environmental engineering cannot participate in the program due to specific track-based requirements.
These students are invited to apply for year three of the Beyond Boundaries Program, which spans the student’s third and fourth years and includes a fourth-year capstone experience.