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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

Upside-Down Degree Planning for Current Students

Planning for Current Students

As an Upside-down student, you entered Fairhaven College with a technical degree which will become your 'major' with the expectation that you will complete the liberal arts Core and augment your degrees with some other upper division coursework.In order to help you plan your program so that the combination of your technical degrees and the courses you take at Fairhaven make an integrated whole, the following procedures have been adopted.


Building a Plan

For all Upside-down students, the Writing Portfolio and Transition Conference (FAIR 305a) should occur no later than your SECOND QUARTER at Fairhaven.  The Transition Conference will focus on providing coherent advising and the development of a plan of study to complete Core work and work to deepen the degree. 


As part of the application process, you were asked to provide a statement in articulating what you still have to learn in the area of your degree and how you  might imagine using the time at Fairhaven to fulfill both the Core and additional degree expectations. 


In preparation for the Transition Conference, you will expand on this admission statement and prepare a proposed plan of study that addresses the following questions.




How are you planning to meet your Core requirements?  As an Upside-down student, you are required to take the standard Core sequences to fulfill the liberal arts Core:

  • Lower division Core: 101a, 201a, 202a, 203a, and 206a
  • Upper Division Core: one 300 level course each of the following areas from the list of approved courses in the quarterly Fairhaven course descriptions Humanities and the Expressive Arts, Society and the Individual, and Science and Our Place on the Planet

Other experiences or courses

You are also required to take the Advanced Seminar (403a) during your last term at Fairhaven College.


  • Deepening the major area - What courses/ISPs are you planning to take to deepen your work in the technical area to make it a 'major?'  The bulk of these courses and experience should be upper division level work.
  • Consideration of a minor - Some Upside-down students have benefited from using their upper-division credits to develop an academic minor that complements the technical degree.  Is there a minor area that you might be interested in pursuing as part of your experience at Fairhaven?
  • Career or graduate school preparation - Are there particular skills you need or courses you need to take to prepare for your plans after you finish your Fairhaven degree? 
  • Integrative/Senior Project - Although the Upside-down degree process does not require a senior project, you may benefit from developing an integrative project as a culminating activity for your degree work.
  • Electives and/or pursuit of new interests - Are there other interest areas you hope to pursue during your upper division work?   How do these interests balance/intersect with the first two areas?


The Writing Portfolio & Transition Conference (FAIR 305a) will be used to discuss and approve this plan.  Once approved, it should be signed and filed in the student's permanent file.