Contact: Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Chairs of Departments offering relevant courses
This special interdepartmental minor provides students with an opportunity to design an individualized minor that meets their particular academic interests and their professional and personal goals.
The minor consists of at least 20 credits to be completed in a minimum of five courses offered by two or more departments. Working with an academic advisor, students proposing a self- designed minor will need to craft a program proposal that articulates the internal logic and academic objectives of their specific self-designed minor.
All students proposing a self-designed minor must select a focus of study for the minor. For some, this choice may be a shared area or point of connection among two or three disciplines. Others may choose a theme or an issue approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students can use the self-designed minor to enrich their personal development and preparation in ways not currently available through a departmental minor.
How to Propose a Self-Designed Minor
All students are required to submit a proposed plan of study listing the specific courses that will be required to complete the minor. These courses must follow logically from a statement of educational purposes and goals.
In addition, minors require a minimum of 20 credits to be completed in a minimum of five courses. Although a minor may include more than the minimum credits and courses, it should not contain more than more than 30 credits, which is 75% of a minimal major requirement. The courses included in the minor should come from at least two departments. Students, however, may propose a minor with courses from just one department if (1) the minor is not offered by the department and they can take enough courses to fulfill the proposed minor (e.g., a Photography minor within Visual and Performing Arts) and (2) the proposed self-designed requirements does not simply replicate an existing minor–i.e., it cannot be an alternative version of an existing minor. At least half of the courses in a self-designed minor must be considered to be beyond the introductory level, and the proposal also must identify a brief name for the minor.
Since the proposal must be approved by the departments that offer the courses included in the minor and the dean, the final page of the proposal should include approval lines for the chairs of those departments and the dean to sign. The advisor, the relevant department chairs, and the dean can provide assistance and advice as the proposal is developed.
When all of these approvals have been obtained, a copy of the proposal should be submitted to the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, and the original signed proposal should be submitted to the Registrar. When the Registrar accepts the proposal, students can proceed to completing their designated courses and accomplishing their goals.
Proposals for self-designed interdepartmental minors should be developed before the end of the Junior year. A proposal submitted to the Registrar’s office in a student’s final semester may not be accepted.
In summary, proposals for self-designed interdepartmental minors should include the following elements:
- Title including the name of the proposed minor (Example: “Proposal for a Self-Designed Minor in Values and Community Service”);
- Student’s name;
- Identification of the student’s educational purposes and goals and/or professional and personal goals that the proposed minor is designed to serve;
- List of the specific courses to be completed for the minor, with their relationship to the goals explained;
- Minimum of 20 credits (and a maximum of 30 credits) to be completed in a minimum of five courses;
- Courses must come from at least two departments, except as noted above, and at least half of the courses must be considered to be beyond the introductory level;
- Approvals page with spaces for the signatures of the chairs of the departments offering the courses in the minor and the dean.