Jun 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Self-Designed, B.A. or B.S.


Minimum number of credits to complete the major: Variable

Minimum cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

 

School: All Schools

Department: Multiple and Interdisciplinary

Learn more about the program

 

This special interdepartmental major provides students with an opportunity to design a customized and individualized curriculum that meets their particular academic interests and their professional and personal goals.

The major consists of at least nine courses (36 credits) offered by two or more departments. Working with an academic advisor, students proposing a self-designed major will craft a program proposal that articulates the internal logic and academic objectives of the specific self-designed major. All students proposing a self-designed major must select a field that will serve as their area of concentration for the major. For some, this choice may be an in-depth study of one or more disciplines. Students can also combine minors from different academic areas across our five schools. By customizing a major, you’ll have the opportunity to build multiple skill sets across in-demand disciplines and choose a theme or a problem from an interdisciplinary perspective, such as “Strategic Marketing and Data Analytics”, Graphic Design and Entrepreneurship”, “Sport Management and Communication”, “Business Communication”, “American History and Literature”, or “Spanish and Public Health.” Students can use the program to develop a pre-professional or professional major not currently available as a departmental major.

 

How to Propose a Self-Designed Major

All students are required to submit a proposed plan of study listing the specific courses that will be required to complete the major. These courses must follow logically from a statement of educational purposes and goals.

In addition, majors require a minimum of nine courses (36 credits), although a major may include more than the minimum credits and courses. The courses included in the major must come from at least two departments, and at least half of them must be considered to be beyond the introductory level.

The proposal also must identify whether the degree to be earned with the major is a B.A. or a B.S. degree, and it must provide a brief name for the major that will be recorded in College records and printed on the student’s transcript.

Since the proposal must be approved by the departments that offer the courses included in the major, the final page of the proposal should include approval lines for the chairs of those departments 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 in which the majority of the courses in the major are offered, and the original signed proposal should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. When the Office of the Registrar receives the proposal, students can proceed to completing their designated courses and accomplishing their goals.

Proposals for self-designed interdepartmental majors should be developed before the end of the junior year. A proposal submitted to the Office of the Registrar in a student’s final semester may not be accepted.

 

Proposal Template

In summary, proposals for self-designed interdepartmental majors should include the following elements:

  • Title including the name of the proposed major and whether the degree to be earned with this major is a B.A. or a B.S. (Example: “Proposal for a Self-Designed Major for a B.A. degree in Philosophy and Public Service”)
  • Student’s name
  • Identification of the student’s educational purposes and goals and/or professional and personal goals that the proposed major is designed to serve
  • List of the specific courses to be completed for the major, with their relationship to the goals explained
  • Minimum of 36 credits to be completed in a minimum of nine courses
  • Courses must come from at least two departments
  • 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 major and the Dean of the relevant school