The student-designed major is an interdisciplinary major that exemplifies the mission of a liberal arts education. It is available to students who wish to develop a more individualized program of study than those provided by existing majors. The major is administered by the Associate Dean of Faculty, Calvert Hall 104a.
The student-designed major must be a coherent program of study that crosses disciplinary lines by combining courses from at least three disciplines. One of the major disciplines must be chosen as the primary discipline to provide a coherent focus for the major. The major should adhere to the same principles of breadth, depth, and liberal arts-centered inquiry that the faculty has established for existing majors.
Admission is granted to the major through the submission of a proposal to the college Curriculum Review Committee, which has the final authority to approve or deny proposals. In order to ensure a carefully planned and executed curriculum, students who are interested in declaring a student-designed major must submit their proposal by the time they have completed 56 credit hours.
Students wishing to pursue a student-designed major must meet with the student-designed major coordinator to discuss the goals and outline of the proposed major. Examples of past student-designed majors and sample templates are available for guidance purposes, but ultimately the design of the major course of study is the student’s own responsibility. In planning the major and creating the proposal, the student must select an advisory committee of two faculty members, one from the primary discipline and one from one of the secondary disciplines. The student-designed major coordinator or his or her representative also serves on the advisory committee. To ensure a consistent level of ongoing coordination and guidance, if the major proposal is approved, one member of the advisory committee will become the student’s academic adviser, and the student must subsequently organize one meeting per year with the committee as a whole.