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Self-Designed Major


When turning in the Self-Designed Major Declaration Form, be sure to also include:

  • the Registrar's Declaration of Major Form
  • an Unofficial Transcript and
  • a one-page description of, and rationale for, the concentration's focus

A student working in consultation with a faculty advisor may formulate an interdisciplinary major that is uniquely tailored to his or her interest. The responsibility for formulating a sound academic program of interdisciplinary study lies with the individual student and the advisor, and the proposed major must be approved by the Committee on Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies (CHIS).

Normally, students pursuing an interdisciplinary major base their program upon a solid understanding of an established discipline, and must include courses from at least three departments, with no more than half of the credit hours from any one department. More than two courses at the introductory level are seldom approved.

An interdisciplinary major may include no more than 48 credit hours and no less than 30. If you are a dual major, you may use up to two courses for both majors with the approval of CHIS. You may count up to two courses toward both an interdisciplinary major and a minor. Applications which indicate "elective" as a course description will not be accepted.

Majors are strongly encouraged to include either an Independent Study or an Honors project within the proposed major.

Applications for interdisciplinary majors must be submitted to the Committee on Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies before the beginning of preregistration for the first semester of the student's senior year. All interdisciplinary programs must be compatible with the degree requirements for Arts and Sciences.

Each major must fulfill the Major Writing Requirement by earning a grade of C- or better in the course designated as the writing course within the program submitted to CHIS. Each major must also fulfill the Computer Proficiency Requirement by earning a grade of C- or better in the course designated as the computer proficiency course within the program submitted. CHIS, or the appropriate advisory committee, must approve the designation of courses that fulfill the writing and computer proficiency requirements.

The focus of this plan of study should be reflected in the descriptive title of the concentration and in a one-page description of, and rationale for, the concentration's focus.

Changes in an interdisciplinary major involving a substitution of courses can be made on petition (pdf) by the student to CHIS. Such a petition should be submitted BEFORE the substitution is made and should be initiated in consultation with the student's advisor.