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Self-Designed Major

With the self-designed major, students can pursue a unique, interdisciplinary course of study tailored to their own specific interests. Usually a student who declares a self-designed major already has substantial experience in a discipline and wants to explore other disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to a particular field, topic, or problem.

Self-designed majors must be substantially different from any established major at William & Mary. Examples of previous self-designed majors include, but are not limited to:

  • Biophysical chemistry
  • Communications
  • Contemporary publishing and digital media
  • European politics
  • Environmental economics
  • Geographic information science
  • Global ethics
  • Health analytics 

The self-designed major can lead to either a B.A. or B.S. degree, depending on how it’s designed to fulfill the requirements. Students work with a faculty advisor to map out a sound academic program of study and complete the application.

Please note, William & Mary diplomas only state the name of the degree (e.g. Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). Self-designed majors are Interdisciplinary Studies majors with a concentration in Self-Designed. The transcript will include a comment with the title of the self-designed major.

Students pursuing a self-designed major are encouraged to also consider an Interdisciplinary Independent Study or Interdisciplinary Honors project. Please note that if you decide to do so, you will need to apply no later than the end of the semester before the one in which you want to register for the course.

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs can help students determining if this is the right course of study, find advisors, and share examples of applications and coursework.