Lawrence Breitborde, Dean of the College
Students cooperating with two or more faculty members may propose a self-designed major that combines work in several departments. Students are encouraged to pursue this option when they have a keen interest in a substantial intellectual issue that is best studied through the integration of courses in different disciplines.
Students who wish to pursue a self-designed major may obtain the guidelines from the Registrar. Before preparing an application, the student should discuss his or her tentative plans with Dean Breitborde and with the prospective faculty advisors for the self-designed major. Application should be made at least six weeks before the end of the sophomore year and in no case later than the end of the second term of the junior year. Applications made during the senior year will not be approved. Completed applications must be supported by written recommendations from the two faculty advisors. The Curriculum Committee reviews each application and its approval is necessary. To be approved, proposals for self-designed majors should describe a plan of study which is comparable in depth and sophistication to regular majors and involves between 11 and 13 credits.
The self-designed major is indicated on the student’s transcript by a specific title, e.g., "Self-Designed Major: Political Economy." The courses that make up the major are not specified on the transcript. Titles should be descriptive of the course work as a whole.
Students can also complete a self-designed minor. The minor consists of at least 5 and no more than 6 credits drawn from at least two departments or fields of study, with no more than 3 credits from any one department or field of study. No more than 2 credits in the self-designed minor may overlap with a student’s major and/or other minor. Normally, no more than one-third of the credits in the minor may be at the 100-level, and at least one 300-level course is recommended.
Students propose an self-designed minor using the Self-Designed Minor Proposal form, which requires the signature of a faculty sponsor. The signed form is submitted to the Registrar.
Recent Self-Designed Majors
Business and Society
Creativity and Gender
Latin American Studies
Social Psychology of Art
Sociology of Education
Recent Self-Designed Minors
Aesthetic Theory and Criticism
History of Philosophy
Middle Eastern Studies
Race and Gender Studies