Independent Major and Minor
Lawrence Breitborde, Dean of the College
Students cooperating with two or more faculty members may design an independent major that combines work in several departments. Students are encouraged to pursue this option when they have a keen interest in a substantial set of intellectual issues bridging courses in different disciplines.
Students who wish to pursue an independent 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 independent 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 independent 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 independent major is indicated on the student?s transcript by a specific title, e.g., "Independent Major: Film Theory." 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 design an independent minor, following procedures similar to those for independent majors. 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 independent 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 independent minor using the Independent Minor Proposal form, which requires the signature of a faculty sponsor. The signed form is submitted to the Registrar.