Customized Major

Highly motivated and creative students may propose individualized programs of study that combine insights, information, and methods from several traditional disciplines.

Customized majors may focus on historical periods, key ideas, enduring questions, and/or new problems. For instance, a student might study modernism in history, literature, art, and music; or, they might explore the ideas of freedom and responsibility in philosophy, sociology, and political science; or, they might combine insights from environmental studies, communications, and education to investigate the challenge of teaching ecological literacy.

Potential concentrations include such fields as aging studies, arts finance, disability studies, diversity studies, environmental entrepreneurship, exercise science, healthcare marketing, human performance and wellness, global justice, international relations, kinesiology, medical ethics, music therapy, recreation management, scientific illustration, sustainable development, urban education, water studies, and more.

A customized major must consist of at least 50 credit hours of courses from 2 or more academic departments or programs. This curriculum must be unified by a solid conceptual framework that reflects both breadth and depth of inquiry. There must be a demonstrable relation to the student's career or educational objectives. The program must culminate in an integrative capstone project or thesis.

Applying to the Program

Since designing a customized major can take several months, students interested in the program should contact the director as early as possible in their academic careers. The director will schedule an interview to discuss the applicant's academic history and interests, explain the process of designing and proposing a customized major, and refer the student to faculty members who can provide curricular advice. The applicant will design an individualized plan of study with the help of an advisory committee that consists of 2 or more faculty members in relevant disciplines. The completed application should be submitted to the director for approval at least 3 semesters before the applicant's planned graduation date.