Customized Major



Design a major that fits your interests and career goals.
50 Credit Hours (Minimum)

Overview

Westminster’s dedicated faculty members are here to ensure you pursue a course of study that is the right fit for you and your ambitions. Your education should support your passion and drive, encourage your curiosity, and allow you to use your agency to explore your interests. You don’t have to fit into a conventional major. With a customized major, you’ll create the perfect personalized academic experience. Faculty will help you craft a plan of study made up of courses that explore your interests, answer your questions, and align with your professional and educational goals.

Who It's For

All students (including transfer and returning) are encouraged to explore creating a customized major. This is a great option if:

  • Your multiple interests, ideal career path, and/or plans for graduate studies don’t fall into a pre-defined major
  • You’re passionate about an issue
  • You’re looking for answers to pressing problems
  • You want to create a major that is unique to you
  • You're focused, highly motivated, creative, or curious
  • You want to explore connections between disciplines

Key Benefits

  • Individualized faculty advising
  • Fully customized plan of study
  • Ability to explore multiple disciplines
  • Opportunities to complete internships and study abroad
  • Encouragement to explore unique questions and pressing problems
  • Gives you a unique story that helps you stand out to employers and graduate schools

About the Program

What You'll Learn

The learning goals you identify with your faculty members will shape what you learn. However, all students in a customized major will deepen their capacities in the following areas:

  • Agency: Act independently and make your own free choices.
  • Critical Thinking: Comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts, events, and other positions.
  • Creativity: Combine or synthesize new ideas, practices, or expertise in original ways characterized by innovation, divergent thinking, and risk-taking.
  • Collaboration: Demonstrate self-awareness, understanding of effective group dynamics, and project management skills.
  • Communication: Communicate ideas to audiences in verbal, visual, and written forms to establish knowledge, increase understanding, or advocate for a particular position.
  • Global Responsibility: Employ practices informed by social responsibility across the spectrum of differences and demonstrate knowledge of and evaluate solutions for challenges affecting local, regional, and global communities.

Plan of Study

Design Process

Designing a customized major can take several months. You should start the process as early as possible. However, you cannot submit your customized major application until you have completed the equivalent of 1 full-time semester of academic work at Westminster and earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all courses completed.

Current Students: Contact Julie Stewart, customized major program director.

Future Griffins: Talk to your admissions counselor about pursuing a customized major or request more information about the program and Westminster to be assigned a counselor. The Office of Admissions will assist you in your admissions process and connect you with Julie Stewart, customized major program director.

The director will schedule an interview to discuss your academic history and interests, explain the process of designing and proposing a customized major, and refer you to 2 faculty members who will:

  • Provide field-specific advice
  • Support you throughout your academic experience
  • Identify campus clubs/organizations, internships, and community service opportunities that help you stand out in a competitive world
Application

With help from your faculty members, you will fill out a customized major application, identifying:

  • Major title
  • Sequenced courses from relevant disciplines (plan of study)
  • Learning goals
  • Career and/or educational objectives supported
  • How the major compares to existing programs in the same field at other institutions

A complete customized major application should be submitted to the customized major program director for approval at least 3 semesters before your planned graduation date.

2021–22 Program Requirements

You will be held to the program requirements in the academic catalog for the academic year you begin your customized major. Academic catalogs for the next academic year are published towards the end of the spring semester of the current academic year.

VIEW program IN THE ACADEMIC CATALOG

Curriculum Requirements
  • Curriculum consists of courses from 2 or more academic programs
  • Curriculum is unified by a solid conceptual framework that reflects breadth and depth of inquiry
  • 50 credit hours minimum (must take 80% at Westminster)
  • At least 1 course is in research methods from one of the primary disciplines
  • Selected courses reflect a reasonable balance and sequence of introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses
  • Completion of a senior capstone project or thesis that integrates insights, information, and methods from the relevant disciplines into a focused inquiry or experience
    • Must be proposed to the advisory committee.
    • Project results should be presented in a public forum at Westminster (such as the Undergraduate Conference) or elsewhere.

It is strongly recommended that you complete a minimum of 8 credit hours of world language classes, though introductory language classes are not applicable toward the major.

Up to 8 credit hours may be satisfied by independent study, internships, community work, and supervised work experience.

Only classes passed with a C or higher are applicable towards the major.

General Requirements
  • Approval from 2 faculty members and the customized major program director
  • A clear relation to career or educational objectives

Liberal Education Courses

You must complete the WCore program or join the Honors College (and complete requirements) to fulfill your liberal education credits.

Sample Customized Majors

There are endless possibilities for a customized major. Students have crafted majors such as:

  • Adventure tourism
  • Behavioral economics
  • Business management and video production
  • Disability justice
  • Diversity studies
  • Environmental entrepreneurship
  • Global affairs
  • Healthcare justice
  • Kinesiology
  • Medicine, health, and society
  • Music therapy
  • Neuroscience of dance
  • Recreation management
  • Scientific illustration
  • Sustainable development
  • Web design for marketing
  • Exercise and wellness

Want to learn more about the Customized Major program?

Current Students: Contact Julie Stewart, customized major program director.

Future Griffins: Talk to your admissions counselor about pursuing a customized major or request more information about the program and Westminster to be assigned a counselor. The Office of Admissions will assist you in your admissions process and connect you with Julie Stewart, customized major program director.

Career Opportunities

Whether you choose to continue your education through graduate studies or start your professional career, your abilities in cross-disciplinary thinking, active problem solving, and more that you improve through your customized major will allow you to approach issues uniquely and stand out among your peers. You will also have a personal story about your education that demonstrates your motivation, creativity, curiosity, and ability to use your agency. Additionally, you will enter the professional world with a résumé and portfolio that show your field-related experience from the experiential learning, internships, and volunteer opportunities you pursued at Westminster, allowing you to talk in interviews with employers and graduate schools about the professional experience you have, not just the courses you took.

Student Success

Customizing your plan of study based on your professional and educational goals helps you succeed anywhere life takes you. Alumni have pursued graduate studies at a variety of institutions (including law and medical school) and secured careers as entrepreneurs, artists, lawyers, leaders of non-profit organizations, physicians, public servants, global diplomats, and more.

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

Westminster College knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Learn About Tuition

You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

In addition to general merit scholarships, other scholarship programs are available to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

Check Out Scholarships

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