A student whose interests involve several disciplines may create an individual major. Working with a faculty sponsor, the student plans a program and the specific courses to be taken. This program is then submitted to the Individual Majors Committee, which must approve the program. The committee and the faculty sponsor then oversee the student's program of study.
The committee's responsibilities include approving any changes in the program and certifying the student as sufficiently prepared in the individual major to enter the senior year. While most individual majors earn a B.A., it is possible to earn a B.S. This requires 16 courses in the division of natural sciences and the approval of the Individual Majors Committee. Courses to be counted toward an individual major must be passed with a grade of C- or better. Because a student taking a course credit/no credit receives credit only for work of C- quality or higher, and because students with individual majors often are taking courses from a wide array of disciplines, the committee will accept courses for which the student has received "Credit."
If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.
Below is a sample list of individual majors previously created by students:
Art and Social Change
Childhood Development Through an Ecological Framework
Children and Adolescents at Risk
Children, Families and Society
Contemporary Global Conflict and Human Rights
Diversity in the Workplace
Equity and Education
Expression and Interpretation
Modes of Discourse
Performance, Theories and Practice
Politics of Race
Race, Gender and Identity in the Caribbean
Social Psychology of Education
Sports in Society
Technology and Society
The Medieval and Renaissance World
Guidelines Used by the Individual Majors Committee
- Deadline: The Committee on Individual Majors normally does not consider proposals later than the spring term of the sophomore year. To be considered at one of the Committee's semi-monthly meetings, proposals must be received in the Registrar's Office at least one week in advance.
- Course requirements: An Individual Major requires 11 or 12 courses, of which at least 6 must be unique to the major. In the proposal, in addition to these 11-12 courses the student must list three potential alternates. Only one of the 11-12 courses chosen may be an introductory course. Several of the courses must be at the 300- or 400-level. In some cases, the Committee will require that a student take a particular course. An Individual Major may include a course equivalent, courses from study abroad, Honors, and/or independent study (but note restrictions below).
- Course restrictions: The Committee on Individual Majors cannot ever count a first-year seminar or a course with a grade below C-. Normally the Committee will also not count:
- more than one introductory course (although you may have to take additional introductory courses as prerequisites for upper-level courses you wish to include),
- more than two courses at the 450, 455 or 495 level,
- more than three courses taken at another institution, introductory-level language courses,
- more than three courses from any program or department offering its own major.
When the Committee approves a major, it is approving a specific list of courses. Any changes must therefore be approved by the Committee. Forms are available in the Registrar's Office. Be sure to get Committee approval for changes before including those changes on your senior-year degree audit worksheet in the spring of your junior year. You may obtain the a set of instructions and the required forms for the declaration of an individual major in the Registrar's Office.