Some people like to march to the beat of their own drum. That’s why we offer the ability to design a unique major that matches your specific academic and career goals.

Program Overview

If none of our current majors fit neatly with your passions, we are more than happy to help you create a program that does. The possibilities are limitless. One recent graduate who designed a social entrepreneurship major moved to Kenya to work with a firm that helps farmers throughout Africa organize and increase their pay. Other students have used the independent major option to explore a diverse range of interesting subjects, such as international development and human rights, South American economic development and human rights and social action.

The design of your independent major is largely under your control, but you’ll receive plenty of support from the College of Arts and Sciences and members of the faculty when choosing appropriate courses. Some students who opt to pursue an independent major begin to design it during their freshman or sophomore years, but you’ll have until the first semester of your junior year to submit a proposal.

As with any other major, you’ll benefit from the comprehensive education you get from fulfilling our core curriculum. Study abroad programs and various internship opportunities also are available to you. Independent majors are tied together with a final capstone project in the senior year.

Curriculum and Requirements

The responsibility for the planning of such a program rests with the student proposing it, and a proposal for an independent major must contain suitable justification and a coherent curricular plan. The proposal must be submitted to the dean for approval together with written endorsements from two CAS full-time faculty members, and the approval of a three-member faculty committee, chosen by the student, which will work with the student to plan the program. 

Independent majors must include at least 24 credits of coursework at the 300 level or above, as well as a capstone project or final evaluation project.

Independent major proposals should be submitted no later than the first semester of the junior year.