Individualized Major

The individualized major offers an opportunity for exceptional, creative, self-motivated students to explore innovative and multi-disciplinary fields of knowledge.

Students with an interest in the individualized major must demonstrate that the goals of the proposed major cannot be met within the boundaries of a currently offered College major or its combination with another major or minor(s).

Before contemplating an individualized major, students are advised to choose one of the available departmental or interdisciplinary majors in the College.  Because the individualized major is grounded in arts and sciences, most of the courses used in the major must be within the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). Highly qualified students are welcome to apply for an individualized major if they have first declared a standard major by the end of their sophomore year. In order for students to submit the proposal for the individualized major to the Committee on the Individualized Study (CIS) by the beginning of their junior year as required, it is necessary for students  to obtain the recommendation of the undergraduate chair of their major department and the strong support of two faculty members who recognize merit in the student’s proposed individualized study and accept responsibility of acting as advisors. Please also know that designing a proposal for an individualized major requires a considerable effort and time as well as a high degree of creativity. Students should understand that their proposal may not be approved.

Thus, as part of the application process, students must:

  • Meet with Dr. Hocine Fetni in the College office no later than their fourth semester to discuss details of the major and the application process.
  • Provide a concise rationale for their proposed major.
  • Plan a tentative coherent course of study for the major, with at least 14 CUs, to culminate in a major research project which, upon completion, will be presented to the University community in a public lecture.
  • Find at least one standing faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences who recognizes merit in the proposed individualized study and accepts the responsibility of acting as the student's main advisor for the individualized major and for sponsoring and overseeing the thesis.
  • Find another faculty member whose specialty is in some way related to the major but is different from the first advisor's and who is willing to serve as a second advisor.