In their sophomore year, a student may design an individualized major under the direction of a faculty committee of at least three faculty members representing the various disciplined involved. An individualized major differs from an interdisciplinary major in that it is not a planned program of study designed by prior agreement between two or more disciplines. Instead, an individualized major is created in response to specific needs and interests of the student. Each major, therefore, is unique and results from the joint efforts of the student and a faculty committee. Properly used, the individualized major program can be particularly beneficial for students whose interests or needs differ from the academic majors already available at the College.
BSC Students interested in contracting an individualized major should read the individualized majors section of the BSC Catalog as well as the guidelines found here.The blank Individualized Major Contract is available here in MS Word format.
Historically, individualized majors have fallen into three general categories:
- A program of study designed to broaden the undergraduate experience prior to entering a specific professional career (e.g., Political Journalism, Communications).
- A program of study designed to provide background for graduate study or to aid in preparation for a specific goal (e.g., Art/Psychology to prepare for graduate school in art therapy).
- A program of study designed around the student's personal interests (e.g., Russian Studies, Classics).
Procedure for Contracting an Individualized Major:
- Students develop a statement of purpose, explaining their motivation behind contracting a major, as well as a list of suggested courses to fulfill the major. The major must have a compelling educational rationale. At least six of these courses must be in one discipline.
- Students gather a faculty committee of at least three faculty members from the disciplines in the proposed major. These faculty members will help the student design the major and will submit a statement of endorsement. The chair of this committee will also oversee the major.
- An endorsement from the committee chair supporting the aims of the major as well as verifying that the proposed major can be accommodated by the College’s existing disciplines and programs.
- The proposed major must then be approved by the Exploration Term and Contract Learning Committee before the end of the student’s sophomore year.
- Final approval of the major rests with the Provost of the College.
- The individualized major must have a title and purpose that is appropriate for a liberal arts institution.
- Students interested in contracting a major should do so by the end of their sophomore year.
Examples of Individualized Majors
POLITICAL JOURNALISM: To focus on American politics and policy while learning to analyze political behavior and to articulate conclusions clearly. Also, to explore various perspectives and literary styles. Senior Exploration Term Project: Contracted internship on journalism in Washington, DC
Area #1: English Area
EH 215 Intro. To Drama
EH 260 American Authors
EH 305 Literary Journalism
EH 310 Development of the Novel
EH 375 Satire
EH 392 Contemporary Literature (or)
EH 394 Contemporary Drama
EH 400 Studies in Culture and Text
#2: Political Science
PS 101 Intro. To American Government
PS 235 International Relations
PS 250 Public Policy
PS 304/PPM 555 Research
PS 340 Comparative Elite Behavior
PS 345 American Political Behavior (or)
PS 332 Int'l Politics of Latin America (or)
PS 350 Civil Rights and Justice
HON 218 Contemporary Southern
PS 393 U.S. Foreign Policy
Area #3: History
HI 231/EH 231 Plural America
ART/PSYCHOLOGY: The purpose of this major is to prepare for a graduate program in art therapy and to explore the relationship between art and psychology.
Senior Exploration Term Project: A research paper on the theory and field of art therapy.
Area #1: Art
AR 102 Basic Design
AR 104 Basic Drawing
AR 112 Design Methods II
AR 200 Drawing I
AR 215 Survey of Art History
AR 306 Painting I
AR 309 Teaching Art to Children
AR 319 Production and Process
AR 320 Layout
Area #2: Psychology
PY 221 Child Psychology
PY 303 Social Psychology
PY 310 Psychological Testing
PY 311 Psychology of Personality
PY 313 Psychological Disorders
PY 407 Cognitive Psychology
Area #3: Supporting Courses in Writing
EH 103 Intermediate Writing
EH 200 Introduction to Literature
EH 204 Writing for the Media
EH 249 Literature and the Visual Arts
EH 305 Literary Journalism
RUSSIAN STUDIES: This major has been designed to provide a solid background in the Russian language and to provide a bridge to the social sciences of Russian studies. Second, this major will provide a basic, yet essential, knowledge of Russian literature. This major is intended to aid in the preparation for a career in the international realm consisting of sovietology, foreign service, and government agencies.
Senior Exploration Term Project: A research paper pertaining to Russian Studies. The paper will be written in English as well as Russian.
Area #1: Russian Language
RU 101 Elementary Russian I
RU 102 Elementary Russian II
RU 300 Moscow State/Stetson
RU 315 Advanced Gram. & Comp.
RU 393 Directed Readingst
RU 400 Moscow State/Stetson
RU 445 Directed Readings
RU 493 Directed Readings
RU 498 Teaching Assistant
HI 300 Soviet Society-Moscow State
HI 351 U.S. Diplomatic History
HI 375 History of Soviet Russia
HI 400* Soviet Society-Moscow State * HI 400 may be substituted by a Soviet Economics class at the 400 level.
Area #3: Political Science
PS 235 International Relations
PS 370 Communist Political Systems
Area #4: Supporting Courses
Literature 300 Russian Literature-Moscow State
Literature 400 Russian Literature-Moscow State
BA 493E Trip to Soviet Union
HON 212 The Soviet Union in Transition
RU 399 Intro. To Russian Civilization