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Individualized Majors

Individualized Majors

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:

  1. A program of study designed to broaden the undergraduate experience prior to entering a specific professional career (e.g., Political Journalism, Communications).
  2. 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).
  3. A program of study designed around the student's personal interests (e.g., Russian Studies, Classics).

Procedure for Contracting an Individualized Major:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The proposed major must then be approved by the Exploration Term and Contract Learning Committee before the end of the student’s sophomore year.
  5. Final approval of the major rests with the Provost of the College.

Other Information:

  • 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 

    Area #4:


    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
                   Study Abroad
    RU 315 Advanced Gram. & Comp. 
    RU 393 Directed Readingst
    RU 400 Moscow State/Stetson 
                   Study Abroad
    RU 445 Directed Readings 
    RU 493 Directed Readings 
    RU 498 Teaching Assistant

    Area #2:History

    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