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A qualified student (3.0 GPA or better) may pursue an interest through a program not necessarily
contained within or related to a major department. The self-determined
major is neither a double major nor an interdepartmental major.
In recent years, self-determined majors have included such areas
as medical illustration, ethnomusicology, film studies, arts administration,
and composition for electronic media.
The degree program must contain a core of not fewer than ten
courses pertinent to the student's central interest, one of
these being an independent study project that integrates this
core of courses, or a senior seminar or colloquium in which
a main project achieves the same goal. Self-determined majors
must meet the all-college requirements, including the maturity-level
The student proposes a course of study to the Subcommittee on
Self-Determined Majors through the chair of the subcommittee.
Normally, a student will apply during the spring of the sophomore
year. A self-determined-major proposal must be submitted no
later than October 15 of the junior year or its equivalent.
Students seeking departmental honors at graduation must submit
their final project to the subcommittee for evaluation. There
are two conditions for giving a final project honors:
the advisors assess it to be excellent and of honors caliber; and
the Self-Determined Majors Subcommittee, based on the advisors'
assessments and its members' judgments, deems it worthy of honors.
In instances when the subcommittee is not sufficiently knowledgeable
about the subject of a final project to assess it, a faculty
member knowledgeable in the subject will advise them.
Detailed procedures for establishing a self-determined major
may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Studies or from
the chair of the subcommittee, Roy Rotheim, Department of Economics.