2017-2018 Academic Catalog

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Individualized/Self-Designed Major

Although most students choose one of the College's established majors, for some students, a more individualized, self-designed program better meets their specific goals and objectives.

The individualized Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science major affords a highly motivated student the opportunity to create his or her own program of study in conjunction with a faculty advisor and sponsoring programs. Career opportunities vary depending on the focus of the major and students may be able to pursue graduate studies in a variety of disciplines.

The self-designed major must not only be academically challenging and demanding, but it must also fit within the framework of the existing academic programs. The program of study must be coherent and characterized by intellectual diversity, scholarship, and creativity.

Students must have completed at least 16 credits at the College and/or as transfer credits. Self-designed majors are generally created during the sophomore year. The major must be a minimum of 32 credits. Students completing an individualized major must also complete all of the general education requirements.

Procedure

In setting up an Individualized Major, the student engages in thorough research and discussion with a faculty advisor to determine a clear direction for this major. The student then must complete and submit a Proposal for an Individualized Major Form which includes the student's own statement describing the purpose of the major as it relates to the student's academic and career goals, the intended learning outcomes, and the specific courses that make up the major curriculum.

It is assumed that the plan will include course offerings from at least two (2) academic departments. The plan must include all of the courses that will be taken as part of the degree, both general education courses and those in the individualized major. At least one third to one half of the major must be at the 300 and 400 level. The plan should include a semester by semester list of courses.

When the Proposal for an Individualized Major Form is complete and approved by the faculty advisor, it should be submitted to the Dean for final approval. If more than one Area is represented, only one Dean's signature is required. Once the plan is approved, any changes must be submitted in writing to the Dean for approval. The student may not pursue the major unless all approvals have been obtained.

The College of Saint Elizabeth, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, provides eligible students with documented disabilities equal educational opportunities and participation. The College is committed to insuring that no qualified person be excluded from participation in any College program or activity, be denied the benefits of any College program or activity, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination with regard to any College program or employment, access to facilities, student programs, activities and services.

While all students are expected to meet the College's academic standards and requirements, the College encourages students with documented disabilities who want accommodations to submit the documentation early in the application process so that documentation may be assessed, interpreted and services arranged in a timely manner. Please contact the Coordinator of Disability Services for more detailed information about disabilities services.

Sample Models for the Individualized Major

Based on existing courses and fields of study, there is an almost infinite variety of possible Individualized or Self-designed Majors that can be constructed. Some of the most popular that students are currently pursuing, or have pursued in the past, include:

  • Global Leadership and International Relations
  • Computer Engineering/Programming
  • Legal Studies
  • Bioethics
  • Political Science and Philosophy
  • Cinema and Culture Studies
  • Science, Ethics, and Environment
  • Community Health and Human Services
  • Science and Technology
  • Liberal Studies
  • Liberal and Historical Studies
  • American Studies
  • Global Studies
  • Environmental Science