Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Interdepartmental Studies: Individualized Major

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major in Interdepartmental Studies
Nicholas G. Evans, coordinator-31 Stewart Hall

The Individualized Major provides the undergraduate student an opportunity to arrange an individually-tailored program when the educational aims of the student fall between established department or program boundaries. This major is administered directly by the associate dean for undergraduate education of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Students should develop a program during the sophomore year since they are normally expected to embark on this program by the beginning of the junior year. An Individualized Major typically involves only two or three academic areas--at least one of which must be in the Eberly College--and the program should be planned so that the student attains the academic depth at least matching the depth and rigor of a traditional major.

Following the initial discussion with the associate dean, students should seek counsel with individual faculty members, one of whom will become the student's advisor. The student must submit a formal proposal to the associate dean for acceptance into the program. The students should seek the advisor's assistance with preparation of the proposal, and must then obtain an endorsement from a faculty member in each area of academic concentration; this endorsement should attest to the academic integrity of the student's proposal. The proposal should include (a) a definition of the area of concentration, (b) a statement of the objectives served by the proposed program, and (c) a listing of courses that will constitute the program.

Since its approval in 1972, the Individualized Major Program has attracted a number of interesting and challenging student proposals. Representative examples include a program in religious studies composed of courses in religious studies and communication studies; a psychobiology major that integrated knowledge about the physiological and psychological mechanisms involved in learning; and a European culture program that combined elements from the departments of History, Foreign Languages, and Political Science.

More detailed information about the formal proposal is available eat from Dr. Evans.

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