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Individually Designed Major

An individually designed major (IDM) is motivated by the learner’s own goals and guided by a roadmap that the student develops in close consultation with faculty.  Unlike an independent study, where a faculty member takes the lead in preparing a set of readings and assignments, an IDM places the primary responsibility on the learner to identify the goals, explicitly define periodic assessment benchmarks, and construct a long-term plan of study.

An objective of IDM is to foster a more explicit pursuit of interdisciplinary study, providing a mechanism for you to design a major that will intentionally integrate different methodologies, topics, disciplinary cultures, and learning styles. 

Faculty members and the established programs and departments within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) serve as resources for the students. Students must be highly motivated and independent learners in order to pursue this course of study, which is only viable if existing majors and minors do not provide a pathway to the learner’s goals. Lastly, and crucially, these goals must be articulated early in the student’s college career by the end of the first semester of sophomore year.



Joseph Lennon, Ph.D.             Associate Dean for International and Interdisciplinary Initiatives