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  • The Gladys Sakowich Campus Center, the heart of campus activities.
    The Gladys Sakowich Campus Center, the heart of campus activities.
  • Aerial shot of the Academic Quad.
    Aerial shot of the Academic Quad.
  • Whether it’s winter, spring, or anything in between, Merrimack’s beautiful campus is enjoyed by all.
    Whether it’s winter, spring, or anything in between, Merrimack’s beautiful campus is enjoyed by all.
  • The Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher is the spiritual center of the Merrimack College community.
    The Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher is the spiritual center of the Merrimack College community.
  • Students are often seen studying in the McQuade Library, a favorite spot on campus.
    Students are often seen studying in the McQuade Library, a favorite spot on campus.
  • The resident dining hall, Sparky’s Place, offers a variety of nutritious meals for students and faculty.
    The resident dining hall, Sparky’s Place, offers a variety of nutritious meals for students and faculty.
  • Mendel Center and the Moseley Wrought Iron Arch Bridge.
    Mendel Center and the Moseley Wrought Iron Arch Bridge.

Self-Designed Major

Interdisciplinary Program

Contact: Deans of the Schools, Chairs of Departments offering relevant courses.

This special interdepartmental major provides students with an opportunity to design an individualized curriculum that meets their particular academic interests and their professional and personal goals.

The major consists of at least 36 credits to be completed in a minimum of nine courses offered by two or more departments. Working with an academic advisor, students proposing a self-designed major will need to craft a program proposal that articulates the internal logic and academic objectives of the specific self-designed major.

All students proposing a self-designed major must select a field that will serve as their area of concentration for the major. For some, this choice may be an in-depth study of one or more disciplines, such as “american History and literature” or “Sociology and government.” Others may choose a theme or a problem from an interdisciplinary perspective, such as “global Warming and Contemporary Culture.” Many students can use the program to develop a pre-professional or professional major not currently available as a departmental major.

How to Propose a Self-designed Major

All students are required to submit a proposed plan of study listing the specific courses that will be required to complete the major. These courses must follow logically from a statement of educational purposes and goals.

In addition, majors require a minimum of 36 credits to be completed in a minimum of nine courses, although a major may include more than the minimum credits and courses. The courses included in the major must come from at least two departments, and at least half of them must be considered to be beyond the introductory level.

The proposal also must identify whether the degree to be earned with the major is a BA or a BS degree, and it must provide a brief name for the major that will be recorded in college records and printed on the student’s transcript.

Since the proposal must be approved by the departments that offer the courses included in the major, the final page of the proposal should include approval lines for the chairs of those departments to sign. The advisor, the relevant department chairs, and the dean can provide assistance and advice as the proposal is developed.

When all of these approvals have been obtained, a copy of the proposal should be submitted to the dean of the School in which the majority of the courses in the major are offered, and the original signed proposal should be submitted to the Registrar.

When the Registrar accepts the proposal, students can proceed to completing their designated courses and accomplishing their goals.

Proposals for self-designed interdepartmental majors should be developed before the end of the Junior year. A proposal submitted to the Registrar’s office in a student’s final semester may not be accepted.

Proposal Template

In summary, proposals for self-designed interdepartmental majors should include the following elements:

  • Title including the name of the proposed major and whether the degree to be earned with this major is a Ba or a BS (Example: “Proposal for a Self-Designed Major for a Ba degree in Philosophy and Public Service”)
  • Student’s name
  • Identification of the student’s educational purposes and goals and/or professional and personal goals that the proposed major is designed to serve
  • List of the specific courses to be completed for the major, with their relationship to the goals explained

* Minimum of 36 credits to be completed in a minimum of nine courses
* Courses must come from at least two departments
* At least half of the courses must be considered to be beyond the introductory level

Approvals page with spaces for the signatures of the chairs of the departments offering the courses in the major.