Self-Designed Studies

All Faculty

Statement of Philosophy:

The self-designed interdisciplinary major is intended for mature and motivated students whose academic interests and goals would be best met outside the structure of any single departmental major and/or minor. Coursework is integrated around a basic theme or focus and culminates in a capstone experience. This interdisciplinary major can serve as an excellent preparation for a variety of graduate school programs and professional careers.


Study Abroad Opportunities:

Courses taken abroad can be included in a self-designed interdisciplinary major or minor.


Self-Designed Studies Major Requirements (45 Credits)


Self-Designed Studies Minor Requirements (minimum of 21 credits):


Approval Process for a Self-Designed Studies Major or Minor:

Self-designed interdisciplinary majors and minors require approval from the Curriculum Approval Committee. A student’s self-designed interdisciplinary major or minor should be approved by the end of their sophomore year, and in no case later than the first semester of their junior year. To propose this major or minor, students should consult with their selected advisor(s) to complete:

  1. A declaration form, listing the courses constituting the proposed major or minor.
  2. A typed, 2-3-page proposal that clearly articulates:

    a. The goals, topic, or theme of the proposed major/minor.

    b. How the self-designed interdisciplinary major/minor helps meet the student’s educational and vocational objectives better than existing Central College majors and/or minors.

    c.  A plan for the student’s intended final capstone experience (for the self-designed interdisciplinary major only). When preparing the declaration form and proposal, students and their advisors are encouraged to consult with the Curriculum Approval Committee or a Committee designee. Students will submit their completed forms and proposals to the Registrar’s Office. Final approval of the major is received from the Curriculum Approval Committee.

 Proposing Changes to a Self-Designed Studies Major or Minor:

After initial approval, any subsequent changes to the students’ proposed courses must be made in writing in advance. These changes should be approved by the primary advisor and then submitted for approval to the Curriculum Approval Committee.


Advisor Roles

Students should consult with both primary and secondary advisors when planning their self-designed interdisciplinary majors or minors, when proposing changes, and when completing their capstone experience. The primary advisor is responsible for approving any proposed changes and for overseeing the final capstone experience.


Academic Disciplines

Typically, a “discipline” is defined as a course of study that has a major or minor listed in the Central College Course Catalog. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-base basis (e.g., for disciplines like Geography or Data Science).


Examples of Interdisciplinary Foci:

Students are strongly encouraged to develop their own individualized interdisciplinary focus. Advisor(s) could be sought from relevant disciplines. The following are some examples of how this might be done: