Design your curriculum

Self-Designed Majors

 

Students may propose an self-designed major that addresses an area of special interest and that incorporates courses from two or more programs.

The proposed major must be a clearly integrated series of courses that include depth as well as breadth and that fall within a unifying focus or concentration. This focus must be in a body of information that is presented in the proposal in a coherent fashion. Mere interest in two academic disciplines, however connected they appear, is not adequate justification. Vocational interests alone are also not adequate justification.

The student must make a case for the self designed major having significant scholarly focus comparable to other majors at Transylvania University. Designing a major with a more specialized set of courses within a single existing program is not acceptable. Each self-designed major should be supervised by a committee of 3 faculty members or two faculty members and the Dean of the University.

The interdisciplinary major proposal itself should be thorough, detailed, and well-argued. It must clearly articulate a compelling rationale for the major as a whole, and should indicate how each proposed course fits into the overall plan of study. A list of all included courses, their program affiliation and course numbers should be included with the proposal.

Self-designed major proposals should be submitted to the Dean's Office prior to the student's junior year at Transylvania University.

Approval requires:

  1. Endorsement by faculty in two programs
  2. Clearance by the office of the Registrar regarding availability of courses
  3. Approval by the Associate Dean of the University

Administrative guidelines:

  • Typically a total of 12-14 courses are included in the self-designed major
  • No more than 8 courses in any one program (whether listed in the major or not)
  • Courses come from at least 2 academic programs
  • At least 4 courses from each of two programs
  • Student GPA above 3.0 or other evidence that student is highly motivated
  • Minimum of 4 courses @ 3000 level not including internships to ensure appropriate rigor
  • Student must have minimum of 2.0 in courses comprising the major
  • A passing grade in an appropriate senior capstone experience: seminar, senior project, research or independent study. This is assumed to be considerably beyond other coursework in the programs involved.

The advisory committee must:

  • Consult with the student and sign off on the original design of the major
  • Approve any changes in the major
  • Designate the ways in which the student will fulfill the senior requirement
  • Notify the Registrar and the Dean of the University of the details of the senior project by the beginning of the student’s senior year
  • Certify that the senior requirement has been fulfilled

 

Self-Designed Minors

 

Students may propose a self-designed minor that addresses an area of special interest that cannot be met by another minor offered at Transylvania University.

The self-designed minor proposal must incorporate courses from two or more programs. It must be a clearly integrated series of courses that include depth as well as breadth in a unifying focus or concentration. The student must make a case for the self-designed minor having significant scholarly focus comparable to other minors at Transylvania University. Designing a minor with a more specialized set of courses within a single existing program is not acceptable.

Each self-designed minor is supervised by an advisory committee of three faculty members or two faculty members and the dean of the university. The minor proposal should be thorough, detailed and well-argued. It must clearly articulate a compelling rationale for the major as a whole, and should indicate how each proposed course fits into the overall plan of study. A list of all included courses, their program affiliation and course numbers should be included with the proposal. Self-designed minor proposals should be submitted to the Dean’s Office prior to the student’s junior year at Transylvania University.

Self-designed minors are under the supervision of the dean of the university.