Individual Major

Designing an Individual Major

The Individual Majors Program allows a student to design a course of study which is not represented in one of the more than 50 departmental and interdepartmental majors currently offered at Wellesley.

Program of Study

A student interested in designing an individual major must explain why her academic interests are not adequately addressed through these existing departmental and interdepartmental programs. Likewise, the proposed individual major must represent and be described as a meaningful program of interdepartmental coursework built around a specific departmental concentration. The major should lead to the cumulative development of knowledge and expertise in the student's fields of interest. Finally, it should include both theoretical and methodological work at the advanced level. The statement of intent should indicate the assumptions or questions to be explored in the major, with a clear rationale for the selection of courses.

An Individual Major ordinarily will include at least:

  • Eight units of coursework above the Grade I level -- for courses taken away from Wellesley, catalogue descriptions must be submitted with proposal
  • An area of concentration (a minimum of four units of coursework in one department above the Grade I level)
  • Two units of coursework at the Grade III level

 

Advisors

A student planning an individual major must have two advisors representing two different departments included in the major. One advisor should be from the departmental from which the area of concentration is drawn. A student whose individual major includes a substantial number of M. I. T. courses may wish to have an M. I. T. advisor in addition to the two Wellesley advisors.

 

In becoming individual major advisors, faculty are agreeing to work closely with the student to assure that her selection of courses and their proposed sequencing represent a strong and coherent program of study. The two faculty advisors are expected to meet jointly with the student to develop her major plan and should continue to meet with her once each term after the major has been approved. Prior to graduation, both advisors are required to certify that the student has fulfilled all requirements for the major as outlined in her approved plan of study.

 

Once the plan has been discussed and approved, the proposal form should be completed by the student and the statement of intent signed by both advisors. Both advisors should write a statement as to why the student's plan of study cannot be accomplished within an existing major. A grade report or online unofficial transcript is also required. Please return to Jennifer Lewis (Registrar's office, Room 336) for presentation to the CCAP for final approval.

 

Deadlines

A student seeking approval for an individual major should submit her proposal as early as possible, customarily in the second semester of her sophomore year (unless the student is planning on studying abroad during her junior year, in which case she should submit the proposal by mid-November of the sophmore year at the latest). The Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy will not ordinarily accept individual major proposals in the senior year.

 

After an individual major has been approved, the student must complete the courses planned for the major as described in her proposal. Any changes to an individual major must be approved by both advisors (as indicated by their signatures) and submitted to the Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy normally no later than the end of the add/drop period in the first semester of the senior year. The Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy must approve all changes to an individual major.

Forms

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Wellesley College
Office of the Registrar
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Schneider Center
First Floor

Summer Office Hours
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Please note: the office is closed on Fridays.

 

E-mail: registrar@wellesley.edu

Tel: 781.283.2307
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