2013-14 Catalogs

Self-Designed Major Programs Overview

Coordinator: Pamela V. Edwards

The self-designed major program allows students to receive a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree. This program offers many opportunities for students to study traditional subjects as well as new fields of inquiry that the University does not offer through existing departments. The multidisciplinary format of self-designed majors allows students the flexibility of pursuing their educational interests in a topical or thematic context rather than through an established discipline.

There are two types of self-designed major programs: (a) individual contract and (b) group contract programs. Students may work for a self-designed major degree through either type of program. All programs are approved and administered by the Self-Designed Major Committee.

A. Individual Contract Programs

The individual self-designed major allows the student to design a multidisciplinary program not available through a department major or a group contract program. The Self-Designed Major Committee reviews student proposals at its regularly scheduled meetings throughout the academic year. Proposals should be approved normally during the student's sophomore year. The deadline for completion of all self-designed major-related requirements coincides with expiration of the catalog in effect at the time of the student's original matriculation. Failure to complete the self-designed major within this time span will require reevaluation or reapplication of the self-designed major proposal and approved courses. Application forms and guidelines may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHS).

B. Group Contract Programs

Group contract programs are coherent multidisciplinary studies representing fields of interest that have developed over the years at USM. Additional group contract programs will be considered by the Self-designed Major Committee as they are required for enhancing the quality of the CAHS curriculum. USM currently offers the following group contract programs:

  • Classics
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Foreign Languages
  • Social Science
  • General Science

Students interested in any of the above programs should contact the coordinator of that group contract program for more information.