Jun 24, 2024  
2021-22 Hamilton Holt Undergraduate 
2021-22 Hamilton Holt Undergraduate [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Self-designed Major

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Self-Designed Majors are intended for disciplined and highly motivated students who are clearly focused in their interests. These majors reflect the College’s recognition that not every student’s area of special interest will always fall neatly within the bounds of a single discipline as traditionally defined.

The Self-Designed Major is not intended as a way for a student to avoid the intellectual focus and methodological rigor required in the normal departmental major or to avoid certain difficult courses within majors. It should not be used to concentrate work in a narrowly pre-professional way. On the contrary, by successfully completing the courses and integrative research project that constitute the Self-Designed Major, the student is expected to achieve a depth of focused reflection and understanding at least comparable to that of a traditional major.

Guidelines for Submission of a Self-Designed Major Proposal

  1. Students proposing a self-designed major must have a grade point average of 3.33 or better.
  2. The proposal must include the names of three faculty members willing to serve on the senior research project committee. The faculty must represent the three disciplines represented in the major. The student must select a director, from among these three, who works with the student and the other committee members in preparing the proposal. The director also serves as an advocate in the approval process. Once the proposal has been approved, the director serves as the student’s academic advisor, monitors the student’s progress in completing the major, and chairs the committee that reviews the senior research project.
  3. The proposed major program must have a coherent theme or topic that integrates at least three traditional disciplines. It must be different enough from a regular major that some combination of major and minor would not substantially achieve the same result. The student must include a rationale for choosing a self-designed major rather than a conventional major.
  4. The proposal must include a list of courses, all related to and converging on the theme of the proposed major, from at least three disciplines.
  5. The major must include a two-term, eight-semester-hour independent research project, (or combination of a four-semester-hour upper-level seminar and a oneterm, four-semester-hour research project) integrating the major, to be completed in the senior year.
  6. The program must be at least 64 semester hours (including the senior project) in length, of which 32 semester hours must be at the 300 level or above.

The proposal must be submitted to the Director of Student Services at the Hamilton Holt School for approval by September 1, for fall consideration, or by February 1, for spring consideration. (Proposals received during the summer term will be held for fall consideration.) The director then submits the proposal to the Academic Affairs Committee for final approval. An Amendment Form must be submitted to approve any changes from the original proposal.

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