Declaring a Major or Minor

  • Major and Minor Programs

    The College maintains major and minor fields of concentration in both traditional academic departments and interdisciplinary programs.

    Departmental majors and minors permit depth of study in particular disciplines, while interdisciplinary programs encourage students to draw connections among distinct bodies of knowledge and areas of inquiry.

    A major represents significant course work leading to substantial knowledge and competence in a given field; a minor entails less course work and is designed to produce basic knowledge and competence in a given field.

    Students may declare up to two majors and one minor or up to one major and two minors. Students declaring a major and a minor must complete course requirements in both major and minor fields. Students who choose three major/minor areas may not select more than two in the same division. Upon successful completion of a minor, the student will have it recorded on his or her transcript. No student may receive more than 15 credits in any department.

    The Major

    Students may choose a major from among the many departmental fields or from a number of formal interdisciplinary majors designed by the College and supervised by faculty committees.

    In all cases, students are expected to declare a major by the end of the sophomore year and to make significant progress toward the completion of that major during the junior year.

    Every major will also include the culminating senior studies requirement, ordinarily a senior seminar or a senior thesis. Students declaring a double major must complete course requirements in both major fields.

    It is possible for some courses to be counted toward both majors. However, the second major must consist of at least five separate courses, ones that do not double count, and at least three of these five must be at the 300 or 400 level. Majors may be pursued in the following interdisciplinary programs (noted with an asterisk) and departments.

    American Studies *
    Area Studies *
    Art
    Asian Studies *
    Biology
    Business
    Chemistry
    Communication
    Computer Science
    Economics
    Education
    English
    Environmental Studies *
    Finance
    French
    History
    Independent Scholar *
    International Relations *
    Latin American Studies *
    Mathematics
    Music
    Music Education
    Neuroscience *
    Philosophy
    Physics
    Politics
    Psychology
    Religion
    Sociology and Anthropology
    Spanish
    Theater

    The Minor

    Students may declare a minor any time before they graduate but are not required to declare a minor for graduation. The minor must consist of at least six courses, including four courses that do not double count in the student’s major or other minor. Minors are offered in the following departments and interdisciplinary programs (noted with an asterisk).

    African American Studies *
    American Studies *
    Area Studies *
    Art
    Asian Studies *
    Biology
    Business
    Chemistry
    Chinese
    Cinema Studies *
    Classical Studies *
    Communication
    Computer Science
    Digital Media Design*
    Economics
    Education
    Educational Studies *
    English
    Entrepreneurship and Innovation *
    Environmental Studies *
    Finance
    French
    Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies *
    German
    History
    International Relations *
    Islamic World Studies *
    Latin American Studies *
    Legal Studies *
    Mathematics
    Medieval and Renaissance Studies *
    Museum Studies *
    Music
    Music Education
    Neuroscience *
    Philosophy
    Physics
    Politics
    Print and Digital Publishing *
    Psychology
    Religion
    Social Justice *
    Sociology and Anthropology
    Spanish
    Theater
    Urban Studies *

    Interdisciplinary Studies

    The College encourages interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge and supports majors and minors that seek to draw connections among traditional academic disciplines. Many of our majors and minors, listed above, cross disciplines.

  • Self-Designed Major Program

    Self-Designed Major Program

    Some of our strongest students find that no one traditional major fully meets what they want to study. A student interested in psychoneuroimmunology could major in psychology and biology but still might find his needs aren’t entirely met with those two departments alone.

    Working with a faculty advisor, students accepted into the Self-Designed Major program can develop their own major, culminating in a thesis or creative project. This major is compatible with the pursuit of a second major as well.

    The Self-Designed Major emphasizes self-determination for its students. The responsibility for initiative lies with students, beginning with presentation of their case for admission to the program. Second-semester sophomores or first-semester juniors with a high GPA are invited to apply and submit a detailed presentation of their proposal. The Self-Designed Major program takes place during the junior and senior years. Admission is determined by the Self-Designed Major Program Committee.