“The mock class during Accepted Student Day really sealed the decision for me. The professor was giving a talk on sociology and social life. I wanted to stay in the classroom all day because it was something I was so interested in. He really knew how to grab our attention and I just felt connected with him. I could see myself wanting to be in a classroom like that every day.”
Caitlyn De Serres '18
Major: Psychology, Sociology
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- Individually Initiated Major
Individually Initiated Major
An individually initiated major (IIM) provides you an opportunity to develop a major that demonstrates a depth of learning and a unique combination of two or more subject areas. With the assistance of faculty advisors, you will design a coherent sequence of studies selected from academic areas or subjects listed in the College Catalog. Such study allows you the freedom to construct a unique major that encourages creative synthesis of inter-relationships across disciplines. Adherence to the steps and deadlines outlined below is critical to timely completion of your degree.
Initiation of IIM request
The request for an IIM should originate in conversations between you and your academic advisor. Along with your advisor, you will consider whether or not this curriculum plan makes sense dependent upon your academic goals. You will need to forward an IIM Intent form, with a signature from your advisor, to the Director of Academic Advising.
The IIM request must be submitted to the Director of Academic Advising before completion of 60 credits of undergraduate work. Most often, this would be in the spring semester of your Sophomore year. Transfer students entering with more than 60 academic credits must submit an IIM proposal in the first semester of matriculation at the College. Transfer students may need more than the usual number of semesters to complete the IIM requirements.
You must also submit to the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) a formal proposal for the IIM, completed on the IIM Curriculum Plan form, not later than the semester following completion of 60 credits. Proposals must be submitted at least one week before the October or February meetings of the UCC.
Qualifications for the IIM
A student who applies for an IIM should be a highly motivated student of above average academic ability. You should demonstrate a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 over a minimum of 45 credits.
Administration of the IIM Process
Once you submit your IIM request, the Director of Academic Advising will advise you regarding faculty resources, considering expertise and advising loads of faculty, to provide support and advice on the development of your IIM curriculum plan. Once faculty have agreed to participate in a given IIM, their names will be forwarded, along with the IIM file, to the Chair of the UCC, who will distribute the file to the IIM sub-committee of the UCC. From that point, the administration of the IIM process will be managed by the sub-committee, in consultation with the student and the faculty advisors. Prior to UCC consideration, all elements of the IIM plan must be approved by the chairpersons of the academic departments that are represented in the IIM.
Any changes in the IIM must be submitted by the student and the faculty advisor(s) to the UCC IIM sub-committee for approval. The revised IIM Curriculum Plan form must be submitted by one week before the next UCC meeting. Copies of the UCC approved IIM are forwarded to the Director of Academic Advising and the Registrar.
Structure of the IIM
The IIM should contain at least 45 credits, distributed across two or three academic areas. Each of two areas should be represented with 18-24 credits. If a third area is selected, it should be developed as the equivalent of a minor area of study, with 12 credits of course work beyond the introductory level. Pre-requisite courses will not count toward the IIM.
The IIM must include a minimum of one 3000+ level course from each of the academic areas included in the major. The IIM must also contain an appropriate integrative capstone readings course or independent study to demonstrate that the goals of the curriculum plan have been achieved. Students will be encouraged to include independent education, such as Experiential Education internships and 4000 level independent learning experiences.
It is the responsibility of the Department Chairpersons, faculty advisors and UCC to ensure that the IIM has academic integrity, meets the requirements and expectations of the respective departments, and fulfills the mission objectives of the College.
The IIM Intent and IIM Curriculum Plan forms are available from Academic Advising.