(1) Interested students, in consultation with three faculty sponsors from at least two departments, should present a detailed written proposal of their major (which has been signed by their faculty sponsors) to the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee no later than Friday before the midsemester break of each semester. One of the faculty sponsors should be identified as the chair of the supervising committee.
(2) Approval of the special major will be granted by the dean, on the recommendation of the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee. The committee will review the proposals and communicate their recommendations to the students before the preregistration period begins. As it deliberates, the committee may ask for additional information from the student, faculty sponsors, and other colleagues in related areas to assist in further refining and rewriting the original proposal. It is the expectation that the on-campus portions of the major will relay heavily on existing courses.
(3) Special majors must culminate in a capstone essay, or, where appropriate, other work, which will be evaluated by more than one faculty member. (In most cases, it is assumed that the faculty evaluators will be the faculty sponsors.) A detailed proposal of the capstone project must be submitted to the faculty sponsors by November 1 of the senior year. It is expected that a capstone essay will consist of between 30 and 50 pages (7,500-15,000 words).
(4) Changes in an individual program need the approval of the chair of the supervising committee and the dean. If students discover midstream that they are unable to complete the special major, it may be “dropped,” but they must then complete one of the traditional departmental majors. Retroactive proposals will not be considered. Thus, these programs should be well underway by the end of the junior year.
Arts and Letters News
Two recent Notre Dame graduates are tackling global health issues with support from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. French and Francophone studies major Claire Donovan will work with UNICEF in Togo to examine women’s adherence to micronutrient supplement programs. Christina Gutierrez, who majored in Romance languages and literatures and political science, will pursue a master’s degree at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and conduct research on and pilot a food co-op concept there. Read More >
When Jack Blakey was studying theatre at Notre Dame in the 1980s, he never dreamed he would one day be hearing legal disputes on the federal bench. But his liberal arts courses were preparing him for it nonetheless. Blakey was formally installed this spring as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, following his nomination by President Barack Obama and confirmation by the U.S. Senate last year. Read More >
Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities has received a $435,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a two-year study of Stay the Course, a program designed to keep low-income community college students on the path to academic success. Participants are paired with a case manager who offers guidance and support on how to stay on track to graduate or transfer to a four-year college. They are also directed to affordable child care or other social services that will aid them in their pursuit of an education. Read More >
A team of researchers in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters has been awarded a $3.1 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust to examine how the concrete practices of science relate to something more abstract—what theologians and philosophers consider “virtues”—and how that connects with other areas of scientists’ lives, including their religious beliefs. The endeavor is a key component of Notre Dame’s new Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, which will serve as a hub for transdisciplinary research at the University. Read More >